Friday, September 25, 2009

Grey's Anatomy: Thanks for the Grief...

TV is back and that means I actually have something to blog about here on Captain TV. Granted, there was a ton of reality dreck to slough through during the summer but unlike some recap sites, I don't like to recap something just for the sake of it. I have to actually, you know, not mind watching it.

Which is why, dear readers, I think I have to admit defeat. It's time to give up on Grey's Anatomy. After all my posts last season in which hope for improvement slowly dwindled away, I figured I'd give it one more shot. What better way than with a two-hour season premiere?

Um, yeah. So, I'm probably in the minority when I say this because die-hard Grey's fans are...die hard. I should know, I should be one. I was there to defend the show when it jumped the shark and had Meredith die in that dreadful ferryboat crash story arc.

I'm not defending the show any more. It's awful. It doesn't make any sense. The characters have become unlikeable, annoying, selfish...caricatures.

Meredith and Derek are married because they said so on a Post-It. I know Shonda Rhimes thinks this is perfect for them but they might have a spot of trouble proving that legally. I know it's not supposed to be a 'legal' marriage but more of a 'forever-bond' between them but...what happens if they fight, they tear up the damn Post-It? Does this mean all it takes to "remarry" them is a new pack of Post-Its? For a couple who is so unconventional, they don't have to get married to be...married, why bother then? Isn't it enough to be Mer and Der and live happily ever after after Meredith got 'cured' with her therapy?

But they can't. Because George is dead. I suppose for such a major character, it was fitting that the show focused on the after-effects of his death. I just don't think they did it very well.

For example, I love Izzie's 'miraculous' recovery. When I say "love", you should hear the sarcasm dripping. She had a minute chance of survival last season and yet despite the fact that she literally dies, she's well enough to go to the funeral of George and walk on her own, looking more robust and healthy than anyone else? Sure, they gave her a headscarf but, not to whoever's in charge of that stuff, we could see her hair peeking out the back!. Now her cancer is in remission even though she couldn't go for a week last season without a brain-tumour growing.

I hate that Izzie's alive. I've made no secret that I despise the character but last night, she did nothing to redeem herself. I was actually proud of Alex for telling her that her demand that he comfort her for losing George was not exactly a turn-on.

I think the part that cemented my dislike for the show is the funeral. I'm guessing that the hysterical laughter was a throwback to The Bomb Episode in which Izzie says she has inappropriate reactions to stress. Yet, seeing them all laughing reminded me of the final episode of Seinfeld in which you realized the characters are miserable, mean people who live to mock others. In this case, I don't care how grieving you are, going off by yourselves to hysterically laugh is ridiculous. It's rude. It's cruel. It's inconsiderate. Those other people at the funeral cared about George. What about his mother? Is she really going to understand that George's best friends had gathered to laugh? Yeah, didn't think so.

I felt sorry for that girl that George saved who spent the whole episode crying outside the hospital. I felt sorry that she had to endure Izzie's "pep talk". I think we were supposed to applaud Izzie but, sorry, I wanted to slap her. Have some SENSITIVITY! People handle grief in different ways. Sure, this girl was wasting her life grieving for a man she didn't know and was annoying but who the hell was Izzie to give her a dose of reality while Meredith beamed with pride? I know, I'm letting my Izzie-hate taint my opinion but, wow, was that harsh. I suppose that's Izzie's way: Direct and insensitive to other people's feelings.

The rest of the characters irked me. You know when I find Lexie the most interesting character, something's wrong. Callie bothered me. Bailey bothered me. Bailey has become WAY too soft for my liking. I know she's having a crappy time with her former intern's illnesses and deaths. I know her husband left and she's a single mother but...Bailey breaks down too much. She does get too emotionally involved. She said it herself. I miss "The Nazi", the Bailey who would push the elevator button to hold the elevator to let another doctor have a meltdown away from prying eyes. I hate that she's now the one having the button pushed for her.

Overall....I was bored. There were no surprises. Owen and Christina made strides in therapy so they're becoming yet another happy-but-tormented couple. Lexie and Mark are a couple. Derek and Meredith are married on a Post-It. Alex and Izzie are married but seemingly regretful. Arizona and Callie are living together, it seems, and both are emotional wrecks. Isn't there ANYONE on this show with a backbone anymore? I like Arizona but I didn't like how she used Callie to get what she wanted. I don't like that she's becoming as screwed up as everyone else on this show.

I've flip-flopped. What I used to love about Grey's, I now hate. I'm fed up of all these people and their soap-opera drama. Where's the reality? Is it a girl who they call 'cerviche' because she was crippled from a boating accident? That storyline got way old with Lexie-as-cheerleader and the parallel's to all the other characters on the show. I guess she was grief in a human body, angry, denying, bargaining, depressed and, finally, accepting. Yes, writers, WE GOT IT. Thanks. Now if you could do it in a way that didn't involve a nasty, flacid pair of amputated arms wrapped in a towel, that'd be dandy.

I'm going through grief myself when it comes to Grey's Anatomy. I was in denial for a while that the show had begun to suck. Then I was angry because they kept bringing Dead Denny back, even though the fans hated it. Then I bargained..."Give me one storyline that makes me care and I'll keep watching!". I sort of got depressed because I was disappointed but, ok, that stage is a little dramatic for a TV I'm accepting that the show is just...bad.

I think I'm going to have to give it up. I started DVR'ing Fringe so I can catch up. The Office is already on at the same time and I also watch Skins, BBC America's gritty, dark and fascinating teen drama. They're all on at the same time as Grey's and...they're all better.

So, maybe it's time to let it go. It's going to be a hard break-up but maybe it's time. I just don't care anymore.

And that's not a good thing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"V": A review of the Pilot Episode

A week ago, I was at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA. For a TV geek like me, this is pure paradise; it's a chance to wear your TV pride on your sleeve and indulge yourself in panels, memorabilia and screenings. I can't lie: I love TV. I love that the shows suck you in, make you care about characters and take you along for the ride.

At the moment, I'm a True Blood junkie. I recently subscribed to Direct-TV. Now I can actually blog about cable shows instead of just network TV. This is probably a good thing because one more blog post about Grey's Anatomy and I was about to shoot myself in the head. I also get a free three-month subscription to HBO. It couldn't come at a better time. I get to watch True Blood and at least part of Dexter.

I got to endulge my love for True Blood at Comic-Con, which you can read about in my regular blog. They had a panel made up of most of the major characters which was fantastic.

Yet, aside from my current and past favourite shows such as Dollhouse, Comic-Con is also a great place for getting to screen new shows. Most of the time, the shows fall into the Comic-Con demographic: They're usually sci-fi, shows with some kind of fantasy element like Buffy, Lost, Heroes, etc. or horror, like Dexter, for example.

This year there were a few screenings. I missed out on the Flashforward panel and screening, choosing, instead, to use the time to explore the Exhibition Hall and wait in line for the 24 panel. However, I did get to see the screening of the pilot episode of the V remake.

For those of you too young to remember, V was first a mini-series then a TV show in the early part of the 1980's. It was quite a sensation when it aired: A sci-fi show with a human element complete with a slight touch of shivery horror. Hey, I was only seven when it first aired and, let me tell you, people ripping their skin off to reveal lizard flesh combined with lizard-babies was pretty scary.

Now, they've remade the series for ABC television. It's going to air beginning in November. And, as an opinated TV blogger, I think it only my duty to give you my review of the pilot episode.

