17 June 2014 | pcnichols3817
Take a chance, ABC! No guts, no glory!
The "Black Box" is a show that truly breaks new ground, about a subject that is universal, but not discussed. The show is an accurate depiction of mental illness that is unique, as all mental illness is, to one individual. Bipolar illness is a category, for instance, that covers a wide spectrum, with each individual having a different shade in that spectrum, along with all the different variations each individual possesses. Much of mental illness can be just a difference in amount and degree, of what is mentally healthy. For example, we all have something that is a routine we cannot break, a problem we come back to numerous times a day or something we obsess about which distracts us all day long. OCD is similar, but on a short loop that repeats continuously, and you're unable to get off that loop. Again, it happens in varying degrees. "The Black Box " shows a smart, creative neurologist who functions as an amazing doctor, with and w/o medication. In her personal life, the boundaries are gone w/o medication, and the extremes become almost infinite. It's an accurate and educational depiction of mental illness in a caring, compassionate,vital, observant, and beautiful woman. It's a character you come to care about, who wants to love and be loved, as we all do. Her patients are complex, with interesting case histories that she cares deeply about, and she uses science, knowledge of the brain and her ability to think outside the box, to treat the patients. Medicine is a science, but also an art; both are well depicted. Love it or hate it, you won't feel ambivalent. You will be enlightened either way. It can be a disturbing show to watch, you may disapprove or judge her actions when she is off her meds. You may envy the enlightenment, insight and freedom she has while off her meds, or abhor the torture and recriminations that are the consequences of no boundaries- probably both. The acting, settings, story lines, and other characters are easily HBO worthy. Above all, it is riveting entertainment and it will make you think- and that's rare! It's risky, especially for an ABC show-but no guts, no glory!!!