It’s TV Week! Focus on past TV/Movie plots that highlighted hearing health

It’s TV Week! Focus on past TV/Movie plots that highlighted hearing health

Hearing loss it the third most prevalent chronic condition in adults. However, representations of hearing health are rarely seen in pop culture with the exception of commercials for hearing devices. While there may be the occasional reference to a hearing impaired individual, it is often not in a positive light. Given the prevalence of hearing issues (hearing loss, ringing in the ears, etc), and the fact that many individuals will experience a difficulty with their hearing at some point in their lives, the absence of postive portrayals is concerning.

This week we will be focusing episodes of television shows, particular characters, and movie plots that portrayed some aspect of hearing health.


  • Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008)
    Sweet Nothing in My Ear, originally a play by Stephen Sachs, tells the story of a hearing father and deaf mother of a son who is born hearing but gradually begins to lose his auditory sense.  The conflict arises when the idea of getting the child a cochlear implant is brought forth. Marlee Matlin and Jeff Daniels star as the mother and father in this 2008 Television adaptation of Sweet Nothing in My Ear.


  • There Will Be Blood (2007)
    Daniel Day-Lewis stars as William Plainview, an oil man who travels from town to town with his son, H.W.  H.W. is injured one day near an oil rig, loses his hearing, and his relationship with his father is forever changed.


  • Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
    Richard Dreyfuss stars as Glen Holland, a music teacher and composer who struggles to build a relationship with his deaf son.
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