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By olpilot On 2013.09.27 01:59
I thought the MJF show was a real disappointment, I didn't have high hopes for it, but to me it was more of an ego trip. It was just"hey everybody I know you love me, here I am" . I give him credit for getting out there, but he has always been very visible . Maybe it's too early, but the show just had no substance. Too much bedroom, not enough ......I don't know, something was just not there. After almost a year of hype it was lacking in my opinion. I gave up during the second episode,it just wasn't funny, and wasn't interesting.IMHO

By Freespirit On 2013.09.27 08:45
I'm not much of a sitcom fan with the exception of a few. I'm not even sure what my expectations even were - I only tuned in because of the PD aspect.

I actually liked MJF though. I really haven't seen him in anything prior to this (not a movie watcher either). Maybe I liked him because he has PD. I think so because it reminded me of my husband and I so love my husband.

At any rate, I do think that many people will have misconceptions about PD due to this program. Of course, this is only one man's walk with PD, but Michael's current status appears much different from my own PWP's. Fox is still getting around quite well, and God bless him! I hope he has many more years of mobility.

I'm not sure, but early on-set PD is somewhat different than the later life on-set in that the progression is slower, is that correct? In any case, it ends the same.

I may not have cared for the show, but if MJF likes doing it and other people like it, then carry on! :)

By mylove On 2013.09.27 09:30
Just a couple of thoughts. I haven't seen the show yet, because we turned our cable tv off several years ago, so I can't comment on the content.

Yes, young onset is a similar but different beast, with a slightly different presentation.

And my only thought is this - at the end of the day, he's still just doing his job. It's great that his desire is to use his job to help with awareness, but it's still his job and he has to work within the parameters of that. I often think how difficult it must be. Imagine you were a breast cancer patient, and your passion was pink ribboning in your personal time. What if someone came in to your job, followed you around all day, and everyone got to weigh in on how you just weren't 'cancery enough' while you were at work?

What a tough balance it must be to have to stay well enough to actually DO your job and at the same time, be visibly sick enough for those who want you to be their example of how bad it can be? I think it's a no-win for him in that arena.

On a similar note, Ben has some tests soon that require him to show up for a long appointment unmedicated. And there's substantial travel involved. I am not looking forward to that day. It's going to be excruciating for him, and painfully difficult. I can't imagine going unmedicated by choice, even for a cause.

By Freespirit On 2013.09.27 09:36
FYI:
You don't need cable to watch it. It's on NBC.

By jcoff012 On 2013.09.27 10:32
We watched the show and I made several comments on the MJFox Facebook page. I think he is great for doing the show and it didn't make fun of or exploit PD. However, we both found it to be too fast paced...it seemed frantic at times...constant movement, etc. I think they need to slow it down. I got a headache from the spastic movement of it all. I am not kidding! They need to slow it down and develop the characters. I also don't think we need a "message" at the end...his being ON tv sends a poignant message.

As with any new show, it needs time. I just wonder if audiences will give it the time. I think a great many tuned in to see MJF, not necessarily to see the show. He still has his wit and charm and the final scene with his wife was touching...when he said he flirted with the upstairs tenant because he wanted to see if he was still attractive to women...I wonder that about my handsome guy, too...

By jcoff012 On 2013.09.27 10:35
And, Michelle, I agree...too many expectations from the PD community...sick enough? sad enough? true enough? I agree with Steve, though, the true test will be...is it funny enough to last?

By mylove On 2013.09.27 11:08
My bad...I said 'cable' but I really should have said 'tv altogether'. Lol. We don't get networks or anything. (Keeps us busy doing other things...although I primarily did it to keep the kids outside, etc.).

You know, that's the thing we've found with sitcoms in general. Too frenetic, too plastic, too ...something? Is it the pace? The loudness? The laugh track? I don't know, but Ben can't take them at all. I'm hard pressed to get him to watch a movie. He absolutely loathes TV. Do you think they overstimulate, maybe?

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.09.27 12:24
I agree with Steve the verdict is still out with me. A couple of things bothered me and to much bedroom was one, it seemed at times to be PDer's are sex fiends, amd the throwing the roll on the co-worker saying Parkinson's, then the cut to MJF saying what it's Parkinson's to name a couple.Many times caregivers and families will think P.Der's are being manipulative using their disease to their advantage. Also the show isn't a martyr feat for MJF they said filming of other parts that didn't require him were shot when He wasn't feeling up to it so there are built in safety days when the PD makes Him uncomfortable to try to film. But as I say my jury is still out I'll watch it again (taped it) and see if the jury has comments.

By Freespirit On 2013.09.27 14:13
Mylove,

I laughed at your comment about sitcoms in general. My husband's (with PD) only comment about the MJF show was, "Too much yelling." LOL! I don't know what he meant exactly, but to him it was loud. :)

By cmonge On 2013.09.28 10:07
I honestly didn't care for it as much as I thought I would. I love MJF in The Good Wife-it's the right balance of PD and content. However, I truly felt like this wasn't a realistic vision of life with PD. They never showed the bad days! And there a lot of them.

