My Favourite Television Show You’ve Never Heard Of: Perception

Greetings, my friends. It’s time, once again, to chat about the awesome shows on television that you’re (probably) not watching. Today’s show is something different than our usual summertime, blue-sky fare.

It’s called “Perception” … and hopefully watching it will change the way you see the world, a little bit. (See what I did there?)

perception logo

Last time we got together to talk television, I gave a brief shout out to one of my favourite fictional characters, Dr. Gregory House. Played by the incomparable Hugh Laurie, my adoration of whom is another post topic for another day, House introduced us to a now-familiar television archtype: the brilliant but quirky expert who proves invaluable even when they’re driving everyone around them nuts. See also: Temperance Brennan on “Bones”, Charlie Eppes on “Numb3rs” and even, to a certain degree, my beloved Richard Castle on “Castle”!

“Perception” does something fresh with this familiar template. Eric McCormack plays Dr. Daniel Pierce, a renowned, and of course eccentric, neuroscience professor who is recruited by the FBI to help solve cases. Pierce has a deep and nuanced understanding of how the human mind works. He also has paranoid schizophrenia.

Can you guess which one of these characters is the hallucination?

Can you guess which one of these characters is the hallucination?

Pierce’s hallucinations often provide clues to the case that his conscious mind isn’t aware of, but they just as often cause him to act irrationally and put himself, and others, in danger. For viewers, it isn’t always clear who on screen is “real” and who isn’t, so our sense of reality is shifted and fragmented along with Pierce’s throughout each episode. The world within the tv show grabs your attention and completely disorients you at the same time.

I personally am not close to anyone living with mental illness, so I’m not really in a position to say whether this is an accurate (by television drama standards, anyway) portrayal of living with paranoid schizophrenia, or whether it’s a completely glamorized Hollywood version. For what it’s worth though, I haven’t seen the show ever play his hallucinations for laughs, and nothing has set my geek glasses quivering and triggered my “positions of cultural and societal privilege are being treated as normal and excluding other groups’ experiences” radar.

What? I was a Communications major, remember?!?

Aside from using big words from time to time, one thing I do have experience with is television. I watch an awful lot of it, so I am comfortable saying that I’m in a position to recognize complex, fully realized characters when I see them. And I think Dr. Daniel Pierce is as complex and fully realized as they come, which is reason enough to add him to my weekly viewing schedule this summer!

Meanwhile, can you believe that it’s almost time for another WoW Friday already? Come back tomorrow to see whose words we’ll be using to end the week!

love amb

28 thoughts on “My Favourite Television Show You’ve Never Heard Of: Perception

  1. Another show I enjoy. In fact, watched this week’s episode last night on my DVR. The awkward girl from She’s All That grew up to be a very purty FBI agent…

    • Don’t say anything!! I haven’t watched it yet!!! I’m not listening, lalalalala …

      Yes, she’s all grown up now. And a lot tougher, too! I was surprised at how believable she is as a member of law enforcement.

  2. This one has me interested indeed.
    I will watch because of your suggestion, but also to see Eric’s stretch from “Will and Grace” !

  3. good morning, sunshine–haha. Perception, huh? Sounds like a more intense version of Monk. (do you know? this will make me retro 😉 ) Also, Becker–though there was no FBI–much simpler storyline.

    You do watch some very cool TV!

    • Good morning sunshine is right! Long time no talk! 🙂 I did watch Monk! Not regularly, but I’d catch an episode every once in a while. And there are definite similarities.

      Becker … that was the one with Ted Danson, right?

      Why thank you! I appreciate you saying “very cool” and not “too much” 😉

      • yes, Ted Danson. Loved the show, but not many folks did. Never followed Monk, though thinking of picking it up again on Netfilx as Tony S cracks me up. Do you remember a show called Stark, Raving Mad? It wasn’t around long, but it was another I enjoyed (starred Shaloub). And Pretender? This all dates me so much 😦 Seems I used to watch more TV than I do now. Glad you’re here to keep me up on what I’m missing now.

    • Thank you very much! I’m glad to have piqued your interest. If you do get a chance to check out the show you’ll have to tell me what you think of it!

  4. Amb..this looks like a good one, will have to look for it and set my DVR. And while I have your attention, ahem, my favorite TV show connoisseur, I believe that Switched at Birth has begun it’s summer season, right? How did I miss that? Did you watch?

    • It is a good one! If you do end up checking it out I think you’ll enjoy it, my friend.

      Yes, the new season of SaB has started! I’ve been saving up episodes on my pvr, but haven’t watched them yet. I’m planning on having a good marathon in a few weeks. It looks like there’s all kinds of juicy stuff happening 😀

    • Let me know if you do! I’m sorry I’m not better at knowing which shows air in your corner of the world, my friend! I’m so glad you come and visit anyway 🙂

  5. Ditto – I’m a huge fan of Bones and the ever-endearing Castle 🙂 And you’re absolutely correct in assuming that I’ve never heard of Perception, but with your excellent synopsis of the show and a love for the eccentric genius, I think I’m already a fan. Perfect timing as I was just poring over the tv guide last night wondering where all the good shows were! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂 PS….found you from Truth & Cake!

    • Hi Kristen!! So glad you’re here – always happy to meet a fellow Castle fan. It’s a little ridiculous how much I love him, actually 🙂

      Happy to help you fill your summer tv viewing schedule! If you manage to catch Perception this week you’ll have to pop by and let me know what you think of it!

      I always have so much fun when Rian hosts her “Freshly Press Yourself” parties – off to check out your blog now 🙂

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