3 television shows portraying Parkinson’s disease

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Author: Sophie ParrottPublished: 16 February 2023

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A person holding a TV remote control.

Tuning into a new television series is an activity that most of us are partial to from time to time. We round up three shows portraying Parkinson’s disease on TV – and explore how the community has responded to them online


In the popular Netflix show ‘Kaleidoscope’ – a series following a crew of thieves who plot and attempt to pull off a huge heist – the lead character and swindler mastermind, Leo Pap, has Parkinson’s.

Fans flocked to social media to debate the correct order of episodes (you don’t have to watch them chronologically), while others were quick to weigh in about the portrayal of Pap’s condition. The series received mixed responses from the Parkinson’s community online:


Another programme to add to the mix is the star-studded Apple TV series ‘Shrinking’. Featuring Harrison Ford and Jason Segel, the 2023 show follows a grieving therapist who starts to offer his clients unfiltered and brutally honest opinions.

Throughout the series, the audience is introduced to the therapist’s boss, Paul, who is living with Parkinson’s and, therefore, dealing with his own set of challenges. The release of the series drummed up a lot of media attention and conversation online, with some sharing praise for Ford’s performance:

‘The Suspect’

‘The Suspect’, a drama series released by the UK channel ITV last year, features a lead character coming to terms with living with Parkinson’s. The programme follows successful psychologist Joe O’Loughlin, who assists the police with a potential murder enquiry – but later finds himself at the centre of the case.

O’Loughlin’s character is portrayed by 39-year-old Aidan Turner. The Irish actor connected with a musician who has Parkinson’s to explore how the condition’s symptoms should be depicted on-screen. Some members of the community highlighted the series on Twitter:

Read more:

“Getting it right was important” – the new TV drama portraying Parkinson’s disease on-screen

Lights, camera, action: three filmmakers sharing stories of Parkinson’s disease

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