1.09.2009

Television: Grey's Anatomy

Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight
ABC, Thursdays at 9:00

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My husband has asked me a number of times, "Why do you still watch this show?" And the answer is: I don't know. Patrick Dempsey? He's compelling (to look at, anyway), but not compelling enough, really, to be the sole reason to sit through an hour of increasingly ridiculous dreck. (Mind you, just to be fair, my husband does remain in the room, though he's at the computer.)

Actually, my husband starting watching Grey's long before I did; in the first season, I would leave the room after Alias and go read while the hubby stayed to tune in to Seattle Grace's drama. Somewhere near the end of that season, though, I managed to get sucked in, and I have been ever sense. Even as I sit and think, You've got to be kidding me. This is stupid! Even as I continue to groan over Meredith's continual attempts at self-evaluation that lead to borderline paranoia, as I roll my eyes at Izzie Stevens' unyielding optimism and now semi-insanity (and Heigl's overacting), as I sigh in exasperation when faced with the partner-trading antics of the characters--as if the writers were looking for the most far-fetched matches possible when forming liaisons--I continue to watch this show, my biggest Thursday night debate being: popcorn or ice cream?

Over the seasons, the show's balance of power has gone from interesting characters faced with (a) equally interesting medical/ethical situations, and (b) a handful of personal problems to an expanding cast of characters jostling for screen time and thus bloating their frayed personal worlds into disproportionate dramas--oh, and there are some hospital patients, too. Look at T.R. Knight's character of George O'Malley. A likable character all around, and George started out as the underdog who had a crush on the (arguable) lead character of Meredith Grey. But then the story arcs got sloppy and dumb: he slept with Meredith, became disillusioned, fell in love and married Callie on a whim, cheated on Callie with Izzie, divorced . . . Somewhere in there he failed his exam and had to be an intern again, and then Lexie got a crush on him (until she started seeing Dr. Sloan) . . . No wonder Knight has plans to leave the show. His character has done just about everything he can do. He's exhausted his options, and of late, the character of George O'Malley has been just so much window dressing while others take center stage.

So why do I keep watching? I ask myself this, too, and wonder what it will take for me to stop. It's almost the same principle that causes a person to crane for a look when one sees a wrecked car on the side of the highway: How bad is it? These days, pretty bad. Which may be part of what makes it entertaining.

1 comment:

Kalligenia said...

I've heard some pretty bad things about the show. I've even seen a couple of clips on The Soup that stunned me with how ridiculous they were! Yet I do have a few shows that I watch just for the same reason you're watching Grey's.