Overall, it was very entertaining. I like that ABC has chosen to go with a strong female lead, an FBI agent played by Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell. The show also features Scott Wolf as a slimy reporter clamouring to move up in the world along with Morena Baccarin (Firefly) as the leader of the "friendly" Visitors (hence the "V" of the title, standing for Visitors) and Morris Chestnut as a man just trying to keep his head down after living a somewhat dark past.

I won't post any spoilers because I don't like doing that. I could go back and recap the original series and compare it to this one but, to be honest, I don't remember specifics because I was so young. I do remember Robert Englund as friendly alien Willie and he was always my favourite part but as to plot, effects and overall review, I can't tell you much about the original show. Although if you IMDB it and look at the pictures, there was some BAD '80's hair going on there.

However, the updated version has no bad hair. In fact, it's a nice, shiny remake. The first episode focuses on the arrival of The Visitors and their claim that they are friendly aliens who are here to exchange their advanced technological knowledge for minerals we have on earth that they desperately need. Elizabeth Mitchell plays Erica Evans, an FBI agent who is investigating a case that eventually takes her deeper than she planned and reveals that the aliens are not quite as benign as they seem.

As I said, the show was quite entertaining. What worries me, however, are the cliche elements on which the show focuses. For example, Mitchell's character has a seventeen year old son who, as I said in my other blog, has the same eyebrow-acting ability as Zac Efron. To be honest, I'm already sick of the new wave of 'hearthrobs.' I know, I know, it shouldn't bother me because I'm too old to read Teenbeat and Bop but am I alone in thinking the new wave of male teenage hearthrobs really need to lay down their straightening-irons, stop wearing mascara and watch more Clint Eastwood films?

Anyway, I digress. Mitchell is a divorcee. She's bitter and her husband seems to be a good-for-nothing. She works for the FBI, cares about her son and works hard to support him. However, instead of appreciating the hours she works to support him, her son rebels against her, blaming her for the divorce and being angry at her for being a workaholic. Once, just ONCE, I'd love to see a teenage boy on TV admire his mother and support her as she works hard to support both of them. Unfortunately, V does not provide this. Instead, it provides an overplayed plotline in which Mitchell's character realizes the aliens are bad whereas her son has become enamoured with them. While we didn't get to see the ramifications of this opposing view of the Visitors in the pilot episode, I can only guess that somewhere down the line, the storyline will be concluded with the son having a near-brush-with-alien-death and his mother running to his aid and saving him. This will be concluded with a lot of hugging and a vow from the son to help his mother take down the evil Visitors.

I could be wrong. I'm not sure I will be though. I watch an awful lot of TV.

There are a couple of pleasant surprises with the pilot. Alan Tudyk, a favourite actor among the Comic-Con fans for his work on Firefly, Serenity and Dollhouse, pops up and adds a welcome burst of comfort to the episode. The set-up for the show is good; there are moments of surprise and darkness, especially surrounding the character played by Morris Chestnut. While some of his storyline is a little overdone with a doting fiancee who doesn't know about his secret past, he adds a layer of depth to the show. Also starring is Joel Gretsch who plays a priest who is not taken in by the seemingly benign arrival of the Visitors. His role is interesting in that his suspicions are, at first, unfounded but as the pilot episode progressed, he began to understand more and take action rather than relying on his faith to help him.

As a show, I think V has tremendous potential. Even though they weren't 100% complete, the special effects are 10 times better than they were in the original. The pilot episode was...interesting. I'll probably watch it, just to see what happens. But the hardest part about a remake is trying to make it original and one thing I did notice is that the remake gave a lot away in its pilot episode. Whereas the original show was a slow-burn in revealing the true appearance of the Visitors and didn't allow viewers to know who was a Visitor and who was human, the remake doesn't try to do anything slowly. In the pilot, we start with the arrival and end by knowing the Visitors are bad. We know who is/was a Visitor and how long they've actually been around.

I'm hoping the remake's technique of giving away so much is deliberate. I'm hoping that means that the following episodes will give us new information, will surprise us on a whole new level. While there are new viewers out there who are not familiar with the original show, I have a sneaking suspicion that the majority of the viewers in November will be older folk who saw the original and want to know why they're redoing it. As one of those viewers, I'll withhold judgement until I've seen a few episodes. In the meantime, I'd suggest you check it out. It's worth a watch; if nothing else, it's entertaining. And, also, Elizabeth Mitchell is pretty great in, if only her son would be revealed to be a Visitor. That might make up for his Zac-Efron-ness. Still, we'll see. Watch it and then let me know what you think. I'll be curious to know.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

George out, Izzie in...I only wish it was the other way around...

So, Grey's Anatomy's been off the air for a while now for the summer hiatus. It isn't that I haven't been watching TV. It isn't that the only show I appreciate is Grey's. I mean, honestly, I think appreciate is a strong word for that show at the moment. Thanks to the syrupy, contrived season finale, I've got a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

Fortunately, this time of year means I'm delving into my Netflix membership and watching TV on DVD. I'm catching up on shows I should have watched all along except for the fact that I still rely on my rabbit ears and haven't yet given in to the power of cable. That's going to change, I have to confess. I am sick of adjusting my antenna to try to see a show. I want more selection. I'm submitting the power of cable TV. It's time. I feel it in my bones. Also, I hate using aluminum foil to try to get a better picture. As a TV blogger, I think I owe it to my blog. Even if that's not true, it's nice to have an excuse.

My Netflix so far has given me an addiction to True Blood on HBO. I'm reading the Sookie Stackhouse books at the moment. You can read my opinions on those on my regular blog. Needless to say, I love the show. It's enticing, intriguing, sexy and fun. For me, that qualifies it as something worth watching.

I'm going to watch BBC America's Skin's next. My brother recommended it. I'll let you know what I think.

But, for now, because I'm a Monkeypants of Habit, I have to talk about Grey's. You see, this seems to be the week for answers of the show. Yesterday, it was confirmed that T.R. Knight, our friendly George O'Malley had officially been released from his contract. This means that yes, when the finale episode ended with George greeting Izzie in the elevator of DOOOOOM, it meant he was dead.

I'm sad about that but I get it. Poor T.R. had been relegated to the role of extra, popping his head in to summon Meredith, Izzie, Christina, Alex or Lexie somewhere or other. He'd become an afterthought on the show, someone who we were supposed to forget existed. For me, however, I never forgot. I'm rather fond of rewatching old Grey's episodes; they're a comfort blanket for me. After a rough day, I like nothing better to come home, order pizza, drink wine and watch a Season 1-3 episode of Grey's. They make me feel safe. George O'Malley makes me feel safe, even when he made the horrible mistake of sleeping with Meredith. I watched as he rebounded to Callie, convincing himself she was his perfect match, marrying her and then realizing it was a mistake. I ignored the fact that he rebounded from Callie with Izzie; that never happened because it sucked and was a mistake for the writers and creators of Grey's. I cried when his dad died because it was tragic; the use of Gary Jules' song, "Falling Awake," will forever trigger the memory of the scene where George has to grow up and be a man so he can let his father go.

I suppose this is my eulogy for George O'Malley. I cared about him a lot. He was a strong character, one of the truly 'nice guys' we women are supposed to ignore in favour of 'bad boys' like Alex. Ok, so I'd admit if it was a George vs. Alex contest for sex, I'd pick Alex. But if it was about longetivy and humanity, George is/was my man.

