Saturday, October 22, 2005

Three Wishes (NBC)

I was listening to a talk radio station the other day, and the host was talking about the NBC show "Three Wishes." So I set my TiVo to tape it. This morning, as I sipped my coffee, I watched last night's show. Talk about a tear-jerker! What immediately caught my attention and made me watch it is that last night's show was taped in Covington, Georgia - a small Southern town close to where both my mother and father were born and grew up. Another reason I was interested in watching the show is that it is hosted by Amy Grant - and she and her family live in the same area of Middle Tennessee as I. In each episode, the "Three Wishes" team goes into a town, sets up a "wish tent" and all interested townspeople come in and tell them their wishes. They then select three wishes to grant. After the wishes are granted, they have a concert where Amy and selected guests perform. This week's concert featured Hootie and the Blowfish.

The first wish for this week was a thirty-something schoolteacher who found out, when her parents died a few years ago, that she had been adopted. She felt that her birth mother was still alive, but she had been unable to find out any information about her. The second wish was a young college student who had such a severe stuttering problem that he had difficulty in communicating. And finally, there was a woman who founded "Second Wind Dreams" which grants wishes for elderly people. She wanted to be able to grant MORE wishes for them.

It was interesting to follow along as Amy and a detective looked for the schoolteacher's birth mother. They found her, of course - wouldn't make a good TV show if they didn't. And the birth mother was thrilled to be able to connect with the baby she had given up for adoption so long ago. Turns out she had been unwed, and only 16 years old. The man was married and his wife was also pregnant - and apparently he offered no help to her. She was poor and had a bad home life and knew she couldn't provide for her daughter. So she gave her up without ever seeing her after her birth.

There were some quotes that were memorable.

Olivia, the young schoolteacher, said, "Not a day goes by that I don't wonder who my mother is and what's she like." She said this when she was first being interviewed - before the investigation to find her mother had begun. Alice, her birth mother said, "Not a day goes by that I don't wonder where my daughter is and what she's like." This was said before she knew anything about her daughter or before she had met her. Two people -- wondering the same thing about each other.

Anthony, the young man dealing with stuttering, talked about his grandfather who had died two weeks earlier. "My grandfather never saw my disability. He saw me as an overcomer." I LOVED that statement. It so much highlights the importance of having a family that supports, encourages and uplifts you. It reminded me of the Heller Keller quote I posted last week about how the world is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with the overcoming of it. The show taped him making a non-stuttering speech as he announced his candidacy for junior class president at his college. His mother remarked, "That's my son, and that's the young man that's going to change the world." High expectations, along with love and support. I was fascinated by the fact that after going through a battery of tests, he was fitted with a device in his ear, much like a hearing aid, that STOPPED his stuttering. Immediately. How phenomenal is that? Even though they explained briefly how it works, it was beyond my understanding.

Throughout the show they highlighted the different senior citizens whose wishes they granted. One was a 72-year old woman, Mary Nell, who had always wanted to be a flight attendant. So she spent a day as a Southwest Airlines flight attendant. Then a 73-year old woman, Daisey, wanted to do the weather on TV - which, thanks to a local TV station, she did. An 85-year old man, Ernie, wanted to play jazz piano in a club again - and as he played he commented that because of the experience "the years melted away." And then there was a 77-year old woman who wanted to ride a Nascar race car. When she introduced herself, she said, 'My name is Louise Jones, but here at the nursing home they call me Trouble!" (Note: My mother is 82 years old, and she looks FAR younger than any of the 3 women shown on the show who were in their 70's. Yea for good family genes!) Louise's sons cheered her on and she rode in a pace car - up to her requested 100 mph.

I've watched other wish-granting TV shows, but I thought this was the most authentic. There was no over-the-top game-playing and showmanship to appeal to the TV audience. It granted mostly simple wishes (relatively speaking) that everyone could relate to and appreciate.

1 comment:

Joan said...

Carol, I caught the last 15 minutes or so of Three Wishes last night too. I just happened on it. I also thought it was pretty authentic -- not too tear-jerking (at least the part I saw), but still satisfying and interesting. I enjoyed reading your evaluation of the parts of the show I did not see.