My bagpipe, my hookah

I have a number of things to discuss. I started a twitter, mostly so that I could do mini updates to this blog via text message (note the twitter widget on the side bar), and also partly because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I'm now following a bunch of tweeters (Twitteratti, as Adelaide likes to say) ranging from President Obama to Shaq. So far Rainn Wilson has been the most entertaining. Anyway, if you're a tweeter too, you can follow me there, but if not you needn't make a special trip, as everything posted there will also show up here (although I do heart my background image)

Also, I believe I promised a weekly digest of "My Step Son, My Lover" submissions, and FictionAlice's word is her bond:

My Laundrette, My Long Johns -Molloy
My Sweet Land of Liberty, My Lando Calrissian - Molloy
My Cage Fighter, My Spy - Jacqueline Hargis
My Princess, My Wide Receiver - Oddly, dialogue from a Hello Kitty cartoon

Please, keep them coming! This game amuses me endlessly.

In other news, it's Olli's birthday. He is now 23, which I find totally unacceptable. How dare he be so old?

And now to return, as I promised I would, to the subject of TV shows on probation. I had a dream last night that the season premiers were starting, and I was so excited! I couldn't believe how quickly the summer had flown by. Clearly my subconscious has a lot going on. So, I thought I might do a series of posts about the shows that have fallen from grace, in my opinion. And so I'll begin with the greatest offender, Grey's Anatomy (there will be spoilers).

In thinking about the state of the show as it is, I went back and watched some episodes from early season two, when Grey's was first coming into it's own as a mega-hit. Some of the things that bother me now have always been a part of the show, like the fact that practically every surgery is exceptional, or at least unusual, and the absurd over-use of monologues. But back then, it worked; I knew it was manipulative, and I didn't really respect it intellectually, but I was engaged, and having a good time. A lot has changed since then, making it difficult to track where things began going down-hill, but I think I've got some good ideas.

The departure of Dr. Burke hit the show really hard. I get that Isiah Washington was a jerk and a homophobe, and I understand why they let him go, but it damaged the social dynamic of Seattle Grace irreparably. Burke was the eternal straight man, rising regally above the silliness of his co-workers. There were moments when his gravitas was a joke in itself, but he was never in on it. He was a perfect match for equally driven, but much less dignified Dr Yang, and he and Dr Shepherd made adorably butch frenemies. Perhaps most importantly, his high handed sobriety was a grounding influence on the show's fluffier elements. All attempts to replace him have gone poorly, from grouchy Dr Hahn (who never seemed good enough for Callie) to maudlin Dr Hunt (I'm all for exploring the topic of post-traumatic stress in the military, but Grey's is not an appropriate place for it, in my opinion) and let's not forget that Ausberger's lady. The delicate balance of the show tipped when Burke left Kristina at the alter, and it's been wobbling ever since.

Also, what the hell happened with George? Rumor has it that the producers have been displeased with TR Knight or whatever, but it's super un-classy to let that effect his plotlines to the extent that it has. He's quite possibly the most talented actor on the show, and as the hard-working but unheralded good-guy who never gets the girl (or gets her, but can't keep her), George was one of the show's more relatable characters. He's not a rock star, or a McHottie, but a good doctor and a great friend, with fabulous comic timing. It appears that George will be dead in the fall (they tried to make it all suspenseful, but they crushed his whole face in the finale, how could an actor do anything with that? not to mention that the traumatic accident/facial reconstruction thing has already been done on Grey's), so I guess that's just another loss the show is going to endure, but a terrible decision, in my opinion. And I think it's very telling that upon the revalation that Geroge was flatlining, I was more offended than saddened.

And on the subject of the finale, OMG Izzy, WTF? I get that we all loved Denny, and when we got to see him again when Meredeth was in that coma, I was thrilled. But having him around all season long as a ghostly hallucination foreshadowing Izzy's fatal illness was just totally crazy-pants. I'd say in previous years this show was like 1 part silly dialogue and catch phrases, 1 part sexcapades, 1 part weird medicine, and 1 part sappy melodrama. Altogether, these combined elements made for a delightful viewing experience. But this year the melodrama took up like, 3 out of 4 parts (I think it squeezed out catch phrases entirely, when was the last time you heard anything McQuotable?), and Izzy's illness was the worst offender. If she survives in the fall, she'd better bake us all some cupcakes to make up for what she's put us through.

The last problem I have with the show is sadly the most realistic. The characters we were so into have all drifted apart. They're no longer untried interns, hungry for experience and cleaving to one another in the face of ever mounting challenges. They're grown-ups now, with their own interns to teach, and mostly find their stability in romantic rather than platonic relationships. This may be the way these things go, but it has hurt the fun-factor of the show in a major way. And in the fantasy world in which these characters exist, I don't think it's too much of a stretch for the original five to remain BFF.

So, when I tune in again in the fall, because we all know I will, there are a few things I would like. First, don't kill Izzy, the show can't take the loss of two central characters at once, and George's death seems to be a foregone conclusion. Second, please don't go back on your promise to let Meredith and Derek be happy, because they deserve it, and so do we. Third, don't put any more characters in mortal danger, it's been over done and I'm tired of being jerked around. Forth, more humorous character interaction is desperately needed. And finally, NO MORE GHOSTS. Seriously.


romadesala said...

Ya, so I know I'm way late on this comment, but I think you're absolutely right about the fact that the show started to go downhill after Burke left. And I don't think anyone could have explained why exactly that is better than you have. As for my devotion to the show, that has also fallen off. I used to freak out when I couldn't catch the newest episode, but most of last season I missed and didn't really care. I feel the same way about this upcoming season, and I will be very surprised if this isn't the show's finale.

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