Friday, November 14, 2008

[Ghost] Whispery Worries about Grey's Anatomy

Last week, I was a little hard on Izzie Stephens. It doesn't change the fact that I find her to be an annoying character and that Katherine Heigl just isn't my favourite actress but I was hard on her.

This week, I'm going to be a little hard on Grey's Anatomy. Call it tough love. To be fair, I usually read the recaps on Entertainment Weekly's TV watch as well as the Grey Matter blog by the writers of each episode. I haven't done that yet and so my opinion is based purely on what I'm seeing on the show, rather on where they're trying to take it.

The thing with Grey's is that it's always been one of those shows that never quite stayed on the line of reality and often ventured into rather silly territory yet because of the writing and the acting, I never minded. I know it has a lot of soap-opera moments. I know that no hospital would really permit residents and interns to go at it like rabbits in the on-call room. I know that most hospitals have a lot more doctors and that their love lives are not nearly as interesting as those on Grey's.

But some of my favourite episodes have been the ones that have been a little unrealistic but still excellently done. The End of the World...As We Know It are two of the best episodes of TV ever. The bomb, the tension, the drumbeats...all executed brilliantly.

Ok, so last year with the ferry boat crash and Meredith's dying-and-seeing-ghosts worried me a little but I trusted Shonda Rhimes and her staff to bring it back to reality and, to be fair, they did. The show came back down to earth and though there were still some not-so-great-storylines, they weren't enough to worry me.

Until now. Last night's episode has me worried. Izzie's seeing Denny again. I won't go into a tirade of why they can't just let Denny be gone. I liked him as a character but I'd actually much rather see Kyle Chandler as a ghost because I liked his snarky-yet-sensible attitude a lot. But then that wouldn't mean that Kyle Chandler had time to make Grey's episodes which would mean Friday Night Lights wasn't in production...which would be a very, very bad thing. Friday Night Lights is fantastic TV, worth all of the praise that's heaped on it. If you haven't watch it, run out and rent it. Now. It's that good.

But Denny's not gone. He's back. He's a ghost. I don't like that because Grey's while a little far-fetched, has never gone into that weird ghost-whispery territory aside from the Ferry Faux Pas episodes. Now it's going there. I don't know if it means Izzie has a brain tumour that's giving her visions, he's really there or she's going nuts but I don't like that Denny is walking the walls of Seattle Grace again because it just doesn't fit the show. I also don't want some contrived plot line in which we discover Denny isn't dead. But since no one else seems to see Denny, I don't think that's likely. Worst of all would be if Shonda was trying to go for a 'it's really happening because sometimes magical things happen' because that isn't the Grey's we love either.

The show is about our motley crew of residents, flawed and imperfect and yet still fun and interesting to watch. The show is about the relationships of those people. It's not a show about ghosts. I haven't bothered to read the spoilers about future episodes but I'm sure there's a reason Izzie is seeing Denny. And it's going to bother no matter what it is because I already don't like Izzie. She always gets the silly story lines. That's not her fault but she never reacts well to them and I end up not liking her. Don't give me another reason to not like her. Let's just let her concentrate on being a decent doctor. She's definitely not that at the moment. She's too busy crying all over her patients to actually practice medicine.

And then there's the interns. I get that they're not getting the hands-on experience they want. But what I don't get is that no one has done anything realistic about it. Lexi and her band of newbie doctors are angry and upset that Christina and their residents aren't letting them do anything, aren't teaching them anything. So instead of the sensible route, perhaps going to Bailey, the beacon of all things Reasonable and Sensible at Seattle Grace and telling her that they really want to learn but their residents are being selfish bastards, they decide to cut themselves and give themselves I.V.'s.

Ok, so there's always been a lack of common sense at Seattle Grace Hospital. I get that. I get that's why it always takes characters so long to find out things that we, the viewers, know. Like George and Meredith, George and Izzie, Meredith and Derek. Like why Mark Sloan doesn't lock the door while having sex with Callie. Things like that.

But I don't like to throw that common sense out of the window completely and that's what I'm having to do. Next week, they supposedly take out an intern's appendix because he doesn't need it. In the classic words of Grey's Anatomy, Seriously? Seriously? Why. Doesn't. Anyone. Just. Tell. The. Truth.

I get it. It wouldn't make for good TV if those interns just confessed their frustration and, perhaps, got the residents into trouble. I get that they're terrified of Dr. Yang but they are mutiliating themselves. Last week, Lexi stole corpses so they could practice medicine. The residents, Alex, Izzie and Christina stole them from the interns so they could hone their skills. Bailey found the residents and yet Lexi didn't speak up. She didn't say WHY they wanted to use the corpses.

I know there's drama and then I know there's TV drama. But there's also the phenomenom of jumping the shark in TV drama. And while I was willing to be patient last year, it was because I had no reason to not trust Grey's to get back on track. This season it was on track and suddenly, it looks as though the train that is Grey's Anatomy is about to jump the track and find a new way to move. The trouble is that the track keeps things going and without it, there's a crash in store.

The last straw is Sadie, "Die" to Meredith's "Death". I hate her. I know she's supposed to give us information about Meredith's past. I know she's supposed to be a plot device to show us another more jealous side of Christina. I know she's supposed to shake things up. But she's like an anvil. She walks in, so cool, so irritating and so extraneously. She's a wild one. We get it. The scene in which she slices her own back was ridiculous. Ok, so she's a tough cookie but we have one of those. Our new Dr. Hunt already stapled his own leg, he's enough of a tough-guy for the show. We don't need a tough chick. I think dark and twisty is fine enough. Let's learn more about the characters we have without introducing even more plot-devices, uh, I mean characters. Please, Oh Great Writers of Grey's, please. Reign it in now. Please don't fall for the mistaken belief that you can bring in even more viewers by 'taking it up a notch.' Remember us loyal and faithful viewers who love the show as it is.

I want to be wrong. Oh, how I want to be wrong. But as soon as Izzie reached out and touched Denny and then kissed him, I felt a strange, gnawing dread grow within me. I've felt it before and it's never good. It usually leads to Entertainment Weekly covers in which they say things like "What Happened to [This Show]" and "Can [This Show] be saved. I know I have to intrinsicly trust Shonda and her gang and that's what I'd like to do.

It's just this isn't Ghost Whisperer and it's not a J.J. Abrams show. I don't want any more Denny no matter how likeable he is. He's gone. Let him be gone. Please, show, don't jump the shark. Let my suddenly wavering trust in the show be wrong.

I really hope I'm wrong.

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