By pickles On 2013.09.28 12:58
I love MJF and I truly hope this show works out. I watched the two available episodes last night and found myself cringing over the extremes that MJF and his daughter would take in their social interactions. It was a bit too much. I don't really like seeing embarrassing incidents play out exactly like you think they will so while the dialogue did move fast the content was too predictable and simple (the lesbian school friend and the upstairs crush). The dialogue was also hard to hear. Perhaps if I turned the volume way up and do something else while I'm watching it I could stand the simple plot.

I'm also a bit confused about calling it the MJF show but he plays a character instead of himself. I suppose everyone would be calling it that anyway so they just made it official. Having his wife play the upstairs neighbor is kind of cute but I'm having a hard time not thinking of his real life when watching the show.

I am going to stick with it for a few more episodes and see if it deepens. I suspect that they will attempt more valuable topics but need to build up characters first.

By jaxrock On 2013.09.28 15:14
My personal opinion............NOTHING about Parkinsons is funny...........

I watched a few minutes of the show, but thought it was very banal and amateurish.......and the actors didn't seem to connect with each other...

Our adult son watched it with my PD husband - and they just thought it was boring and stupid......

I wish MJF the best, though..........

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.09.28 19:05
I just watched these episodes again and I think I've found the term for them. In the T.V. lingo it's called "jumping the shark". This phrase goes back to the show Happy Days toward the end of the shows run Fonz water skied and jumped over a shark as a daring stunt. Critics and fans alike were just open mouthed stunned with a "what the heck was that?" Attitude. Now when a show doesn't live up to expectations or confusingly makes little or no sense they call it jumping the shark. Well that's my take on it right now, I'll give it a couple more shows and see...

By parkinit On 2013.09.28 22:34
I thought there was some fast humor, but also they tried to cram too much into the first two episodes. It appeared they were trying to appeal to a wider audience in the first show: cougar upstairs which turned out to be Tracy Pollin, MJF's real life wife, lesbian teenager, but wait, she wasn't really, college drop out, multi-racial cast to name a few. MJF's speech was slurred and a bit difficult to understand at times.

The jury is still out for me, too.

By jcoff012 On 2013.09.30 13:35
Now that I have had time to think about the show, I still think it could be successful IF they slow it down. My initial reaction is the same. I cannot watch it, however, if it is so spastic..I truly did get a headache from the pace and the rapid fire dialogue.

I have thought about it and I think that the idea that he needs to show his daily suffering and sadness would negate the core of the show...comedy. Poignant scenes are fine; but, I for one, don't feel the need for constant downers and I am glad there are none.

Perhaps Mr. Fox deals with his PD through laughter; we seem to forget at times, that this is a young man and was so when he was dx...Our son said it to me this weekend..."Mom, *I* get it. I understand why this show is important to MJF. At 36, I was told to "put my affairs in order" because I was going to die in a year. No hope. Mom, I do imagine that PD at his age was the same feeling...More power to him if he can get through the rest of his life thinking positively. I don't care if it is always funny; I just want to see it is possible for Dad to have such a strong will...and I want Dad to be laughing as long as he can." Bill is now 43 and has survived six years of testicular cancer treatments, surgeries, and a recurrent, football size tumor in his abdomen...I trust his opinion and his courage...and I agree.

PD isn't fair. PD isn't kind. PD is part of our lives. I wish it wasn't. PD changed our future, but even with PD we are a strong family. I wish that for all PWP: a strong, loving family who helps the PWP through life.

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.09.30 16:22
Jane, I can agree with Your son to a point, however only to the point of MJF might personally deal with His P.D. with humor. However He isn't afforded that carte blanc on the show. Like it or not His celebrity doesn't afford him that. His show will be taken as "the face of Parkinson's Disease" by the country and world. If He wants to make home movies and write some funny books that's his prerogative but when as the most recognizable person with P.D. to most of the world he owes those with P.D. more. This show even with the name The Michael J. Fox Show isn't just Him nor do the perceptions drawn about Parkinson's Disease from the show solely applied to Him they are applied to every one who suffers from Parkinson's Disease.

By jcoff012 On 2013.09.30 17:41
Al, I guess to a LARGE extent, I do humbly agree with you. However, MAKING him the face of PD really isn't fair, is it? Perhaps he did it to himself, by putting himself out there,so he needs to be responsible for the public's opinions and perceptions. However, I truly think it is unfair to everyone to expect him to present PD from all viewpoints. He is one person with the disease and this is how he handles it. Perhaps at some point, he will address the hard issues, but I agree with our son, Bill, it is supposed to be at best funny, at least amusing, but not necessarily factual at all times. Do we all really want him to have to show all of his troubles? Is the public ready to see that when presented in a comic form?

I think part of the PD community's problem with the show, correct me if I am wrong (I can take it! lol), is that THEY have made him to be the face of PD...I think he started his foundation to help those with PD, to get answers for his own journey, and to get awareness to get funding for a cure...lofty goals.

Perhaps a comedy isn't the right venue for PD patients and caregivers. Perhaps we need reality presented to the public; but, in the real world, celebrity sells and celebrity attracts attention to causes. It is sad that that is life as we know it. But, truthfully, unless you are affected by PD, how many people truly would turn on a documentary about PD or ANY disease?

