Yes, I know, this is a book review blog, but after watching the pilot of Perception last night, I couldn't help but tell the world about it.
Starring: Eric McCormack, Rachel Leigh Cook, and Arjay Smith
Created by: Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman
Genre: Crime Drama
Dr. Daniel Pierce is an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex criminal cases. (Photo and Blurb via IMDB)
Many of you may know Eric McCormack from his role as Will on the popular comedy "Will and Grace." I loved him then and when I saw he had a new television series, I admit, I did a little happy dance.
Now, you all know how pilot episodes go and you never know if you'll get to season two or not, but I truly fell in love with "Perception" last night. If you didn't catch the first episode, it will be rerunning on TNT next Monday night.
You're probably asking yourself why I fell in love with another crime drama, because lets admit it, they are everywhere. Everything from the CSI franchise, to the NCIS franchise, to the Closer, and Franklin and Bash. All of which I've watched and loved, though the plot lines are becoming repetitive and sometimes, just plain cheesy. Here's where "Perception" comes in.
Dr. Daniel Pierce, as noted in the blurb, is an eccentric neuroscientist. He also suffers from schizophrenia and often hallucinates, seeing people who are not really there. He is a professor at a university who consults with the federal government to solve complex criminal cases. Nothing much different in that description right?
Lets talk about mental illness for a moment. Most of us know somebody, or are that somebody, who suffers from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. And, unless you've been that person or you are capable of feeling empathy, there is no way for you to understand just how consuming and incapacitating these disorders can be. But schizophrenia is extremely difficult to manage and is relatively rare in nature.
I loved "Perception" because we get to see Dr. Pierce deal with his mental illness without the use of meds and with a complete understanding about his illness. He's learned methods to deal with his overwhelming surroundings and relies on a friend to help him distinguish reality from hallucinations. He teaches psychology courses and I found a deep appreciation behind the brief explanations of neurotransmitters and what science has truly learned about mental illnesses.
Before you ask, yes, I'm a huge geek. I love to read, write, and seldom find time for television. In another life, and maybe one soon to come, I was a nurse and had to learn to deal with all types of personality disorders. I excelled at understanding people's issues and this made me a better nurse. I also suffer from clinical depression and anxiety disorder. If I had to guess, I also have a touch of ADHD...ask anyone who knows me.
So maybe this is where my love of the new show stems from, I don't really know. What I do know, is by creating television shows portraying people with mental illness in a positive manner, we can--hopefully--shed a new light onto the people who suffer from these types of issues and learn the truth surrounding these sometime debilitating diseases.
If you get a chance, try to catch an episode or two of "Perception" on TNT, Monday nights at 7 EST/8CST. Maybe you'll find yourself learning something new...not just watching another crime show.