Izzie never realized how lucky she was.

So...let's talk about Izzie. I just found out from a friend that Katherine Heigl has just accepted a renewal for her Grey's contract. All I have to say is, in the immortal words of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Bugger this!"

I'm frustrated. I know there are Izzie fans out there. People like her. I don't get why but I'm willing to concede that I'm a bit judgmental and often tend to form an opinion and can't be swayed. I'm willing to be swayed with Izzie.

The thing is...I've had, what, five seasons now of Grey's and I still despise her. I think she's a hypocrite. I think she's cruel. I think she's boring. I think she's crazy. I could go on but I won't.

I know that I let my opinion of Katherine Heigl taint my view of Izzie Stevens. It's hard not to; any actress who pulls herself out of the Emmy race because she thinks the writers weren't good to her doesn't win points in my book. I also don't feel that being in a successful movie like "Knocked Up," and then stating publicly that it was a movie that should be offensive to women is a smart career choice. It reeks of conceit. I've said it before and I've said it again: Katherine Heigl hasn't exactly proved herself to be Meryl Streep. Sure, "27 Dresses" was...cute... but I, personally, think Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams, Rachel McAdams or any of the new Hollywood darlings could have replaced her in that movie and it wouldn't have made a difference. It's a generic role. She was generic in it. Sure, it made money but that's because we women like a nice romantic movie and James Marsden is nice to look at.

Which brings us back to Grey's. I've lost my faith in that show. I no longer look at it as my Thursday night reward. I look at it as my Thursday Night charity. I want it to be good but I know, deep down, it's lost its strength. Dead Denny is the show's Kryptonite. Every episode in which he appears just drives the stake deeper into the heart of a dying show.

Because you know that since Izzie is now miraculously going to live, Dead Denny is also going to linger in the shadows as a horrible threat. Let's face facts: Izzie had cancer and it was bad. I figured she might make a recovery but I'm also a realist. People with a 5% survival rate don't usually survive. Of course, it is Izzie Stevens we're talking about.

I confess that I expected the miracle recovery. In the early days of Grey's, in the days of Pink Mist and train-crash-victims-who-wrenched-our-hearts, the show would have killed Izzie because that would be the right thing to do, the sadly realistic approach to life. It would have made us sob with the sadness by picking the right music, by having GEORGE O'MALLEY live and be the one to represent us as an audience as the sheet was pulled over Izzie's face, by having Christina be slightly robotic in her way of dealing with death, with Meredith being strong with her resolve to deal with the reality of life.

Yet we're talking about the Softer Side of Grey's these days. I've mentioned that I do love that Meredith has grown, that her dark twistiness has given way to a softer more adult approach to crises. Yet there was comfort in knowing our characters. Yes, Christina loves Dr. Mc. PTSD, Dr. Hunt. He's messed up. Rather than have Christina deal that with her multi-layed Christina approach, it's become a 'hug it out, love conquers all' approach to a scary subject. The Softer Side of Grey's is starting to drive me nuts.

I suppose my complaint can be boiled down to this: Grey's Anatomy has become a Lifetime movie for women. The man dies (George), the true love reappears (Denny) long enough to bless the heroine (Izzie)'s relationship with her new love (Alex), conquers terrible obstacles (cancer) and rises stronger and ready to begin again.

I was very much hoping that Katherine Heigl wouldn't be asked back to the show. I wanted to hold that candle of hope of the unpredictable. We all knew that ABC, Shonda Rhimes and the audience was so used to Izzie that it'd be painful to lose her but I, at least, hoped they'd take an atypical approach and know...kill her.

I'm not heartless. If they would go back in time and save Kyle Chandler's 'bomb squad guy/pink mist' guy from blowing up at the end of the "It's the End of the World as We Know It/And I feel Fine" episodes from season two, I wouldn't be devastated. I liked him. Pink Mist could have given Dr. McDreamy a much better run for his money than Dr. McVet, Chris O'Donnells' charming but hopeless challenge to Dr. McDreamy's love for Meredith.

I can't change time any more than I can change ABC's decision to renew Katherine Heigl's contract renewal. All I can assume is that when they get fed up with her/when she gets fed up with the show that her cancer will rear its familiar head. Hopefully this time, at least, it won't mean Dead Denny. It just means that, sooner or later, Izzie will die and they'll try to make us sad about it. Trouble is...I just want her to get hit by a bus. But...wait....ooops, they did that with George. Bummer.

Oh, Grey's....oh but I had faith in you as I used to. But it's like Peter and the Wolf, once with Dead Denny was interesting, twice was silly, three times was ridiculous. Beyond that...I stopped caring.

Now that George is 'dead', I have a secret fear. Maybe it'll mean Dead George and/or Dead Denny. The two of then combined might be entertaining. They could have a vaudeville act or something. They could take turns coming out of the elevator and rapping, dancing or even miming. Now mime on Grey's? You have to admit that would be unpreditable.

Don't sneer your nose up at me. Can you honestly say after the last season of Grey's it's really not possible?

Yeah...I thought so.

Oh, Grey's.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh, Grey's...Really?

So...I have a confession about Grey's Anatomy. It frequently makes me cry.

It's made me cry during deaths of random patients, moments of relationship strength and weakness. It's made me cry when I see how loyal those friends are to one another. It's made me cry when a character's parent dies. It's made me cry when a random bomb-squad member becomes 'pink mist'. It's made me cry when the interns lay beneath the glowing lights of a Christmas tree and looked up at them.

I have another confession. Tonight...I didn't cry.

I KNOW! I was supposed to cry. I was supposed to weep when we realized that John Doe who'd darted in front of a bus and was an anonymous hero was revealed to be....George O'Malley. I was supposed to cry when he died at the end. I know this. I WANTED to cry but, in the spirit of honesty, I was so annoyed that his death was so contrived, I just wanted to turn off the TV. Seriously. SERIOUSLY!

This is it? This is the end for George? George O'Malley? The same "Heart in the Elevator" guy? The same George who was everyone's pillar of strength? The same George who we loved because despite his great bedside manner, was still always learning? The very same George who managed to get Bailey to deliver her baby in the midst of crisis and trauma?

I'm annoyed. Not sad. Poor George. We didn't even get to mourn him until the last few seconds. We were supposed to be SO shocked that it was him that...that's it? He gets hit by a bus...AND DIES? REALLY SHONDA? REALLY?

Nope. Not going to cry for him. I can't. It's not right. We deserve more. HE deserves more. I think I'm supposed to be reeling now. I'm not. I'm furious. It was a cheap, cheap trick. Maybe others would have figured it out...I didn't. When I did figure it out...there was no overwhelming cloud of dread there was just...incredulation. Really? This was it? This was the way you're going to let T. R. Knight leave the show? You're not even going to let him have the heroic- if predictable- dignity of leaving to join the army? I hate to ask what T.R. did behind the scenes but, clearly, it wasn't anything forgiveable.

And then there was Izzie Stevens. I have to confess...I was furious when she came out of the surgery and seemed to be ok and then I became very content when she showed signs of brain damage. Given her odds, given all of the dramatic build-up, if she'd have come out of the surgery with no ill-effects, I would have thrown my remote at the TV and contemplated walking away.

Did she die? We don't know. That's the point, I suppose. We're supposed to wonder until next season. I think she died. Whether she stays dead...we're supposed to tune in in September to find out. At this point in time, I'm not truly sure I will.

