Up next on the CW: Pressure Ulcers
I seem to be sandwiched between the two versions of 90210. It was the kid-generation before mine that watched the show’s first run in the ‘90s. To put this in perspective, at the time, I was watching Hey Arnold and Clarissa Explains It All – definitely more PG than PG-13.
The CW Network, which features a lot of shows for the teen audience, rebooted 90210 in 2008, and by then I’d pretty much switched over to shows like The Office and How I Met Your Mother. The 90210 reboot hit the kid-generation after me.
So it’s thanks to a ROHO blog that I know 90210 recently added a wheelchair-using character. And, like on Glee, this character is played by an actor who doesn’t use a wheelchair when he’s not on set.
Apparently, whoever created this actor’s wheelchair did not put a lot of thought or research into that wheelchair’s accuracy—blogger Bob Vogel says:
“He is styling around in a properly fitted cool-looking wheelchair; except he is still using anti-tips! Seeing Smith try and play Riley as an active “in your face” heartthrob, wheeling around with anti-tips makes as much sense as an actor portraying an outlaw biker roaring around on a Harley with training wheels. He becomes more of a caricature than a character.”
Another key issue here is the cheap foam cushion in the character’s wheelchair, and the lack of a cushion in other scenes. You and I know this could lead to extremely dangerous pressure sores, but apparently the CW doesn’t.
In the end, are we expecting too much from the CW? Should they have called in a PT/OT to fit this actor with a proper wheelchair and teach the actor how a real paraplegic would use it? Maybe.
However, the ROHO blogger brings up another point that I think is even more important.
“Forrest says he knows of at least five Screen Actors Guild actors that are paraplegics in the Los Angeles area that fit the bill for Riley’s character.”
Are we expecting too much here? Should they have hired a wheelchair user to play a wheelchair user? This time, I’d say that is not expecting too much.
I guess we’ll see how our expectations pan out when they reboot 90210 again 20 years from now.