1. Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory
Sheldon is, in my opinion, the best depiction of Asperger's on television. The writers nailed it! The interesting back story is that the writers never intended Sheldon to have Asperger's. But he probably has almost every item off the list of symptoms from my Tuesday post. The character is inspired by a friend of one of the show's creators, so I'm assuming that person might have undiagnosed Asperger's. I wrote a post about this during my early blogging days (about 4 months ago, see here).
2. Max Braverman, Parenthood
Max is a great depiction of a newly diagnosed 8-year-old boy with Asperger's. One of the show's writers has a son with Asperger's, so the writing about the situation is, again, spot-on. I can totally relate to the story threads around this character and how the family is coping with the new diagnosis. It's not uncommon for me to both cry AND laugh during an episode. My only complaint is that the show is on summer hiatus. It gives me great material for my blog (see here, here, here), so I want it to return to television pronto!
3. Jerry Espenson, Boston Legal
Of the three characters, the character of Jerry is the worst portrayal of someone with Asperger's. I don't think the writers really had a grip of what Asperger's was about, other than that the character is socially awkward, but very smart. The most cartoonish aspect of this character was all the tics they gave him, which really didn't seem very Aspergerish, so to speak. In one episode, Jerry thought he also had Tourette's Syndrome, but this was never pursued as a plot device. I think the writers just snuck it in to appease the complaints about the lack of authenticity. So why include Jerry on this list? For primarily two reasons. First, the character really brought attention to Asperger's before it was popular to do so; and second, Christian Clemenson, the talented actor who portrayed Jerry, really brought a lot of heart to a character that could have easily become cartoonish buffoon.
Those are the three portrayals of television characters with Asperger's that I like. Are there any that you like?