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FX (ended 2014)

Having read in a number of sources of audience complaints that the show needed to articulate the condition behind Det. Sonya Cross's rigid and at times bizarre behavior, I thought I'd pose the question to you to see how you feel about the matter.
While I certainly have my personal opinions on the issue, Slate offered their support of the show's course and the contrast between the two detectives while Variety criticizes the lack of information and slams Diane Kruger's performance.
What are your thoughts on Sonya, label required or no?

Poll: Calling out Sonya's medical condition?

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Her boss did explain her situation and why she works with him. She has special skills in her observations, dedication to her job, etc but on the other hand she reported her partner because he let the ambulance cross through the crime scene. She seems to have a type of PTSD and/or some other mental condition that makes her unable to be discrete and totally lacks social conditioning. Ted Levine is wonderful as her boss and mentor.
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It's pretty clear she lacks knowledge about certain social conventions, which probably indicates Asperger's syndrome, I don't think it has anything to do with her sister being killed. If anything, that made her syndrome get stronger, but that's it.

At times she behaves a bit like a child, specially around her boss. She's clueless about people. I've dealt with people with Asperger's before and that's exactly how they're like. Very curious people, but they have a hard time understanding relationships and certain emotions.
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She doesn't have any medical condition, probably she is always direct and say what she thinks because its a way to protect herself and probably started when her sister was killed
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I think the problem of not defining it is that too many people are too dense to see that Kruger is portraying a condition and not just acting poorly.

Of course then, as soon as you define it, everyone will want to pick apart and dissect every single nuance and tick she has and claim it is or isn't indicative of that condition based on their pompous, armchair expertise on that specific condition.
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Stupid.. not knowing adds to the show and character. Calling her character names is also stupid. Why would it matter.....
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I don't really think she has a medical condition. She reminds a lot of Brennan in the first few seasons of Bones. Brilliant at her job but terrible with people and normal "human" behavior. Just my 2 cents...
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I like Sonya like she is; and I think her colleague like her too
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The truth is...she wouldn't qualify for a job on any police force.
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No thank you, and could Diane Kruger kindly shut the fuck up about it too? There's enough misinformation and misconceptions about Aspergers around anyway.
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I feel like by the words you're using that you're holding back. Why don't you tell us how you really feel about it all?
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I really couldn't care if they tell us or not. What I do think, is that whoever decides these things need to stop thinking that having a strange, eccentric or mentally challenged person is obligatory or adds any kind of value or interest to the show. To me, at least, it's just a monumental annoyance which goes quite a long way towards eliminating the enjoyment I get from watching.

It was fine while Abby in NCIS was the only one, but now it seems there has to be a kook or two in every cop show. Sonya is probably the worst so far though. Honestly, is it possible to not see that someone as severely afflicted as she is; someone apparently incapable of understanding common human emotions and interactions, could never be at all effective as a detective?

The actors are good, the setting very promising and I think it'll otherwise be a good show. Even so, I probably won't follow it.
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I don't think anyone should come out and say it, however I think that people should be questioning her behaviour.

Marco for example is treating her like he already knows and is making allowances for her condition, when as far I know from the show he doesn't know and should be calling her on what he sees as her shity attitude.
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I think Marco is a charmer and works with what he is given. He sees her as a brilliant detective. He did try to get her to drop the ambulance complaint. They are like the odd couple. He is people friendly and doesn't follow any rule book and she is people unfriendly and follows every rule book
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I think it's much more interesting getting a look at her character without seeing her as someone with a "disorder/problem/condition/disease," which tends to elicit certain biasing reactions (pity, sympathy, etc.) out of people. Going down that route would feel a little like a soap opera.
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Does it really matter either way? Probably not much, but I like the fact that everyone is just getting along with Sonya and not asking (in a real unnatural way) Are you clinical insane? or just a really weird lady?
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I think it's obvious - she's from Mars.
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I am in definite agreement that we don't need everything spelled out for us. Isn't it much more satisfying to watch, draw your own conclusions and relate to the character as the others on screen relate to her. I personally find it much more interesting to watch the interactions when the others don't know exactly what's up with her. How they react to her abrasiveness when they don't know she has Asperger's is more interesting that watching them make allowances for her and explain away her behaviour because they do know.

Plus I think most viewers, even if they don't read review sites or haven't read anything about the show can figure out what her condition is. I personally figured it out 10 minutes into the first episode, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. I do hope they never go down the path of completely spelling it out, we don't need an explanation!
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That would be crazy, if for no other reason that it is impossible.
The concept of 'disease' is a man made contruct that encompasses everything from addiction to Lhassa fever.
Diagnosing someone with Lhassa fever is easy, analyse the patient's blood and find the virus or antibodies that show evidence of having been exposed to the virus.
Addiction is harder but I suppose supporters of the disease model of addiction would say that anyone whose compulsive behaviour has made their life unmanageable has the disease of addiction. That is a subjective and highly questionable criterion and one that likely varies over time - with or without 'treatment'.

