"Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still" (
"The Writers' Room" (
"Neurotypical" (PBS, Monday). The key to "Neurotypical," Adam Larsen's film about autism seen from the inside outward, is in the title, a word some "on the spectrum" use to describe people the world reflexively calls normal. It's a word with a little attitude built into it -- "That is so neurotypical," no one here actually says, though some of the speakers do indeed regard the non-autistic with something of the amused, bemused pity with which Spock once regarded Kirk. "I look at neurotypical life," one tells Larsen, "and I'm sorry, I really don't want to be one of you." Shot largely in North Carolina and Virginia, the film, which does not identify any of its subjects or speakers until the end, runs on the testimony of the autistic and those who live with them; there are no experts, apart from those whose expertise is their experience. Some reveal their strategies for coping in the rarely straightforward straight world, masquerading when necessary as "pseudotypical" and finding ways to put the rest of us at ease. If Larsen's subjects don't present the full range of what for good reason is called a spectrum -- only language-challenged 4-year-old Violet is incapable of characterizing her state of mind, but she is also 4 years old -- we get a sense of varied experience, of humor and of desire. "It is possible," says one young autistic woman, "to be romantically involved with other people. Just because Temple Grandin doesn't do it doesn't mean it never happens."
"Easy to Assemble: Finding North" (www.easytoassembleseries.com). Illeana Douglas' Web series, in which she plays herself as a celebrity on the run from show business, working at