Law & Order is no longer one of my favorite shows. I also used to regularly enjoy CSI, but I no longer watch that either. I have never watched a full episode of Sex and the City. Desperate Housewives offers me no entertainment value whatsoever. Which shows do I now try to tune into every week? House and Harry’s Law are great. NCIS is another favorite.
I had previously wondered what it was about these shows that so strongly pulled my attention. Yes, I enjoy a good medical drama. Crime shows have always captured my interest. But what is it about these particular shows? Why do I no longer get enjoyment from CSI and Law & Order?
Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, is what created this change. Understanding that my inability to remember a face developed seven years ago easily explains my current choice of favorite TV shows. Those I direct my attention to now have similar, yet very different, casts. They all have both males and females in leading roles. The races vary among leading actors. If there are two people of the same gender and race, their age difference makes them easily identifiable. What is also important is the cast rarely includes guest stars. While it is nice to have an occasional guest, the rotating and unexpected characters usually leave me wondering who someone was and what role they were playing. More than once I have watched a show and lost interest when trying to identify whether the actor being shown was the lawyer or the criminal we saw earlier.
For these reasons, I also find many movies difficult to follow. I will take a book any day over something I have to watch. With a book, I can create my own images through the written words. Words are always easier to follow than a screen of rotating unfamiliar faces.
Prosopagnosia awareness has recently increased due to media coverage and confessions of famous people such as Dr. Oliver Sacks in The Mind’s Eye. I hope the major television networks take notice of this disorder. I would love to join the water cooler conversations about last week’s episode of The Good Wife. However, when the characters all look the same to me, I am left with nothing to chat about. I have too much trouble following the story line. Too many cast members lacked unique identifying characteristic. But hey, did you catch Harry’s Law last week? I would really like to chat about that entertaining episode!