Alphas – Not Supermarket Tomatoes

It’s very difficult to describe this show. It’s not like Heroes, even though the main protagonists have superhuman abilities; it’s not like The Mentalist, even though Patrick Jayne is extremely intelligent and perceptive (and often mistaken for having superpowers, when all he has is a brain that he knows how to use to its fullest ability).

Essentially, Alphas is a concept entirely in and of itself. It’s not about superpowers, or crime, or even a mix of the two (although both are involved). What it is about is a subgroup of people with heightened abilities.

I’m discussing this show and the abilities of the characters with D as I type (and, while I remember, huge credit must go to Ryan Cartwright, who plays autistic savant Gary Bell) because I – as a person with neurological “disorders” (Are they? Are we sure about that? Really?) – can empathise with at least three of the main Alphas in the show (Gary, Rachel and Hicks). I wouldn’t call myself a savant, but I do have autism to a slightly lesser degree than Gary. Like Hicks, I am slightly hyperkinetic and even have the mood swings. Rachel is hypersensitive to an impossible degree, but I identify with her heightened sensitivity to sounds and smells.

I have to have my routine. Yesterday somebody on Freecycle wasted my time so I couldn’t plan my day or do everything I usually do, and I became irritated and anxious.

I always have to have at least a foot moving – at all times. When sat for long periods I will jog my leg up and down across my knee. It annoys people but I can’t stop it because then I’m uncomfortable.

I can detect scents and hear sounds that nobody else can. Some years ago I could detect a strong scent of stale onions on D and couldn’t go near him. Nobody else could smell it at all. I can detect sounds at frequencies that the human ear is supposedly unable to pick up (Hyperacusis) and normal sound, to me, can be unbearable. I have to have prior warning before D does anything loud around the house, and I can often hear high pitched whistling or buzzing that irritates me and that nobody else can pick up. This in spite of the fact that I am slightly deaf in one ear!

While discussing these things, and discussing Alphas (which has quickly become one of our favourite American shows since Leverage) D came up with a wonderful analogy to describe me and others who are different to the norm:

I am not a supermarket tomato. I am the wrong shape and size to fit in the box; I don’t fit in with the perception of what a supermarket tomato should be. I have “imperfections” that most factory packers would reject.

But I taste just as sweet as a supermarket tomato, if not sweeter with firmer flesh. And all the best chefs know it.

About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Would like a Tardis when I grow up.
This entry was posted in "Mutants", Alphas, Attitudes, Autism, Born This Way, Comparisons, Heightened Awareness, Hyperacusis, Hyperkenesis, Neurological, Not A Supermarket Tomato, Perception, Proud To Be Autistic, Proud To Be Me, Self-worth, Special Abilities, Synesthaesia, TV. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Alphas – Not Supermarket Tomatoes

  1. Amy Aletheia says:

    Like this one very much.🙂

    • Missus Tribble says:

      I thought you might. You’re not a supermarket tomato either🙂

      (Feel free to nab the phrase and run with it – D hasn’t asked for it to be copywrited or anything)

  2. argylesock says:

    You make a great tomato relish.

  3. seventhvoice says:

    I love Alphas and have done ever since you first suggested it to me all those months ago. Both my son and I adore Gary’s character. What a guy and what an amazing show. Oh to be an Alpha….

    • Missus Tribble says:

      I was telling a friend earlier just how much I adore Gary. He’s sweet and vulnerable, also very funny – but not in a manner that’s derogatory to people with autism. He studied up on the condition and apparently truly “gets it”.

      I’d give him a great big hug if only he didn’t dislike being touched! Rachel too, because she’s so sweet🙂

  4. The Heretic says:

    I love Alphas as well. It is like X-Men done in a cop show, or maybe both Avengers and X-Men since you have the one guy who rages out like The Incredible Hulk.

    • Missus Tribble says:

      Perhaps not surprisingly, I made a similar comparison earlier, only it was between Hicks and Hawkeye. But yes, Bill *does* remind me somewhat of Hulk! I’d say The Thing from Fantastic Four, but in the first series he’s got Hulk’s attitude, whereas Thing/Ben is a very gentle soul.

      • The Heretic says:

        I need to catch up on the second season. I am so behind. I did manage to catch up on Copper.

      • Missus Tribble says:

        We watched S2 episode 6 last night and I got a pleasant surprise in the guest star! I have *got* to have this show on DVD🙂

      • The Heretic says:

        I almost have all of the first season on streaming through Amazon, just missing one episode.

      • Missus Tribble says:

        I don’t think we’ve kept any – but that’s my fault because I won’t allow D to delete any Doctor Who that I don’t have on DVD (which, at the moment, is everything but the Ninth Doctor). We don’t even keep The Mentalist because there’s just no space on our Myth Box any more!

      • The Heretic says:

        Is it like a DVR box? Or like the OS (XBMC) that they have for Raspberry Pi? Is there any way to use an external hard drive to add storage to keep your shows on?

  5. Who wants to be a supermarket tomato anyway? Fitting into the “normal” mould is horribly dull and boring. Far better to be yourself with all the quirks of your personality. Besides, I can’t be friends with anyone “normal”.

  6. I think I might have to try and download this series, especially as I enjoyed heroes and there is no way I’m a supermarket tomato

    • Missus Tribble says:

      I don’t think that any supermarket tomato would happily paint themselves blue and run around a hotel half-naked! Only in fandom, right?🙂

      Alphas is definitely worth watching. All of the characters are fabulous, but I especially adore Gary. He’s loveable, the actor puts a positive spin on being autistic and the character is so VERY literal (typical autie trait) that he’s often accidentally quite hysterically funny – a very endearing soul🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s