Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thoughts on Ironside

I don’t have a spinal cord injury but do use a wheelchair. Some insights on the remake of Ironside
POSITIVES:
He pushed himself and didn’t rely on others to get around.
The wheelchair he used is apparently built for multiple terrains, seems appropriate for a detective in the field who needs to navigate on various surfaces.
Had mostly person-first language, and the only C-bomb was dropped by an obvious bad guy. (Of course I’d prefer it if this language weren’t used at all, but my bar being set as low as it is, this was pretty good.)

[Image is: an animated television set with the word TV on the screen]

NEGATIVES:
The off-color “guy in the wheelchair” references (made, ironically, by “the guy in the wheelchair.”) From what I’ve seen, and experienced, people in chairs don’t usually say “you wouldn’t do this to me because I’m in a wheelchair,” or “she wouldn’t shoot the guy in the wheelchair.” Why? It’s arrogant and makes you look like a jerk. Also? Being in a wheelchair does not make you immune from violence. He, of all people, should know that.
The fact that, after sitting through an entire episode, I can’t tell you what Detective Ironside’s first name is, and he’s the main character, who we should care about the most.
The scene where he comes in on the hostage crisis and not only is he not armed (so irresponsible and would never happen) but he’s telling his righthand person what to do with the gun and where to shoot after the interrogation goes bad. What was his purpose in that scene? Really? To make some jokes about how he’s already been shot so he should totally go into this dangerous situation with an obviously uninformed rookie? I could have this wrong, but I think that if this were a real situation, an injury like that would take him out of the field and he’d be on desk duty. I thought at least he’d be armed…
Body language. Just watching him in a chair, it was obvious to me that he doesn’t USE a chair. Most people (that I’ve seen anyway) don’t do a lot of extraneous movement while talking, because we like our hands free to gesture. That’s not to say that there’s never movement, but he really struck me more as a person playing in a wheelchair than a person who actually uses one. Like, whoever directed him (or the actor himself) was trying to translate what he might normally do standing, directly into what he might do sitting.
And finally? What was up with that weird freakout scene when we find out how he was paralyzed? I get that emotions are high, but it struck me as almost laughable, which, I doubt was the intention. Not the acting in the scene, because that was well done. Specifically the chair related aspects. The ramming himself into the wall. And then that he’s so upset and he still manages to spin in a perfect circle…to what? Get out his frustrations? Newsflash, but if you’re THAT upset? You’re probably not going to be able to spin in a perfect circle… Nobody would really take the time to do that if they were really upset. (At least, I know I wouldn’t…)