To be fair, I've mentioned I'm a Lost fan. I watched that show's finale last night. It gave me a headache because it made me think but it also left me gasping and wanting to find Carlton and Damon, the creators, grab them by their throats (in a very pleasant way, of course) and say "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT????".

Tonight, on Grey's Anatomy, I didn't feel that way. I felt cheated. Mostly, until the last five minutes, I was bored. I was actually texting a friend who was also watching and she, too, conveyed her boredom. Then we found out it was George O'Malley who was John Doe. It got interesting. Then my brain caught up with the show and I realized what a contrived, cheap plot device that was and I was irritated. They did that on ER. YEARS AGO. Remember Dr. Gant? You probably don't. He was a patient that came in as a John Doe. No one knew who he was until they tried to call his pager. Then they realized. Now that? Was dramatic tension. This? Was a cheap plot device.

I've not been the strongest advocate of Grey's this season. I started out with a heart full of hope that it would pick up from the irritating George/Izzie pairing and move back to the good medical drama I'd loved once. It had some good moments. Mostly, it just made me feel like I was doing ABC a favour by watching each week. If you've read my previous blogs, you'll know I'm not an advocate for Dead Denny. He was on tonight. When I saw him, I actually stifled a scream of "NO! I THOUGHT HE WAS GONE!" I stifled my cry because I live in an apartment building and I didn't want my neighbours to think I was nuts. Just because I can hear them spanking one another through the floor doesn't mean I want them to hear me overracting to TV. Also, the spankee is the CEO of my company and even if it's ok for me to hear her having her sado-masochism adventures through the ceiling, it's not ok that she hears me shout at the TV. Yes, I know there's something wrong with that but...there you have it.

I was angry that Dead Denny was back...again. Yes, we KNOW Izzie had a tumour but...can't we just politely imagine her talking to Denny? Do we have to see him dressed in his beach linen whites, giving her the stupid moon face that says he loves her, even though she married Alex?

Obviously...I didn't enjoy the Grey's finale. Shonda Rhimes? Seriously- don't write another episode without rewatching season 1-3.5. You started out brilliantly. You progressed brilliantly. But, like so many before you, like so many Stephanie Meyer's, you're moving forward in a way that suggests you're writing for you and that you don't care that you've got an audience who feels invested in what happens.

Tonight, I felt robbed. I was actually CHEERING that Izzie died. Yes, I know...I've never been a big fan of hers to the point where I've been slightly cruel but even so...I wanted to be sad that she was (possibly) dead but...I wasn't. I was merely glad that the writers didn't give in completely to self-indulgence and let her have the miracle-recovery that they'd threatened in the last moments of the show. I just hope, on this, they follow through.

I know. This makes me seem heartless and cruel but...I have high expectations. If you engage me, I expect you to keep me engaged. Grey's Anatomy once more evoked Dead Denny. They didn't give George a dignified death but went for the cheap shock and awe value. All rules and expectations are off, as far as I'm concerned. Until this season, Grey's Anatomy was my Thursday night best friend, the reliable comfort for which I could pour myself a glass of wine and curl up in my pajamas. Now, as I feared, it's become that friend that I almost wish I'd never invited, the friend that comes in second to the notion of a warm bath, good book and glass of wine.

I have a few months to process this cheap finale. I may give it another shot but, honestly, I'm not sure at the moment. I miss my Thursday night friend in Grey''s become an obligation, not a treat. That's never a good sign. I'm not sure if I'm ready for a break-up but at least I have time to think about it. They killed George. I knew they would but...really...Grey's? Like that? You're really going for the "Titanic" ending where Izzie goes to join George? What, no little chorus of former patients who'd died under their care to greet them both at their death?

Of course we don't know they're dead. That's one of the reasons I'm so irked. They're going for the cliffhanger. But when George is that mangled, you KNOW he's dead because he'll never be our George again. Izzie on the other hand...well, she's still not above a miracle. Which means, yay, next season we'll have more Steven's Anatomy and when things get dull, they can bring back Denny which means the ugly, vicious pattern will be repeated.

Question is, do I want to be there to see that?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Theory on the Grey's Anatomy Finale...

So...I've had this theory for the past couple of weeks about Grey's Anatomy. Call it a product of WAY too much thinking time combined with a sadly accurate knowledge of TV showrunners/writer's logic but...I think I could possible be right.

Before I get to my theory, I have to ask did you notice I DIDN'T blog about Grey's last week? It's not that I didn't think about it but I'm really trying to make this TV blog a little wider in scope. Sadly, my post about Dollhouse is proving to be futile. Stupid FOX looks like they're giving in on this fantastic effort by Joss Whedon. Of course, they gave him the Friday at 9 p.m. time slot so, honestly, didn't they give up on him before they even aired the show. FOX? I hate you. Just so you know. Unless you save Dollhouse. Then I'll like you again. In the meantime, can you honestly admit that 'Til Death is a worthier show to be renewed than Dollhouse? If you answer yes, that pretty much underscores my theory that you have to be mentally deranged be in charge of the programming lineup for FOX. And, while we're on the subject, about's getting stupid. I love Hugh Laurie but, seriously, House is becoming hateable. He can't even do his job anymore. That's the only reason we stuck around. His ten-minutes-til-the-end-of-the-show ephiphanies were predictable but at least he proved he was worthwhile. Now all he does is hallucinate, debate popping pills and let Foreman take control. FYI? bad.

Anyway, back to Grey's. My theory is that Shonda Rhimes and co. have known Izzie was actually going to die for a while. However, they've been watching Lost and have realized that the fact that Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindloff, the brilliant writers/creators of Lost can get viewers in by simply NOT TELLING THEM ANYTHING AHEAD OF TIME...means something. Not that I'm saying Greys and Lost are anything alike except they're on ABC. However, I think Shonda and the network decided that they didn't want people to know they'd agreed to let Katherine Heigl leave the show; they wanted to bring in viewers due to the simple fact that there was some question about it. However, my theory? They decided to let her go weeks ago.

I'm not pulling this theory out of thin air. Katherine Heigl was in the news a few weeks ago suddenly talking about how much she LOVED being on Grey's and how great her role had become. This is a far cry from the blunt comments she'd made just a few months earlier about the lack of good writing for Izzie, comments that also implied that were she to be nominated for an Emmy, she'd have to decline because she didn't feel that she deserved it. Now, not so long after that, she suddenly does a 180 and changes her mind? Doubtful. My thought? ABC had decided to let her go by killing Izzie but wanted a 'shock' ala Denny's death at the end of season two. If they led everyone to think Izzie would survive her cancer and thus Katherine Heigl was willing to be back, the finale would draw more viewers who wanted to see what happened.

I've mentioned that I was afraid they'd have a miracle and Izzie would live. I've changed my mind on that. Tonight's episode only supported my new theory and, I have to say, 'well done, Grey's', you're finally making sense.

I'm ignoring Denny's presence tonight. He was a ridiculous, unnecessary waste of screen time, as he was for the earlier part of the season. Yes, he did lead Izzie to her suspicion that she had another tumour resulting in Derek's realization that he couldn't operate leading to his unselfish act of giving her his wedding because he couldn't help her otherwise. Yet...Bailey and Derek are Izzie's doctors. I can't help but think that they would have found it eventually. Did we really NEED Denny? We all hate him by now. He's appeared on our Grey's screens one too many times already. Tonight was just gratification. It was the 100th episode so...why not have Dead Denny return?

