I’m a bit of a tv junkie. I like the escape.
I don’t expect reality from tv, not even in so-called reality shows.
Plot lines are usually so far from realistic that if I stopped to analyze them, I’d have to quit watching them all. So I don’t generally overthink them and simply watch for their entertainment value.
Yet shows do sneak in social commentary, taking a stand on certain issues. Sometimes I agree with their point of view and sometimes I don’t.
But those views are there and sometimes the only experience viewers have with those issues. The death penalty, teenage pregnancy, post-partum depression, gay rights, politics, standardized testing… if you look for it, it’s there.
I binge watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix this weekend. It’s a funny show and I’ve come to expect that there’s not a lot of political correctness when the main character spent 15 years in an underground bunker, held captive by a looney cult leader.
Kimmy’s views on the world are warped by this yet not all the plot lines are about her directly, she’s surrounded by a host of wacky characters.
I don’t expect seriousness from this show or for it to provide any great social commentary.
And yet, it went there. Kimmy’s boss/friend Jacqueline’s son Buckley is out of control. It’s suggested that he needs dyziplen. No, not discipline because no one would want to put any pressure on the parents to actually parent (cue laughter). We’re all way too busy for that, so says the “doctor” in the show.
But the pill dyziplen could be prescribed, no actual disorder needing to be diagnosed but that it would help her child behave. Since he’s a “handful” and by that, it’s meant how many pills Buckley would need.
So, Jacqueline gives dyziplen to her son and you can see the instant it starts working, like a switch has been flipped. He turns into a little robot, just like all the other kids on the playground.
None of them care about anything, they walk around like mindless drones.
The mom tries one for herself and turns into a zombie-like creature who only sees black and gray and completely zones out.
After she comes down, she decides to never give it to her son again.
It’s funny, right? Parents choosing medication for their children instead of actually disciplining them. All those over-medicated kids with nothing actually wrong with them.
Except… There are kids who actually need medication. Whose parents have tried everything else possible before going to a last resort of medication.
Those kids don’t turn into zombies. But now they’re able to function, to show who they really are, something they can’t do without it.
It’s just a tv show, you might say. It’s not meant to be taken seriously.
I understand that. But there are already people who believe these myths about medication, that it turns kids into zombies, that it’s prescribed without valid reasons, that it’s for lazy parents who don’t want to discipline their children.
People who have no actual experience with a child who needs meds. Who don’t do any research and whose only personal experience comes from what they think they know about their neighbor’s cousin’s friend’s child that they saw once for two minutes.
People who would take the words of Kimmy Schimdt as the truth. And if you think that’s ridiculous, it is. Just as ridiculous as that view of dyziplen.
For the love of all things rational, please don’t use what you saw on Kimmy Schmidt to back up an argument about why you think kids don’t ever need medication. Watch the show for fun, because it is good for some laughs, but don’t base your worldview on it. You’re not the one who spent years in an underground bunker.