By now, having already written a comprehensive review of the last two episodes — you can find episodes 1 and 2 here if you have an entire day off work anytime soon — I’m not convinced I need to write another one; that’s mainly because this last episode had a lot in common with the previous ones, but also down to me not wanting to bore people with too much more of the same (and besides that, there will be dozens of other reports up by now containing very similar content. And besides that too, it’s late and I’ve been writing all day and I’ve run out of chocolate). That said, there were a few things about this last programme which were definitely noteworthy. Here’s my round-up of this episode’s events:
1) Kali’s kindness: born with the little-known Williams Syndrome, I thought Kali was amazing — yes she has a learning difficulty, but she is also eloquent, attractive and entirely capable of holding down a decent conversation (and she loves a good boogie, which is cool in my book). More to the point, I felt, strongly, that Kali exhibited attributes that many people without learning difficulties would do well to acquire if they can, such as a) really good posture which doesn’t wreck your back and b) a great sense of humour and the ability to laugh at yourself. My favourite part was when she said “I like your eyes…they’re misty blue!” Also blessed with a great voice, I really hope someone notices her and gets her doing some voice-over work soon. Whatever happens, Kali can be content with knowing that she has her head screwed on good and proper when it comes to romance and stuff: her attitude to dating was great. Instead of getting pissed-off that her date with Jimmy didn’t go to plan — not helped I suspect by Jimmy suggesting they consider moving in within the near future — she concluded that she’d just wait for a companion instead and not get too stressed about it. Amen!
2)For me, Sam’s part on the show was the most anticipated of the three for one reason: I know someone with Down’s Syndrome and was interested in seeing how the dating game would play out for someone who might have a lower mental age than the people they might date. In Sam’s case, though, for the most part I found it hard to detect if he really did have a lower mental age; guided by his dad for this, his very first date ever, Sam asked some good questions concerning what might or might not happen. More to the point, many of these questions were ones which we all might find ourselves asking when we start metaphorically shitting our pants minutes before a date with someone we’ve never met. Sam’s date played out at the zoo, and at the end of the episode he finally managed to get the guts up to ask Jolene if she would like to be his girlfriend. Upon watching this part of the show I was filled with a combination of shame and joy: I had definitely taken about ten times longer than Sam to do the same a few years ago…and she said yes, by the way.
3) Of the three stars in this episode, it was Crouzen sufferer Haydn who made me feel the most contemplative. Born with the rare genetic condition — which affects 1 in 25,000 people — Haydn is also a twin and has been watching his brother Ashley go on dates for years. Unsurprisingly, this constant barrage of emotional stirring had dealt a pretty low-blow to Haydn’s confidence when it came to where he fits in to all this. As a result, the idea of dating was about ten times more unnerving than for most people, and although we all like to believe those kind individuals who say idealistic things like “It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” we all know it’s thinly veiled bullshit that’s teetering on the knife-edge between well-meaning and completely and utterly insulting. Just as one of the employees from the dating agency said in a previous episode (I think), “The very first thing that people see is how you look, and that affects how we think of everyone well before we begin to get to know them”.
1) When Sam’s large, bear-like friend advised him very seriously to “never give the woman your remote control, because she’ll control you.” No comment.
2) Charlotte travelling from bloody miles away to come and meet Haydn and go on a ride on the London Eye. Such a kind thing to do. Sadly — and this bit wasn’t my favourite bit and it definitely wasn’t Haydn’s — things got tricky when Charlotte kept asking him if he was looking forward to the snow falling and, due to the partial deafness of his condition, he didn’t hear a thing.
3) The bit right at the end when it said that Sam and Jolene had been going out together for five weeks. Congratulations. And also no comment.
Did you enjoy this post? Well, if you did that pleases me! My disability-related novel, The Number 3 Mystery Book is available in paperback here and from Amazon UK. If you live in the US, you can get it from Amazon US here. Thanks for reading and goodbye.