I tell you why not. BECAUSE HE FINALLY LEFT AND WE WERE GLAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He came back tonight. Fortunately, he didn't say "I'm here for you." If he did, my brain tuned it out because like the presence of the that awful horrible Pedia-egg they promote on TV that grates the skin off your feet LIKE CHEESE (and they air it on the FOOD NETWORK which is...disgusting. Don't worry...I complained.) brain refuses to acknowledge that which irritates it to the point of irrational remote-control-throwing.

I did like tonight's episode though. I loved that Meredith proved she was an adult by not pouting that she had to give up her wedding to Izzie but, instead, chose to do it and beamed happily through the whole thing. I love that Alex, though in pain at realizing Izzie was likely to die, overcame his commitment issues and gave himself to her fully and utterly. I love that Christina and Owen still love one another even if it's going to take time. I loved that George essentially gave Izzie away to Alex, a sign that he, too, had grown-up and moved on. I loved that Izzie finally lost her hair, not because I have a sick thrill from seeing someone beautiful have that happen but because it was realistic, because it made her cancer believable.

I was sad for the ER victims who died in the car crash, young students on the day of their college graduation. When I was in high school, a classmate accidentally shot himself and died just a few days before our ceremony. It cast a pall over the entire event and made us all grow up a little too fast when we realized that no matter how young we are, our lives are temporary. I felt for the student who watched all his friends die, who crumpled when he realized he was left alone and what was supposed to be a triumphant day had turned into the darkest day of his life.

In short, this was Grey's Anatomy at its best. It focused on the medicine as a parallel to the lives of the characters. It was easier to sympathize with Izzie for once. It was easy to ignore Dead Denny- which earned a lot of points in my book. Although NOT having Dead Denny at all would have earned more.

Next week, I'm curious to see what happens. I stand by my earlier threat that if Izzie doesn't die, I'll consider being so annoyed that I might stop watching. Yet...if my theory is true, I might not have to. If Grey's does what it does best, I'll care that Izzie dies and I'll even cry for her. Given the fact that, for the most part, I despise Izzie...that would be good TV.

Here's hoping.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Grey's Anatomy: Hoping for a Giant Talking Rabbit

I wasn't going to do a Grey's Anatomy post this week; I figured this was a TV blog, not a Grey's blog. However, it doesn't feel right to watch an episode without blogging these days.

Truth be told, I missed the beginning of the episode. I'm one of those strange creatures without either cable or satellite and relying on the ancient technology of a rabbit-ear antenna and a digital-TV converter box. So, last night, just as Grey's began, my formerly clear picture decided to turn into a series of strange, digital blotches that sounded like a robot was trying to take over Grey's Anatomy. I spent ten minutes fiddling with the stupid antenna only to settle for a picture that, while interrupted by digital static, was, at least viewable. Thus, I missed much of the stuff at the beginning with Callie, Arizona and Callie's father. I missed the part where Izzie decided to become a maniacal wedding planner. I finally managed to get my picture back when Callie was ranting in Spanish to Arizona. Which reads rather strangely unless you know Arizona is a person.
So, static aside, I quite liked this episode. I love that Meredith and Lexie are finally acting like sisters. I've mentioned it several times, but I adore how Meredith has grown. She allows herself to be happy now, even for short spells. I love that. I like that I saw Lexie when my static settled and I was shocked that she seemed to have gained weight and looked much heavier. I remembered that the actress who plays her, Chyler Lee, is pregnant in real life and I enjoyed the fact they covered this up by making Lexie into a stress-eater. It worked nicely.

I am sad that Bailey's marriage is likely to be over because her dedication to her job is taking her from her family. Yes, she should have been at home with her little boy instead of at the hospital on her day off but watching her cradle that little dying girl was heartbreaking and sad and it reminded me that one of the reasons I love Bailey is because she's more than just a doctor. She's a person with a heart and though it gets her in trouble, it's also one of the best things about the show. The only thing that worries me is that she's TOO close to her patients and she has the danger of becoming The New Izzie. I confess, as touching as some of her scenes are, I do miss the smart-mouthed Bailey who used to be called "The Nazi" and kept her interns in line.

I loved the scene with Alex and George in the bar. I love Alex because in spite of his cockiness, smart mouth and meanness to others, it's all a mask for the fact that he's vulnerable and scared. It's taken a few seasons but we're getting to see the real Alex and it's hard to watch. The way he treated George was wrong and...yet...the scene in the bar explained it all. Alex is terrified. He knows he might lose the one thing that is making him human, the one thing that makes him brave enough to show his vulnerability. Ironically, it's also the one thing that is going to break him because of this vulnerability. Watching him admit he wasn't sure he could handle Izzie's sickness was hard to watch because it was so believable.

Owen and Christina...well...there's not much to say about that except Hunt is broken and he needs to be fixed before he's safe for Christina. They're good together but his moments of rage and disorientation, caused by his PTSD...not good for her. I'm glad he's getting help.

I saved Izzie for last because it's Izzie and you know how I feel about Izzie. I AM sad that she's sick. I am sad that, finally, last night, she had to face the fact that she was sick and she can't be the same annoying, perky person she used to be. I'm glad for that because I wanted to smack her a couple of times. Her faking symptoms and medical crises to get what she wanted was too Typical Izzie. Typical Izzie is the one I don't like because she doesn't think about others, just herself. I know she has cancer and that it's understandable to think of herself but we all knew she was going to be the Girl Who Cried Wolf and so when she collapsed dramatically on the wedding dresses, it wasn't a shock.

I stand by my original hope: I want Izzie to die. I'm not some cruel, unfeeling human who goes around typically wanting cancer victims to die, trust me. I just don't think the show will be the same if Izzie beats the odds and somewhat miraculously recovers. It's time for her to go while we still care. Also, I'm hearing rumours that Dead Denny will be back in which case, you know I'm going to say much harsher things in the future. I get that he's a symptom of her illness but can't the writers do something a little more tolerable like...I don't know...have her hallucinate a giant talking rabbit? It worked for Donnie Darko and that was an AWESOME film.

So...I'm hoping Izzie follows through and dies. I think the show would be new and fresh again and give it room to grow. It's improved over the past few episodes but it still has a long way to go to be as exciting and interesting as Season 2.'s better. At the very least, there's no Dead Denny.

For now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Better Off Ted," and "Dollhouse": Don't Let them Die, Please!

I haven't done a TV post in a while. This is not because of the lack of new Grey's Anatomy episodes but, rather, because life sometimes gets in the way of TV.

However, it hasn't been getting in the way of my watching two of this season's new shows, ones that I have recently learned are 'on the bubble'.

For those of you not as obsessed with TV as I am, an 'on the bubble' show means it's in danger. It means that the Networks aren't enamoured with its success and are contemplating getting rid of it. This more show.

Firstly, I have to tell you, my first favourite new show is Better Off Ted. If you're an American Idol watcher, chances are you may not even have heard of this show. It's on at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, in the slot right before Lost. Let me tell you, if you haven't been watching, you have missed out.

