Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Art Imitating Life

Many of the new TV season’s dramas have incorporated A LOT of real life into their stories. We have so much more than just actors wearing masks and TV-news footage of protests and riots. I have to give kudos to the writers and the actors who represent not only some of what has been happening the majority of this past year, but have also effectively evoked the emotional impact it has had on all of us.


I know there are many more shows than the ones I am mentioning, but I was riveted by shows like Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy, the Chicago trio (Fire, Med, and PD), SWAT, and All Rise. Each one of these dramas showed real life situations, frustrations, tragedies and emotions. None of these shows had mere news reports running in the background, they had characters LIVING through the same things that Americans, and folks all over the world, have experienced since the early part of 2020.


So is this entertainment? What happened to the beauty of escapism? … Don’t worry, there are still plenty of funny and entertaining shows for those of us who just want a break from life.


As a writer I, and many of our ilk, have been taught that stories and characters that the reader can relate to are the most engrossing. When a writer uses real life in her writing it is also a wonderful opportunity to make people think and maybe even possibly strive for solutions. That was what I tried to do when I wrote my book Hyphema about a Pakistani immigrant who just wanted a life with her family, an American husband and their infant son, and the racism they encountered. I also tried to reach out to the social perception of assault victims and the PTSDs they suffer in my book Bartlett’s Rule. In Courage of the Heart I presented a male sexual assault survivor and the social attitudes that belittled his experience.


My efforts to make people THINK are just (excuse the cliché) just a tip of the iceberg compared to some of the drama on our nightly television sets. The actors are doing remarkable jobs bringing us into their lives and the emotions they feel, the writers are providing challenging scenarios that truly can be the basis for discussion and hopefully attempts towards healing.


Yes, there are some of us who definitely need a break from the real life drama we’ve been living, and there is no harm in taking time for self-care, but when you are up to it, watch some of these dramas and hopefully get on board with rebuilding, healing and acceptance.


We’re a week away from Thanksgiving and many of us are feeling cheated once again as we keep distance from loved ones, or worse, realize those loved ones who are no longer with us. I hope and pray for comfort and calm for each of you. Please take necessary precautions against this dratted disease — yes, wear a mask and maintain social distancing, stay away from crowds.


I’m not being chicken when I ask you this and I know very well how hard it is to be separated from family because of COVID. This Thanksgiving holiday my husband and I are hoping to at least “see” our grown children through some audio/visual app, we won’t be seeing them in person because, simply put, they are first responders and they’ve been out there taking care of those who have fallen victim to COVID so they are quarantining themselves to protect us.


Sending healing thoughts for everyone’s health and a huge thank you to all of the first responders and essential workers who have given so much for the rest of us.


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