It's a time-honored tradition in the world of TV: a celebrity goes on a game show or reality contest, playing for his or her favorite charity. Then, instead of buckling down and trying his or her hardest to get as much money as possible for that charity, they laugh and joke as they either go down in flames on the show, or -- even worse -- don't look like they're even trying.
The latest case of this happened on last week's 'Celebrity Apprentice.' And, with the next episode set to air tonight, I wanted to talk about why the results from last week got me so annoyed.
(S01E02) "I can deal with anything: disease, illness, broken bone. Give me something I can fix, but I don't know how to deal with this. This is for life." - Adam to Kristina after learning that Max has Asperger's Syndrome
Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
And while that bit of movie trivia is actually true (unlike say "Stupid is as stupid does" or "Pain don't hurt"), if actual life went at the speed that 'Parenthood' does, stopping to look at it would require some kind of anti-lock braking system.
The votes were counted and 77.2% of TV Squad readers believed Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory has Asperger's Syndrome. Based on Slate writer Paul Collins' article on the subject and reported by Joel, you were asked your opinion and agreed with Collins.
Well, majority may rule, but the writer is king. Big Bang co-creator Bill Prady knows the character better than we do, and Prady said Sheldon does not have Asperger's.
I can just sense thousands of readers right now smacking their heads with their palms and going, "I knew it!" right now. And I bet right now you're also scrambling to Google the condition and see what the characteristics are. No need; they're right here. Just in that website's brief description, you can see a lot that goes into the character of Sheldon: affected speech patterns, a small and unexpandable circle of interest, and -- most of all -- difficult two-way social interaction. Seems like Sheldon to a T.
According to CBS's Big Brother web site, Adam is a public relations manager for an unnamed foundation. The 29-year-old is from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but is now living in Delray Beach, Florida.
Eli Stone, the new ABC legal drama, is already in trouble. This is interesting news since the first show hasn't even premiered yet. The trouble is stemming from the American Academy of Pediatrics, who want the first episode of the series canceled because it feeds into the myth that vaccines can cause autism.
In the series premiere, which airs after Lost this Thursday, lawyer-turned-reluctant-prophet Eli Stone argues in court that a flu vaccine made a child autistic. Dr. Renee R. Jenkins, president of the AAP, said that both ABC and its parent company, Walt Disney, are being irresponsible by airing the show because it will be perpetuating the vaccine=autism belief. Dr. Jenkins added that the network would share in the responsibility for the suffering and deaths if parents who watched the program chose to deny their children immunizations. Dr. Jenkins also mentioned that many viewers trust the health information presented on fictional television shows.
Despite the title, the documentary Autism: the Musical is not a musical at all, but it is about a group of autistic children putting on a musical. The film has been praised for being uplifting rather than depressing, and with HBO's recent acquisition, those who aren't able to catch it during its limited run in theaters will be able to see it on HBO sometime next year. A portion of the money from the film will go to the Autism Speaks charity.
I'll admit I don't know anything about autism, outside of what I've read in books and seen on television, but considering how depressing the subject can be, I think it's wonderful that someone has decided to create a film about autistic children that aims to be both positive and inspiring. I think all kids, regardless of who they are, have the capacity to do great things, at least on some level, and I can't imagine this documentary being anything but uplifting.
Ongoing research at Cornell University has revealed a possible link between autism and children under the age of three who watch television. The study found that when cable became more prominent in households in the '80s, autism rates also increased. The study has not found anything specific in television viewing that may trigger autism in young children, only that there is a strong correlation between the two. Some have pointed out it may not be television, but indoor air pollution that may be the root of the problem.
While experts study this and try to come to a consensus, I think laypersons should see this as a reminder that too much television exposure at a young age is not a good thing. As Slate's Gregg Easterbrook points out in his article, humans evolved responding to three-dimensional stimuli, and repeated exposure to two-dimensional images, whether it turns out to be directly linked to autism or not, is still not a good thing in the early stages of development.
That was quite an impressive lineup of comics on Comedy Central last night, eh? The Night of Too Many Stars was a benefit for autism charities that attracted the likes of Jon Stewart (who hosted), Steve Carell, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Jerry Seinfeld, Borat, Will Ferrell, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, and many others.
CCInsider (that's the Comedy Central site for video and other content) has some great clips of the event, including Cross and Odenkirk's banter about American Idol-type shows, Triumph singing about people like Star Jones and Kathie Lee Gifford, Ricky Gervais' routine about not doing enough for charity, and Jimmy Fallon impersonating Bee Gee Barry Gibb during the auction part of the show.
OK, so I'm not really sure what's up with Fallon's Gibb impersonation. Does Gibb really dance and do karate moves like that?
[via Best Week Ever]
On October 15 at 8:00 pm, Jon Stewart will host Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Benefit for Autism Education on Comedy Central. The live event will also be simulcast on ComedyCentral.com along with additional footage. A ton of comedians and performers will be featured, including Bob Odenkirk, Jack Black, David Cross, Elvis Costello, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ricky Gervais, Will Ferrell, Norm MacDonald, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Paul Rudd. Musician Moby will direct the house band for the evening.
Proceeds from the event will go to several autism educational and advocacy groups, including money from any downloads of the event purchased from the iTunes music store, which will be made available for thirty days starting on October 16. Tickets are currently on sale through Ticketmaster.
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