Better off Ted is hilarious. It's clever. It's slightly sarcastic and has that very "now" sense of humour that anyone who lives in today's world should get. The setting of a show is an office but not just any office, it's Veridian Dynamics, a company which invents things and isn't afraid to try anything. For example, just a few of their products over the past episodes have been "cowless beef," "hurricane-proof dogs" and "weaponized pumpkins", just to name a few. The company is headed Veronica, played by Portia de Rossi. Veronica is fascinating because she tries to have morals but she doesn't quite get them. The show's main character, Ted, played by Jay Harrington is her Head of Product Development. Ted does have morals though, often, he has to be reminded by his smart five-year-old daughter to employ them. Other notable characters are Lem and Phil, the brilliant scientists responsible for inventing the products. In the first episode, Veronica decided to freeze Phil for a cryogenic experiment. Phil, a loyal employee, decided he was game. As he froze, he was told he would experience extreme pain and the biggest worry was that his eyeballs would burst out of his head. The employees of Veridian watched, anxiously. Fortunately, Phil's eyeballs did not explode though his face was captured in a good imitation of Edvard Muench's "Scream" painting. Unfortunately, Phil was accidentally unfrozen a couple of days later and, in following episodes, occasionally, in the middle of conversation suddenly screams for no reason. Irritated by the interruption in meetings, Veronica now sprays Phil with a squirt bottle to get him to stop screaming.

This is only one of the funny moments of the show. In an effort to save energy, Veridian employed a motion sensor of virtually everything in the company including the elevators, doors, water fountains and lights. Unfortunately, because the technology works by reflecting off the skin, none of the black employees are able to activate the sensors. Because the expense of replacing all of the equipment is too vast, Veridian's solution is to employee white people to follow all the black employees around, thus activating the sensors. Lem, Phil's scientist ally, becomes a hero, a former passive-agressive voice in the company taking a stand and ultimately solving the problem. It sounds vaguely racist but that's the beauty of Better Off Ted, it takes shots at everything, mocks everything and doesn't come out looking like a Public Service Announcement about diversity in the workplace. It ridicules the fact that diversity in the workplace has to be a considered factor in the workplace rather than just hiring a person.

I'm gushing. The show makes me laugh, what can I say? The final icing on the cake is the fake TV ads for Veridian, usually spoofing whatever topic is the theme of the show. Veridian, as a company, has no morals. They will do and make whatever they have to in order to succeed. If you haven't watched it and you need a laugh, go to and watch their free episodes online. I recommend "Racial Sensitivity" but any of them are worth a watch. I'm not a huge fan of sitcoms because they're not very funny. I still enjoy The Office but have given upon on 30 Rock mostly because, like so many good shows, it began to believe its own critical acclaim and became too self-congratulatory for my tastes.

My fear is that not enough people discover Better Off Ted before ABC decides to give it up and cancel it, instead choosing to make more Dancing with the Stars type shows. I'm hoping that they listen to the critics on this one and keep it around, giving it a chance to build up an audience as it so deserves.

The other show that is in danger is Dollhouse. I've mentioned that Joss Whedon is my hero. I will watch anything he writes. Case in point: Dollhouse. Like so many others, I was a little worried during the first couple of episodes; the trademark Whedon humour was missing, the show seemed so serious and made little sense. Yet, I stuck with it because I trust Joss completely. I was rewarded. By episode five, the show found its groove. Now, even though it's on Friday nights, I find myself anticipating the next episode. If I can't watch it, I watch on the minute I get a free chance. The show has so many layers, centering on a mysterious 'dollhouse' in Los Angeles in which the dolls are young, attractive humans who have 'chosen' to have their minds erased and allow themselves to be formed into whatever personality is requested of them.

It sounds ludicrous yet Joss makes it work. We don't really know if the dolls really chose to become dolls. It seems that way but we don't really know. We get to watch Eliza Dushku (Echo), Dichen Lachman (Sierra) and Enver Gjokaj (Victor) change their roles every week, defaulting to a childlike state when their 'imprints' have been removed and they are just 'dolls'. The head of the company is Adelle, played with a British crispness by Olivia Williams. Her technological genius is Topher, played by Fran Kranz. Topher is a geek. He's also brilliant, responsible for designing the imprints for the dolls and installing them with all the complexity of building a chemistry experiment.

Each week, we see Paul Ballard, a former FBI agent, played by Tahmoh Penikett, try to uncover information about the Dollhouse, a place he knows exists but cannot prove. One 'doll', Alpha, escaped and is wreaking havoc from behind the scenes. We haven't even met Alpha yet but his presence is so strong that he's in the shadows of every episode, even though his role exists through discussion only.

Even though the actor's names sound like they come from a fantasy novel, the show is held together by the strong cast. It's compelling, clever and always leaves you wanting more. The show is on Fox who have a history of failing Joss. They seem to place his shows in the worst possible slot in the viewing schedule, just to watch them die. The joke is on them though, with the help of and Joss's strong internet followers, Dollhouse, unlike Better Off Ted, will not die easily. This is the type of show that will inspire save-the-show campaigns. I'd love that to be the case for Better Off Ted too but that's a new show, without a cult following.

I'm only one tiny voice in the blogosphere; my internet presence is merely a whisper. However, if I can do anything to encourage people to watch these two shows, to help keep them on the air, I will. Yet the one thing I can do is have an opinion...and if ABC and Fox decide to cancel these shows, I will not be happy. Take a chance, networks. Stop assuming that everyone likes American Idol and Dancing with the Stars and let those of us that still love scripted television to have something good to watch. Please.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sympathy for the not-so Devil...

So...tonight, I went into Grey's Anatomy with a new attitude. I decided that I wasn't being fair on Izzie, that just because if I knew her in life, she'd drive me to the edge, it wasn't fair to be so harsh on her. She is, after all, dying.

Mostly, I went into it with the attitude that her impending health decline was going to affect her friends and I do care about them. George, for example. He and Izzie have been best friends, soul mates in compassion and caring. Yes, they had the ill fortune to have an affair but, in all honesty, in real life...that happens. Friends mistake friendship for...something more. It's a nice bond; sex is just the sealant on an already strong relationship. But it also becomes a corrosive, wearing away at the bonds of friendship; perhaps it wasn't good sex, perhaps the deep feeling of connection didn't last beyond the last passionate embrace. Whatever it was, their friendship suffered because of their attempt to take it further. He's hurting because he feels as though he's lost touch with Izzie. Only Callie, once the victim of George/Izzie's ill-fated relationship, could make George see how much Izzie really both of them.

I care about Christina's reaction to Izzie. Christina "the Robot" as Izzie dubbed her. Christina is a strong, amazing doctor but she's used to detaching from a patient so that she can be a better doctor. Try as she might, she can't do that with Izzie, for better or for worse. Izzie and Christina have always been polar opposites, one feeling too much, one feeling too little. Now, at last, they're finding a way to balance each other out which is, in my opinion, a reason to not hate Izzie. Christina is strong, so strong she's allowed Owen to hurt her, to strangle her and still she forgives him. Yet, alone in the dark with him, she realizes that even she, as strong as she is, is afraid. So she does the only thing she has the power to do, she lets go. It hurts...but she lets go.

Then there's Meredith who struggles to be a better, stronger person, a strong, smart doctor and a girlfriend who isn't imprisoned by her past mistakes. She's always tried to extend the hand of friendship to Izzie but has never understood her; Izzie found light in darkness, Meredith absorbed the darkness and let it become her. Yet tonight, Derek finally proposed the right way, the only way that he could possibly have done in order to get Meredith to say yes. I admit, I knew it was coming but...yet...I can't help but be ecstatic. The elevator non-proposal, the recap of their amazing moments together in surgery...everything about that was right and so I look to these two in the future to guide the show, to continue to make us care.

