SERP 556 Reflection 2: My Gimpy Life – Crowded & Commercial
3 February 2014
“Voltaire is said to have observed that Heaven has given us two things to counterbalance the many miseries of life, hope and sleep. To these Immanuel Kant adds a third, laughter (Kline, 1907).”
The production quality was superb, storylines compelling, and acting well done. “Crowded” employed a sub-textual theme of accessibility or universal design giving the packed restaurant its own characterization with comic relief. The protagonist, Teal, was portrayed as sassy, articulate, and intelligent. Her no nonsense approach, wit, and humor made her character appealing and intriguing. I liked how she made her way through the seated patrons simultaneously being polite while not offering excuses for the wheelchair bumping chairs. In the bathroom scene, she utilized the use of the wheelchair to her advantage by making the occupant of the toilet stall notice thereby vacating the “handicap” stall.
I really did not know what to make of the “Commercial” episode, other than as a farce, a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay typically including crude characterization with ludicrously improbable situations. What stood out most for me was the wheelchair was not mentioned by the other characters, as if it was usual, typical, or expected. I think this implied, though not plainly expressed, the concept of normalcy or normality.
Normal and disabled remain abstract terms and categories. All people are different and have unique needs. Normalcy is a product of society constructed, as it were, as a totalizing descriptor. I appreciated this episode’s comedic challenge to normality and ask, “Is Teal normal? Well, she is normal for her!”
Episode #4 Crowded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwVjGYq5M2s
Episode #5 The Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QmAo2i4eD0