AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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I just watched the first two shows and I'm not sure about the series yet. Forgive my rant but I am bothered.
Right now there are two many loose plot threads that will have to come together and it is still not certain how well they will fit. The main thing is that you have two police detectives from different countries with their own limitations. Marco with his corrupt and apathetic country (is this overplayed?) who is the character we care about? because he is a nice guy? Sonya who appears to have asperger's and it completely socially awkward? A killer who is sending social and political messages? A so-far unconnected widow whose late husband declared he didn't lover her and has hidden debts to hidden people, a locked cell phone (who we got the lecture on locked cell phones earlier) and a tunnel? A woman who is crossing the border with others who survives a poisoning? A dude who brings willing? girls to the US to kill them and may or may not be the killer? Another dude looking for that dude who, despite being a tough guy, almost gets owned by a fat lady. I just don't know yet.
Worse for me is the portrayal of Sonya's Asperger's. I know quite a bit about Asperger's and I don't buy that Sonya is a detective working independently if she is that profoundly socially impaired. First, you can't be a detective if you don't understand human connections. A detective needs to understand motivation in order to investigate cases. Second, Asperger's does not prevent learning. Sonya is presented as knowing almost nothing of human interaction. If she is a detective who presumably has been working a while, she would have learned much more than she is shown to know. The thing about autism is the lack of social interaction based upon a lack of ability to (1) understand how other people think (and that other people don't think like you) and (2) lack of intuitiveness of social situations. Social situations and cues are learned by rote -- meaning that you learn each situation one at a time. But you do learn from experience and, after a while, you have many experiences from which to draw from. There still might be social awkwardness but the cluelessness exhibited by Sonya surely would not exist at this point in her life -- especially if she is a detective. The bar trolling scene was also really out of character. For a person who doesn't like physical contact to be okay with casual sex doesn't fit.
The last thing is why the Asperger's? You have a show seemingly based upon border politics and interjected is this person with a neurological disability. I get that an Asperger's person is blunt, doesn't understand politics (and maybe is the supposed voice of reason because she doesn't have the prejudices that neurotypicals do) so is able to work the case without regard to the politics but it seems really strained and reaching. I presume it isn't supposed to be a cute disability (unlike Monk whose OCD was handled like comedy relief) and they aren't necessarily making Sonya a sympathetic person but I'm not seeing the point. I don't know if this is disease of the week stuff or the magic of Asperger's stuff but I am concerned that the portrayal here isn't honest.
"Nowadays, you can just click a button and buy a book, meet your spouse or ruin someone's life. Sometimes those last two are the same thing." John Oliver.