GOOBER: AN AUTISTIC COMEDY
FUN FACT The ABC commissioned an Autistic comedy.
FUN FACT It was first broadcast in 2016 via the ABC’S I-View catch up platform.
FUN FACT I didn’t watch it until today.
FUN FACT I should have stumbled across this delightful show sooner.
So what’s the show that’s got me all excited?
Harry is an Uber driver on the Autism spectrum.
He loves his life, he loves his job, and he loves his passengers: so much, that he wants every one of them to be his next best friend.
Unfortunately, Harry doesn’t understand social cues all that well. In fact, he has a tendency to say all the things that other people never would.
But, that doesn’t stop him from shoving his two cents into every conversation, whether it’s giving marriage advice to a nervous bride-to-be, weighing in on a private family argument, or explaining to a little boy why nobody likes him.
Harry just wants to help.
Everything Harry knows about life, he has learned from TV, movies, and his Dad. That’s why Harry starts each day with a phone call to his Dad, for encouragement and words of wisdom. Harry’s Dad is the best Dad in the world, and he supports him unconditionally, giving him advice about being kind, making friends, and Harry’s favourite subject: being a Dad. Which is weird, because Harry isn’t a Dad. Harry isn’t married. Harry doesn’t even have a girlfriend. Yet.
Harry is in love with Wendy, the best girl in the world.
She serves Harry ice-cream at his favourite drive-through restaurant.
And Harry is convinced that he and Wendy are going to spend the rest of their lives together.
That’s if he can ever find the nerve to ask her out.
Unfortunately for Harry, life doesn’t work the way he thinks it should. In fact, everything turns out the opposite to what Harry expects. But that doesn’t stop Harry from trying his best to turn his passengers into his best friends, and Wendy into his girlfriend.
Goober is a light-hearted comedy series about a man who sees the best in every situation, despite what everyone else sees. It demonstrates that first impressions don’t always tell the whole story: Harry seems unusual due to the way his Autism shapes his interactions, but, more often than not, his candour and naivety expose the hypocrisy of the “everyday” people around him.
While Harry lands himself in one awkward situation after another, he also tries to elevate his relationship with Wendy from acquaintanceship to romance—without blurting out that all he wants in life is to marry her… and have six children… and buy a house in the country together… and a dog.
Dad does his best to offer advice, but what advice can the divorced single father of an oddball son give?
According to Harry: the best advice in the world.
Unfortunately, a second series doesn’t appear to be on the cards which is a shame.
For me why this show works is down to Ben (Harry) and Shane Jacobson (Harry’s Dad).
At the beginning of each episode Harry and his Dad (he’s not given an actual name) have a conversation, it’s usually Henry recounting his previous encounter with the love of his life Wendy (although she doesn’t know that) as has one of those notebooks that the police use like this one.
But I strongly suspect that she feels the same way about him as he does about her. But like Henry she’s too shy to say anything.
For me this show is spot on in its portrayal of how Harry socially interacts with his Uber customers as well as his telephone conversations with his dad.
Which are both a joy and a delight.
With the accompanying script striking the right balance in showing us Henry’s Autistic traits.
You can watch all 6 episodes via ABC-IView (It’s only available to view within Australia) here
If you want to find out more about the show and to buy merchandise, then click here
And to read an interview with the actor Ben Crisp click on the link here
Carry on the Conversation
What do you think about this show?
Will you watch it?
Do you think it’s an accurate portrayal of someone on the Autism spectrum?
Let me know in the comments below.
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.