Relating to Asperger’s Through Situational Comedy 101

essay.pngThere are many reasons I love Community.

The cultural references are great.  The sarcasm and wit is biting as hell.  It’s everything that I love in Big Bang Theory – but with more gender equity and tighter plots.

But what really, really wins me over with Community is that the characters have a real, powerful emotional core.  And just about every episode, out of left field while you’re laughing your ass off, you suddenly find yourself caring about these people.  Caring a lot.

All of the cast – all – do an awesome job.  But for very specific reasons, there’s one character and actor I want to draw attention to:  Abed Nadir, played by Danny Pudi.

Abed has – almost certainly – Asperger’s Syndrome. High-functioning, yes, but Abed relates to the world through story (usually TV and movies). Real life can be… difficult for Abed:

And this is the power of story.

Because this clip – this character – suddenly helped me understand someone with Asperger’s a bit more than any textbook, any case history, or explanation could have alone.

Thanks to the cast, crew, and writers of Community. Thank you for a show that is both hilarious and touching.

If you haven’t watched Community before, you can watch the whole series on Hulu Plus. Or you can watch the last couple of episodes on NBC’s site.

And when it comes back this spring, let’s all watch the hell out of this series so they keep making it.

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