‘A Million Little Things’: Network TV Needs to Abandon the Tragedy Model of Disability

‘A Million Little Things’: Network TV Needs to Abandon the Tragedy Model of Disability
A Million Little Things” — an ABC drama about a friend group that becomes closer in the wake of an unexpected suicide — has covered many important issues for marginalized communities during its three seasons on air, from racism to immigration issues to depression. Creator DJ Nash explained that many of the storylines are based on real-life experiences, and most are handled with the care they deserve.

At the beginning of Season 3, which concludes in the next few weeks, we learned that Eddie Saville (played by able-bodied actor David Giuntoli) has an unspecified spinal cord injury after getting hit by a car. On the surface, this is a typical plot for a primetime drama — after all, characters become disabled on TV sometimes. The plane crash on “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Season 8 finale that resulted in Dr. Arizona Robbins (played by able-bodied actor Jessica Capshaw) becoming an amputee is seared into TV history — but it’s not 2012 anymore.
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