And Alex...poor Alex. He's opened himself up, fought his natural instincts to let Izzie into his heart. He fell for her, completely and utterly. He's never had anything to hold onto; his family was abusive and cruel, providing little foundation for healthy romantic relationships. Yet Izzie provided the stability he needed and, at last, Alex found sure footing on which to build hopes and dreams. I love how he struggled tonight; he wanted to run but he couldn't. He cares too much. He knows Izzie is the best woman he's ever had and so, rather than cut and run, he's there, sitting by her bedside, ensuring a future life will be made of their union. He's trying...and Izzie is the reason.

So, you see, I can't hate Izzie, no matter how irritating she can be. Her character has had an influence on everyone, good and bad. Yes, mostly, I want to make her stop talking, even before she had cancer that affected her brain, I wanted someone to take away her medical license so she couldn't hurt anyone else. I always though Izzie would make a fine social worker, her do-good nature perfectly placed to help others without the risk of killing them accidentally.

Yet that's not going to happen. I don't know what will happen to Izzie, whether Derek's skills as a brain surgeon will truly give her more time or if, as I suspect, they just postpone the inevitable. Last week, I pleaded for Izzie to die. I've had a change of heart. I do want Katherine Heigl to leave the show because I think it needs changes and I think she's bringing it down. I don't know if I want Izzie to die; it would make sense but it might not be right. The odds are against her, whether or not Derek gave her more time to live her life and, perhaps, say goodbye.

Here's what I suspect...Izzie will have a new lease on life. She will seize the day with Alex; I wouldn't be surprised if a wedding is in their future. Yet I also suspect the happiness will be brief. We may not be witness to Izzie's sad death but, then again, I don't rule anything out. I do think Alex will be crushed and have to rise out of the ashes to regain his grasp on life. I hope he does. I hope all of my troubled yet brilliant residents at Seattle Grace can deal with Izzie's illness appreciating that which she gave them but knowing that they have to carry on, no matter what the outcome.

So, you see, for once, I'm not rooting against Izzie Stevens. Instead, I'm rooting for her. I did feel sorry for her tonight, she sat alone in her hospital room, terrified but trying to be brave. Bailey was there for her, reassuring her through science, comforting her with facts. Her friends were too scared, too afraid of what Izzie's illness means to them. Yet, in the end, they were there, terrified with her, hoping that she would be ok, proving that they are truly the 'people' that Izzie needs.

It took a while but I might be finally jumping on the bandwagon. Don't get me wrong, it still doesn't excuse Dead Denny but it does, at last, make me care about Izzie. It took long enough and it's scary's happening. I just hope it lasts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Christina Yang...Episode Redeemer

It's another Grey's Anatomy post. I do have the intention of writing about different shows but somehow it's Grey's that inspires me to write. Or, lately, complain.

You see, I think they want me to feel sorry for Izzie. Poor Izzie Stevens, Izzie who's dying, Izzie who has some horrible form of cancer that's in her brain. I tried. It lasted about one minute.

The rest of the episode, I seriously had this feeling that if I had to work at Seattle Grace with Izzie Stevens, I would have pushed her down the infamous staircase that is the scene of so many dramas that don't happen in the elevator. No, seriously.

On the other hand, if I worked with her and if she actually liked to be hugged, I would hug Christina Yang for being herself.

Tonight's episode was...interesting. It had one of the most disgusting surgical procedures that they've ever simulated on the show. Seriously, a face transplant? I'm not that squeamish but....ugh! I think it was the peeling skin sound effects. I could have lived without that.

I did like that patient though. He had a horrific face as a result of a horrible accident and, yet, by the end of the show, I was used to it. It wasn't hideous anymore. I loved that his online friends could see past the horrific face and see the person within but I think that was the point. It worked well.

What didn't work well was Izzie seeing it as a parallel to her own condition. I know, I know, I seem heartless. I should feel bad for this beautiful woman who just found out she's potentially dying.'s Izzie. Everything is about her. In her world, it's always been about her. This poor man, hideously deformed because of a car accident, who has been waiting 12 years to be able to look something close to normal again is suddenly in the hospital in order to teach Izzie a lesson. What he has to live with on the outside of his body, she's living with on the inside of her body. If she shares that with her friends, she's afraid they'll run away, afraid to get close.

To be honest, I was afraid that Izzie was going to drag this out, to make it such a secret that we'd spend the next couple of episodes wanting her to tell someone, just to move the plot along. Fortunately, there is Christina Yang who likes to deal with facts, figures and surgical truth and doesn't like to mess with emotion. She has emotion for Izzie because as much as she'd hate to admit it, Izzie is part of Christina's world; a flesh and blood representation of a habit. Christina doesn't like that Izzie is willing to wilt away quietly or, as Izzie would probably perceive it, nobly. Yet it's not noble, it's almost pathetic. Again, it makes me sound cruel but she's always been so self-righteous that it's hard to seperate that. Even when faced with a life-threatening disease, Izzie can't just do the right thing, she has to internalize everything, make herself a victim and wait until someone stronger comes along to push her forward, as Christina did tonight.

I'm glad everyone knows now. It's about time. No more will we have to live with Izzie being Patient X. Hopefully that means no more Dead-Denny (note to Jeffrey Dean Morgan: You were GREAT as The Comedian in "Watchmen", do NOT let the Grey's folks persuade you to come back to their show. Do NOT allow yourself to step backwards and become annoying again).

This is going to sound really cruel but I hope Izzie dies. If she doesn't, Grey's will truly be resorting to the soap-opera-y plots that it's been accused of all along. Yes, there are soap-opera tendencies of the show but because of the strong acting and writing, they're forgiveable. If Derek Shepherd manages to save Izzie and thus complete his own journey through darkness to light, I will be furious, and I mean that. I get that Derek is lost and needs something to put him back on track. I get that a successful surgery would help that. Yet Izzie has a less than 5% survival rate. If she makes it, it'll be so unrealistic that it exceeds even the ferryboat disaster that happened in Season 3.

The truth is, in my opinion, Izzie needs to die. Katherine Heigl needs to get off the show. I find myself despising Izzie more every week even though I'm supposed to feel sympathy for her. I don' t know if that's Izzie or Katherine Heigl that's doing that to me anymore. I used to know. I used to be able to seperate fact from fiction. Lately, though, I just want Grey's to get back on track and I think without that character/actress, things might settle down a little. I know George might also leave. I don't really want that because I like George but if it's his time, so be it.

All I ask is that we get some of the old tone/theme/feel of the show back. There are parts of this season I like: Meredith and Derek, for example. Meredith has grown up. She's not running scared but running towards the danger of commitment. I like Christina; she's grown up but let some humanity colour her personality a little, no longer a full robot. I like that Alex, also, has become more human; he's no longer a cocky frat-boy but a doctor who actually lets himself care. I just hate that he finally lets himself fall in love and it's with Izzie. He deserves better.

I think you've probably figured out that I don't like Izzie. I've tried, believe me, I've tried. Yet even when she's dying, I find myself having this urge to shake her, to make her wake-up and realize that not everything in the universe is about her. That she's not some wounded soul, seperated from those around her. That isolation is her own doing; she's condemned Meredith and Christina multiple times for their choice of romantic partners, for their friendship, for their choices. She's fallen in love with a patient, stolen another patient's heart (literally, not figueratively), seduced her best friend, caused him to divorce his wife, only to discover that they're not a match made in heaven, after all. She's condemned Alex, used him as a sex toy, condemned him again and then, finally, decide he's worthwhile and used his crush on her to make him her own. She's had sex with a ghost. She's lied, a lot. She's killed a couple of patients. She's betrayed her friends. I could keep going but you get the idea. When it comes down to it, Izzie doesn't do much good. She's a bad doctor, friend, lover and girlfriend.