Maybe this singling out is the price of his celebrity, I don't know. I just feel strongly that if he attracts ANY money to the quest for a cure, he has done more than most...and, to me, he doesn't "owe" anyone. He only needs to be true to himself and his stated cause.

Again, just my opinion. I am not the sufferer. I only deal with the disease from my experiences, and everyone has his/her opinion. Love discussions like this that do not dissolve into heated, pointless debates of personalities! ;)) Hugs, Jane

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.09.30 19:40
Well Jane, by starting His foundation and stem cell support at the time stem cell research was going great guns He put Himself out there and closed up separating Himself. Like it or not He's the first one the public thinks of when thinking P.D. so fair or not in our estimation it is what it is. MJF is spokesman for Parkinson's Disease, His Foundation, His testifying before congress seeking funding established Him as that. His celebrity lends to that and unfortunately He can't separate from that image. As much as His fans want him to be able to He cannot. That being the case whatever part of Parkinson's He presents is what the public will associate as being Parkinson's. We know He can't portray all aspects of the Disease. And to do so would make many uncomfortable seeing, but P.D. is what it is also. We or should I say I don't want Him to portray aspects He doesn't have but I also don't want those who suffer worse aspects to be viewed in a slapstick joking way either as with the disease we patients also are all different. And to me the bottom line is He looks great and has much mobility which many do not and good for him. There is the catch outside of the Parkinson's world people will view P.D. as they see him and if anyone says well it's not true my loved one suffers this they'll hear why don't they do like or take the same medicine as MJF? He's had P.D. for longer and isn't like that. They won't understand

By olpilot On 2013.09.30 19:48
I don't think its the Parkinson's community that need Michael J Fox the face of Parkinson's, Michael did that himself. like it or not for him that is a position he accupied and what he does makes a difference. I agree he is done a tremendous amount for the community, but everytime he goes on David Letterman or does an interview on Good Morning America he is the face of Parkinson's he is what people see. that I think is what makes how he portrays Parkinson so important on TV.

some of what bothered me about the show where things that bothered me about most sitcoms on TV right now. it seems like everything revolves around bedroom humor, and manipulative children. I never thought I would say it maybe we do need a little more Andy Griffith or leave it to Beaver and TV these days. I guess thats what is.needed to sell TV. I think the nearly year-long height of Michael Fox going back to work with Parkinson's is also part of the problem. that did not come from the Parkinson's community that came from Michael Fox, and it was all about how wonderful it was that he was able to go back to work with Parkinson's disease. so there again Michael made himself the the object of Parkinson's disease.

there are many of us with Parkinson's disease who have upbeat attitude about living with Parkinson's. this may or may not help fundraising for Parkinson's, but to have people think that people with this disease are manipulative and use the disease is an excuse for for dropping food in somebody's lap for misbehaving of some kinddoesn't really help.as far as the preoccupation with sex in the show my wife's voice your opinion of I wonder what kind of Parkinson's he has.

now having said all that again I wish him luck, I hope it is successful I hope it does straighten itself out and become watchable. I would really like to see more of the character that he played in doc Hollywood, where the character in Back to the Future, and a lot less of Alex P Keaton. I don't think he needs to show the suffering in the misery involved with Parkinson's, but I don't know how many families with parkinson's are so ip beating cheer full all time. personally I agree that there is nothing funny about Parkinson's, I agree we may all have humorous moments in our life but most are things we really wouldn't wanna share with other people.

By jcoff012 On 2013.09.30 22:36
Well said, both of you...I learn so much from you both. I appreciate hearing from and learning from your experiences.

Steve, Al knows the trouble we had and have with our oldest daughter when discussing PD. She refuses to understand, and she keeps repeating, "Look at MJ Fox, he's had it for YEARS and he's fine...Dad will be fine, Mom. Don't exaggerate the disease." Then, that first "Dad has PD" discussion, she hung up on me! So, I, too, personally understand the MJF dilemma of him presenting himself so well.

BUT, does he really>those of us who know the stare, the shuffling feet, the stoop, etc. see the signs, no matter how they hide it.

I guess what we all want is to be entertained, but not be made fun of...and we want truths to be shown and told. Perhaps that will materialize. Only time will tell.

Thank you both for your comments. Only someone who has lived on your side of the disease can speak for a PD patient. We caregivers, of course, see PD from our perspective, too. It's just a fact that PD stinks.

Hugs to all, Jane

By ysracer On 2013.10.10 17:16
I thought the show was not funny and best described as disturbing.
I watched it with my wife, PWP, and after about 1/2 the show she said change the channel. And she is a big fan of MJF.

I agree it seems to fast, and some of the Parkinson's symptoms seemed fake.
Like when MJF was serving the potatoes, or whatever they were. Slowly moving across the table until someone took the spoon from him. I know that can be a real symptom, but it didn't seem to fit with MJF's normal movements.

I thought we would like the show, but it all seems to forced,and unrealistic.

Disappointing and disturbing.

Too bad.


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