Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Grey's Anatomy: The Emperor Wears No Clothes!

Welcome to The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a new periodic feature here at No One Appreciates Me. In our first formal installment, we're going to break down "Grey's Anatomy," the wildly popular ABC hospital dramedy. Or, as I like to call it, "Sex and the City with Doctors."

Doctor? I want you to walk, don't run, very slowly away from the television set. Slowly! I want you to turn off "Grey's Anatomy," run to your nearest neighbor, and tell them we have a Code Suck. I repeat, doctor. A Code. Suck.

I'm very, VERY tired of a couple of television trends: 1) The Voiceover. It's effective and it's easy to follow, but it's lazy and it's been done to death. Please leave that dead horse alone. And 2) Female characters who are all insane with hormones. Case in point: let's take Sunday's episode, part 2 of this little "Code Black" cliffhanger. Among other things, it involved the Isobel character banging some guy in a supply closet because she's upset about not being more of a "doer" in life, and Sandra Oh's Cristina character running out on a brain surgery (one she barged in on uninvited and begged to assist with, because apparently she IS a "doer" in life) and tearing down the hall after the gurney carrying the patient with the bomb in his chest cavity. She then jumps in front of the gurney and demands to know where a certain doctor is - when she is told they don't know, she gets upset because now she may never be able to tell him she loved him. This while Grey, the main character, who is helping with the bomb guy, complains that she "really has to pee." Did I mention this patient was bleeding to death and had an unexploded bomb in his chest cavity?

There are many more instances of this, in every episode - I'm just stopping here. The upshot is, these are supposed to be doctors? How does this make any sense? How is this in any way a realistic, interesting, engaging, compelling, professional, entertaining, flattering, or empowering portrayal of women? If I was a woman - a woman doctor in particular - I would be livid at this assumption that all females are whiny, frazzled, oversexed nerve bundles. I should really treat this patient, but what would that cute surgeon think if I messed up? Would he hate me? I should have stayed in bed this morning. God, I am SO bad with stress. Even worse, the black female doctor on the show is a walking stereotype, the "don't take no crap," finger-wagging type that everyone's afraid of. Is this what passes for nuanced writing these days?

(Also, I am tired of lazy show producers who can't come up with a decent name for their show, so they just name a character in a way that makes for an easy pun. See "Bones," "Hope and Faith," "Will and Grace," "The Lyon's Den," "Jake in Progress," "The Book of Daniel," "Crossing Jordan," "Tru Calling," and so on. I'm going to come up with a show called "Fauk You and the Horse You Rode in On." It stars Dave Coulier as private detective Ernest Fauk and
Jamie Luner as his sexy neighbor, Matilda Horse. I think it's about time for a Jamie Luner comeback, don't you?)

As for the characters on "Grey's Anatomy," can't we flesh out our female characters a little bit? I don't want to hear anything else about how brilliant this show is. And I'm not the only one who thinks this,
for various reasons. If I could sum up this writing in a word, it would be careless. It's just another freaking vacuous soap opera! Until they add another dimension, let's just go for the real thing. Put "All My Children" on and pass the Thin Mints.

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