On A Tangent

The ultimate site for a generation sidetracked by the fandom life


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Gifted in Reel Life: The Change and Growth of Claudia Donovan

GHF_JanuaryToday, we have a special feature article for our readers.  This week, Laney and I were graciously asked to participate in a blog hop titled “Gifted in Reel Life” as a part of the Gifted Homeschoolers’ Forum.

This event focuses on portrayals of gifted individuals in media, a topic which is near and dear to both my sisters and me.  All three of us were tested for gifted programs at an early age, and spent countless hours in gifted programs in elementary school that gradually petered out as we advanced through middle and high school. (Laney’s note: my and our oldest sister’s middle school “gifted” program consisted of advanced science and advance English class, and in high school, despite being at a advance program chock-full of G&T kids, consisted of a designated counselor who gave us worksheets once a month. Leah’s was even less.)  As such, many a discussion of media in our household has been peppered with critiques of gifted characters and the way they are portrayed, particularly in television and film.

It is sad to say that even in the diversity of today’s programming, the majority of gifted individuals on the big or small screen tend to fit a certain mold.  They are generally white, predominantly male, employed in math or science fields, and often find themselves ostracized from their communities as a result of their intellect.  However, when Laney first broached the topic of “Gifted in Reel Life” with me, this was not the image that sprang to my mind.  In the sadly small smattering of gifted individuals that appear in modern media, I knew exactly who I wanted to write about – a character who I believe to be one of the best and most well-rounded portrayals of giftedness on television in recent years. Without further ado, I present: Claudia Donovan. Continue reading