Ambassadors episode 2 review

I’m All Shook Up: Parkinson’s at 25 review

Published by jamdog on 29th August, 2006.

 I'm All Shook Up: Parkinson's at 25 review

I’m All Shook Up: Parkinson’s at 25

Channel 4

Is it me or are television documentary titles becoming increasingly bad taste? This type of aggressive marketing is nothing new. An eye-catching provocative headline stirs people’s interest – that’s its job. But entitling a documentary about Parkinson’s Disease I’m All Shook Up? What are we, 12 years old? Parkinson’s causes uncontrollable body movements everyone! It’s hilarious. Are they aiming this at the type of people who still point at aeroplanes or have we Channel 4 regulars become such voyeuristic mutts that we only switch on when there’s some grisly take on human misery? Maybe the drugs are screwing with my memory but I’m sure I watched these documentaries regardless back in the day when they weren’t monikered by a Daily Sport sub-editor.

"Have we Channel 4 regulars become such voyeuristic mutts that we only switch on when there’s some grisly take on human misery?"

And again I watched as Michael Gibson, a 25 year-old lad from the North began to come to terms with his deteriorating condition. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 18, he’s been in a state of denial ever since. As his condition worsens he has to find a way to reconcile his need for a normal young man’s life with the limits the disease imposes upon him. He meets a girl he likes at the club and tells her immediately about his Parkinson’s. This probably wasn’t the smartest move, something his elder brother is quick to point out. Michael defends his decision.

"Aerial Telly learned the art for spliffing up under duress rolling a fatass joint while getting head from your girlfriend in the back of the cab on the way back from the club."

"I had to tell her I had Parkinson’s. She noticed the shaking and thought I was taking drugs."

"You probably were taking drugs. Were you?"

"Yeah."

Drugs seem to play a significant part in Michael’s life and there’s footage of him trying to roll a joint with his shaking hand. Aerial Telly learned the art for spliffing up under duress rolling a fatass joint while getting head from your girlfriend in the back of the cab on the way back from the club.

"’I’ve kept an article in the pantry about how them drugs make you mental’ his mother offers helpfully."

Michael calls a family meeting to discuss his problem. He hasn’t told his mother and father the extent of his disease or how it’s getting worse. I think the camera crew was a bit of a giveaway that something was up. He tells his parents about smoking marijuana to alleviate the symptoms. "I’ve kept an article in the pantry about how them drugs make you mental" his mother offers helpfully. His family in general are pretty thick like Michael and seem to be living in a bit of denial themselves.
His elder brother, Andrew, in particular is an unsympathetic shithead.

"’You’ve got absolutely nothing to be crying about’. Easy for you to say, fuckface – it’s not you who risks castration every time you have a wank."

"You’ve got absolutely nothing to be crying about". Easy for you to say, fuckface – it’s not you who risks castration every time you have a wank.

"It’s not only you you’ve got to think about". Yes it is, you stupid cunt. You’re not going through it with him, you’re a spectator.

"You’re not going through this alone". Yes he is, you stupid cunt. In the end you’re always alone with these things. At the end of the day you can go home and leave it behind . He can’t.

It would be nice to say that Michael was the articulate voice of young Parkinson’s. He’s not. He’s a daft lad very badly out of his depth. He meets some fellow sufferers for an exercise class and giggles as he comments "It’s like an episode of Monty Python – you know, stupid walks". Yeah, I got that Mike thanks.

"It would be nice to say that Michael was the articulate voice of young Parkinson’s. He’s not."

There’s a scene late on with where Andrew breaks down telling him he’s tough on him because he needs to be strong and he feels helpless because he can’t do anything for him. It’s an affecting moment as they embrace, both in tears. "There will be a cure" says Andrew tearfully "Think what’s happened in the last 10 years. Could you imagine we’d be talking to nan and granddad about Bluetooth?". He might also have added the Cult of MacArturd, the Barrera Morales trilogy and Javine being left out of Girls Aloud. I feel slightly guilty for calling him fuckface earlier in the review. The feeling passes before I finish that sentence.

"I feel slightly guilty for calling him fuckface earlier in the review. The feeling passes before I finish that sentence."

As part of his quest to come to terms with his condition Michael meets with a 38 year old man with Parkinson’s who is exactly like Simon Day‘s "Hold The Bells" character from The Fast Show. "I know what it’s like to be scared of going on the tube because the girl I stand next to may think I’m a pervert". Right there with you, brother. Meetings like this steel Michael’s resolve to live with his illness rather than fight against it. It would be a stretch to call it a happy ending but he’s getting by. All things considered, that’s not a bad result.

The best thing about it: He seems to get some kind of closure.

The worst thing about it: Idiot brother being an idiot.

The verdict on I’m All Shook Up: Parkinson’s at 25: Sensitively handled, in contrast with the moronic tabloid title.

Marks out of 10:7

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