Imagine yourself laughing while watching a film about autism. While so many discussions of the dis-
order focus on heartache,
"Neurotypical," a documentary on "POV" (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG), discusses life from the point of view of autistic people. And their take on normal, or "neurotypical," society is quite remarkable, revealing and even funny.
Now middle-aged, Wolf works in information technology and treasures his differences from the neurotypical. He acknowledges his fam-
ily's support was essential for him to learn the tricks to adapt to a society where people can read and interpret nonverbal cues and emotional smoke
signals that remain beyond his comprehension.
Maddi offers a typically sassy high schooler's view of life with autism. She "wanted to barf" when she heard that "Grey's Anatomy" has chosen to introduce a character with Asperger's syndrome. (I'd love to hear her take on "The Bridge.") She complains that she spent the better part of her childhood being trained to make eye contact with her peers only to enter middle school, where everybody looks at the floor. She says she wants a boyfriend, joking, "Just
because (autism advocate) Temple Grandin doesn't do it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen."
We meet several adults who were only diagnosed well into midlife. Many speak about the gimmicks and strategies they've developed to comprehend other people and their need for social and physical
One man describes a system for ingratiating himself with boring conversationalists that seems worthy of a self-help seminar. A college-aged girl was convinced that every stranger she met was an idiot, until her father explained to her that meaningless chitchat about the weather or having a nice day was a social lubricant for "normal people" and made them feel happy. The banality of this practice still mystified her, but at least she understood it.
A middle-aged musician and philosopher describes a playground game of tag from an
autistic child's perspective in
a tangential riff worthy of a standup comedian. His outsider's view of this most innocent form of play is a wonderful example of this film's poignancy and humor. Told by his teacher to go with the other kids and "frolic," he reflected he just didn't have that gene.
---The Sundance Channel and Entertainment Weekly join forces to present "The Writer's Room" (10 p.m.). Hosted by writer and actor Jim Rash ("The Descendants," "Commun-
ity"), "Room" begins with a valedictory conversation with the writing staff of "Breaking Bad." Future segments will feature the talent behind "Game of Thrones," "Dex- ter," "American Horror Story," "Parks and Recre ation" and "New Girl." More entertaining than insightful, "Room" is a must-see for fans.
---Bay plans a special occasion on "Switched at Birth" (8 p.m., ABC Family, TV-14).
---Tensions mount on "Break ing Pointe" (9 p.m., CW).
---An emergency room vigil on "The Fosters" (9 p.m., ABC Family, TV-14).
---"First Comes Love" (9 p.m., HBO) examines one woman's choice to embark on parenthood alone.
---Murder in the deep end on "Major Crimes" (9 p.m., TNT, TV-14).
---Water supplies dwindle on "Under the Dome" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---The night sky comes alive on "Siberia" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---A blaze on the reservation on "Longmire" (10 p.m., A&E, TV-14).
Goldie Hawn, Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman star in the 1969 comedy "Cactus Flower" (9 p.m., TCM).
---Kyle MacLachlan appears on "How I Met Your Mother" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
---The Venice Beach Finals on "American Ninja Warrior" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---On two helpings of "Raising Hope" (Fox, r): Jimmy's juvenile nemesis (8 p.m., TV-PG), Andrew Dice Clay guest stars (8:30 p.m., TV-14).
---A trip to Antigua on "The Bachelorette" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---Contagious diseases on "Hart of Dixie" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-PG).
---On two helpings of "Mike & Molly" (CBS, r, TV-14): St. Patrick's Day (8:30 p.m.), roller derbies (9:30 p.m.).
---Waterfalls on "Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---Cupcakes on "2 Broke Girls" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
---Bachelorette party madness on "New Girl" (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---A birthday to forget on "The Mindy Project" (9:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---JoBeth Williams guest stars on "Mistresses" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---Mark Leibovich is on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Eric McCormack, Mitchie Brusco and Franz Ferdinand appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Lisa Kudrow is booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---The Lumineers perform on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Denzel Washington and James McCartney appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Kristen Bell and Phillip Phillips on "The To night Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Neil Patrick Harris and Pepper appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
---Mark Wahlberg, Poppy Montgomery, the Virgins and J. Mascis visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Courtney Love on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.