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Touched By Touch

  • Posted on November 5, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Fox’s new show Touch just started its second (hopefully full) year. When it was first introduced, there was some early buzz due to Touch’s autism connection. I watched the show and enjoyed it, even after the supposed autism connection was dispelled.

Now, with the first new episode of the season available online (I don’t actually watch television, at least not on purpose), I wanted to take a moment to comment once again on this show.

First, if you want to watch the show for anything resembling a realistic portrayal of autism, don’t. Jake is not autistic. The creators of the show didn’t want him to be labeled (whether that’s out of respect people with disabilities or out of fear that such a label would be “bad” is unclear) and the show has stated quite clearly that he doesn’t fit autism criteria. Furthermore, watching a show for a realistic portrayal of anything is rarely a good idea. Whatever they’re showing, they have an agenda. Agenda, perception, and other human traits skews the “realism” shown with any art in favor of the worldview of its creators.

If you don’t want to watch the show because the show is related in some way to autism, then I strongly suggest you reconsider. The concept behind the show is basically this: Human beings (yes, all of us) are connected with each other and the world around us in ways that most of us don’t see, but in ways that cause “distress” in the world if they’re set awry; there are a limited number of people who are gifted with the ability to see these connections and manipulate them to set things that have gone awry to rights; Jake is one of those people, which forces Martin to cope with having a truly extraordinary (much more than he ever knew) son.

Here are a few reasons not to watch the show:

  1. You thought Friends was an emotionally deep and intellectually stimulating portrayal of life in the big city.
  2. You think Family Guy is wholesome, family entertainment.
  3. You’re the kind of s.o.b. who wants to cling to your prejudices with your very last breath.
  4. You think American shows should be exclusively about Americans.
  5. You absolutely abhor subtitles.
  6. A story with more than five characters per episode confuses you.
  7. Wrinkles offend your aesthetic sensibilities.
  8. You often wonder if Nikita couldn’t be a bit more action-packed.
  9. You reject anything that questions reality as you know it.
  10. You honestly believe reality television is the best thing on the tube.

Touch demonstrates an incredible belief in the potential of humanity and an inspiring belief that what is wrong can be set right. If you enjoy heart-warming (and occasionally heart-wrenching) drama and can juggle multiple storylines in your mind across multiple episodes, then I suggest giving Touch a try. Be warned: It’s not for the vacuous.