Now lets move on to Asperger's Syndrome which has been taken off the list of diseases and disorders by the american psychiatric association, largely IMO because clinicians got sick & tired of the parents of every kid with symptoms of autism, harassing them into making an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis because ever since Rainman's wildy inaccurate depiction, that was the 'cool' form of autism.

My youngest kid has an autistic spectrum disorder (or so say some shrinks who felt obliged to stick the kid with a label to allow educational assistance) and I know him really well but he doesn't behave like any of the other people I've met with an ASD and neither do any of them show all the same symptoms as any of the others.
Autism, like Asperger's is just a label created by humans to give themselves the aura of control by identifying what they observe.

Call Sonya what you want but labeling her with an artificially created 'disease' won't enlighten, explain or elucidate. In the end all it does is label the person as somehow 'defective', a potential reject according to some, when as far as we can tell she is a competent detective, whose highly non-conformist behaviours assist her in her job more often than they impede it.
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I can't tell you how much I admire your answer : categorizing people has always been a dangerous thing.
In school, when a kid has some problems, we look for an explanation : if he is dyxlexic, he gets help for his tests. If he has ADD (attention deficit disorder), he gets a school assistant. If the kid is just sad because his parents are getting a divorce, he gets nothing.
Why should we always put a name on a condition ? Can't people have the right to be different without being sick ?
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I think the show has to say it if the writers want her medical condition to be part of the story. Otherwise, she's just weird and antisocial. I've been reading people say things like she's strange, but fighting her Asperger's condition is a great challenge, but if it's not established she has this condition, then she can be criticized just like any normal person would if they were tactless and clueless. And knowing vital information about a character because someone read an interview or a website summary doesn't really count. Only what is in the show matters.
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I get your criticism on secondary and tertiary collateral for shows, a subject that has been hotly debated at this site.

But is explicitly stating Sonya's challenges upfront realistic? If any of us were living with a similar condition or another chronic illness, would you expect to go about telling people what your issues are, that your family and friends who are aware of your diagnosis should discuss it casually, especially among random strangers? I wouldn't. I wouldn't volunteer info if I didn't believe it necessary. You are living it, everyone else can live with it with you. While I can understand the curiosity, the human need to put a label on something and slot it into its proper compartment, thereby creating some distance, I cannot be asked to worry over other people's intrusiveness, discomfort or reactions, and neither should Sonya, directly or indirectly.

It doesn't really make any difference if Sonya has Asperger's and goes around telling everyone, she's still weird and at times abrasive and less than aware of the intricate clues to be divined from the behavior of the humans around her. Telling people could prove to be a hindrance or distraction, a way people seek to marginalize her. What's more, Asperger's may be one of countless factors contributing to her behavior. Nature vs. nurture, we don't know much about how Sonya grew up or her life before we met her, except that her sister died and she seems to be having a tough time with her grief. Perhaps she suffers from attachment disorder, or some other diagnosis. Would it matter?

Sonya is a police detective, she is functional enough to have achieved her advancement and current position with the police, she should be held to the same standards as everyone around her. Why shouldn't she "be criticized just like any normal person"? She should not be in some "special" category of people treated differently. She is the way she is, and I think Marco's behavior and reactions to her are appropriate and respectful and at the same time, realistic.

She has Asperger's but should that define her and how the world views her? I do not believe so. Forcing Sonya or the show to put a label on her only serves to make other people feel more comfortable with her realities, which is condescending. She lives it, the least we can do is accept her as she is, as Marco has.
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No, I wouldn't expect her to advertise her condition. I mean, if she does have a condition, because honestly, I haven't seen anything in the show that tells that. If she does have a condition, they should make the public aware of it, by showing a private scene, maybe with her doctor or a close family member. As viewers, we have to know to understand the character. It's the case with other shows like Perception (schizophrenia) or Monk (OCD).

There are countless creative ways to do that. Until the show does that, any number of factors could explain her behavior, and any are acceptable. Until the shows explains her shortcomings one way or another she'll just be a weird, antisocial and abrasive character. Somebody most likely normal who just should improve her manners.
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Why should she have a special state of mind? Ok, she is weird, but she is not harming anyone. i know people like her, not a big deal
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I do not see the need! Why do people from the US need to have everyting "spelled out"?
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I think if a normal person swears and says offensive things to others we have all the right to get angry. If the person, on the other hand, suffers from Tourette's, for example, that makes the whole difference in the world. So the show should establish that. They can do it in a "private" scene, just showing how Sonya deals with her condition. Until then, she's just an irredeemable weirdo.
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In the original Bron series, this was never spelled outt and neither should it be here, except if necessary in the privacy of Sonya's appartment.
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Love this post/poll! Just wanted to let you know that I promoted it to the TV.com homepage so look for it there :)
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Thank you!
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