30 March, 2012

I'm Touched


Somewhere among the slithering evil and piles of the dead, police wielding guns as if they were the answer to everything, killers raised as icons, and the every-day pain of reality exalted to entertainment, rises a little show about love and the transformative power of people to ease some of the pain of the world.

Touch is a half-magical earth, a place where numbers connect the universe and predict the future in the mind of a gifted autistic child.  His father wants more than anything to reach his son, who is mostly locked in silence, and in the process starts to understand and follow the trail of numbers his son gives him, leading him into the lives of strangers who he treats - surprise- with as much love as he would his own family, acting to resolve something causing pain.  In the process he eases the empathetic pain that his son feels for those people, and the pain he feels in not being able to communicate with his son.

Is the premise far-fetched?  Yes, a bit, but the fine acting of Keifer Sutherland as the Dad, David Mazouz as the boy,  Danny Glover as the professor who helps makes sense of things, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the social worker trying to institutionalize the boy and especially the inspired writing of Tim Kring that puts wonderful monologues in the voice of the boy as introductions and epilogues to each episode makes this show more real than many reality experiments I've seen.   It speaks of empathy and helping others rather than being mired in the cynicism, murder, meaningless pleasure-seeking and banality of most of what TV has to offer.  To put it simply, Touch touches me, and gives me hope.  If you, like me, are tired of contests that involve inflicting pain in the name of entertainment, and looking into every celebrity's closet to see what they're wearing or who they're dating, middle-aged fashion vampires judging teenaged girls on their faces and bodies, whose wedding is better than someone else's, who can lose the most weight in front of the world and then send their peers home to try win money, which voice is better than all the rest, and so on to the infinite power of insanity you might just want to check out this break into compassion and heart health and be Touched.

Touch promotional poster