The Good Doctor
Here is a TV show that is busting the stereotyping of disability as debilitating. The acting is superb, and the story lines are believable. But the star is Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun (“with a U”) Murphy.
For television viewers, Freddie will be a newcomer. But he has been acting most of his young years, mostly in films.
He played Peter Llewelyn Davies in the film, “Finding Neverland” in 2004.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
He was Charlie Bucket in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005.
And he was Evan Taylor in “August Rush” in 2007.
But it was his five seasons as Norman Bates on the TV series “Bates Hotel” (2013-17) that honed his ability to act as a social misfit with psychological hangups.
In the Fall Finale, the character, Shaun, is presented with a dilemma. His mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman, wants Shaun to see a life coach. Shaun doesn’t want to. So, when Dr. Glassman tries to forcefully take him there, Shaun reacts by slapping his own head several times. Where have we seen that before? Oh, right: “Rain Man” the airport scene.
This was filmed four years before Freddie was even born, but it would have given him a template for reacting to the stress of not wanting to do something when being pressured to do so.
“The Good Doctor” has been picked up to complete the first full season of 18 episodes. Let’s hope there is a season two, so that we can learn about his world while Shaun learns about life.