So, now that she might be dying, I find myself watching Grey's with new hope. The hope is that they won't be wimps and let Izzie live. I know that it depends on the behind-the-scenes stuff, whether Katherine Heigl can wiggle out of her contract and, thus, leave the show. I hope she does. I think the show will be better for it. I've said that before and I'm saying it again. I just hope that if, Izzie does leave, it's a realistic leave-taking, not some Meredith-having-a-fatal-drowning-accident-in-which-she-ends-up-talking-to-Dead-Denny,-Pink-Mist-That-Girl-Who-Was-Impaled-in-the-Train-Episode-and-her-mother-and-realizing-that-life-is-worth-living-after-all episode. That was NOT good Grey's. Good Grey's are the moments like yucky-face-transplant-man getting to look at his new face and realizing that even if he hadn't have had the surgery, his friends don't care how he looks. It sounds trite but that was a good storyline because it makes me care.

It's not too late to make me care about Izzie. Trust me, I'll care if she knows she's dying. I'll root for her to keep going with that and I might even promise to be sad. As long as she doesn't come back as a ghost to have sex with Alex.

Because that would be a ridiculous storyline...right?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Depressed Derek, Soft Bailey...What's Happening to Grey's Anatomy?

So, it seems that unless I'm blogging about Grey's Anatomy, I don't blog much on Captain TV. Sad, really. It's not like I'm not watching any TV. Currently, my roster of shows is down to: 24, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, The Office and Dollhouse. This is a rather shocking thing to realize. I usually watch much more TV than that. Of course, I'm not admitting that I do, occasionally, get horribly and reluctantly sucked into The Ghost Whisperer but I promise you, afterwards I feel guilty, as though I should take a shower or something.

However, Grey's was back this week and, naturally, I have to blog about it. It used to be my favourite evening of TV. I won't say that I don't enjoy it anymore but it feels a little more like work and a little less like a way to unwind.

I don't like angry Derek. From the moment he sat on the sofa eating Alex's cereal, I wanted to smack him. I'm sure that killing that pregnant woman accidentally in the last episode had to have been hard but you'd think his high level of self-righteousness that surrounds him like a cloud would at least assist him in accepting his mistake. After all, when Meredith was trying to be a good human being and give the benefit-of-the-doubt to Eric Stoltz's serial killer character a few weeks ago, Derek was quite happy to condemn the prisoner and satisfy his own ego instead of doing what would have been the best action for the greater good. Machiavelli has been coming up a lot in my life lately and whether the end truly justifies the means. It does in TV shows, I can tell you that. Just watch 24 sometime. Jack Bauer's rather brutal torture methods are effective and usually assist in saving the U.S. from a rather nasty attack of some kind or another.

I think Derek is feeling sorry for himself. He has a right to, I suppose. His death toll is greater than the lives he's saved. He gets to wallow for one week, in my book. This has been his week. Next week, he better suck it up and start acting decently again or I'm going to dislike him even more than I ever have before. As I've said, I have a soft spot for Meredith. I'm not as dark and twisty but there are aspects of Meredith I can relate to just because I get her. I don't like Derek treating her badly. I was angry when he threw away that ring but I'm proud of her for not leaving him. I just hope they find that ring. When I was a little kid, I used to like to play hide and seek with objects. I once had a Snoopy ring that I loved. I thought it'd be fun to 'lose' it and then find it again so I tossed it into the long grass of our backyard. I never did find that damn ring and to this day, I kick myself for being so stupid that I threw it in the first place. Maybe I'm a little too invested in that ring of Derek's but not because I want him to propose; rather, I just want him to find the damn thing before it's lost because he'll wake up 20 years later and still wonder where the heck it went to.

But I digress. I haven't even begun to talk about Izzie yet. For a few moments, I actually felt sorry for her. She has cancer. She wasn't supposed to have cancer, if you believe the early spoilers for the show but I'm guessing that it was the only diagnosis that made sense. It's fine with me just as long as she doesn't start hallucinating about Dead Denny* again.

(*side note: Dead Denny, aka Jeffrey Dean Morgan, was in "The Watchmen" which I saw this weekend. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to deal with him given how much you know I adored him when he was haunting Izzie (yes, sarcasm intended). I will say he was excellent and not, for one moment, did he act like Dead Denny. I like him again now. Just as long as he doesn't come back to Grey's Anatomy.)

Anyway, I feel a little bad for Izzie. I get that she's not ready to tell Alex that she's sick. He's finally getting respect as a doctor and it suits him. She doesn't want to bring him back down again when he's finally getting to move up. I even get why she's not ready to tell George; he's her best friend. Telling him makes it real. So she told Christina. I get that, I suppose. Christina will digest the news and process it but she won't let it get in the way of her being a good doctor. Everyone else would be too emotional. It makes sense.

Yet there was still a little part of me that wondered why she was going through such drama with the interns. Did she know her diagnosis or did their discovery of her disease provide the answer that she sought? If so, honestly, did she really trust those interns and their accuracy? Seriously? They're the lamest, most generic group of characters on any show since Season 7 of Buffy when the Slayerettes invaded Sunnydale.

I wanted her to tell Lexie. I used to think Lexie was a stupid plot device yet somehow over the course of a season, she's become a real character and I like her. She's the new George O'Malley only, you know, smarter. George is pretty useless these days. He pops up, interjects a few lines of dialogue and then he's gone.

I would have liked to have seen Izzie be honest with someone who would have probably had an emotional reaction in the beginning but would have been able to pull it together enough to figure out what Izzie's best course of action should be. I think Lexie could have been that person. I was ok with it being Christina until I saw the previews for next week. It looks like Izzie is going to swear Christina to secrecy which is going to annoy the crap out of me. We had to endure weeks of Dead Denny, can we not move Izzie's plot along any faster? If Katherine Heigl is leaving, I say just get rid of her now. Let her go forth and make more generic romantic comedies like "27 Dresses" that are entertaining but would be the exact same movie if she were replaced by Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway or even Anna Faris.

I know it sounds mean but I really hope they follow through and kill Izzie. There's rumours that Shonda Rhimes is going to pull a bait-and-switch and kill George and let Izzie live. That would annoy me a lot. Kill Izzie. Seriously. Really. She's annoying. She's a terrible doctor. She's kind of stupid. Mostly, I just don't like Izzie and I think it'd be a more interesting show without her.

The rest of the characters were a little bland tonight. I normally like Bailey but I hate that she had to enlist the aid of the Chief's wife to get him to listen to her. The old Bailey, the one who hadn't suddenly decided she wanted to be a pediatric surgeon even though she crumbles at the thought of a child dying, the old Bailey would have made the Chief respect her decision. She wouldn't have needed help in getting him to listen to her. I don't like that she's softening up. I love Miranda Bailey because she doesn't take crap from anyone. Or, at least, she didn't used to.

I can't say I don't like the show anymore because if I didn't, I wouldn't still watch it or spend the time blogging about it. What I will say is that I recently rewatched Seasons 1 and 2. I wish Shonda and her team of writers would do the same thing. Those seasons were excellent. Season 3 wasn't bad but it had a few mistakes. Since then, the characters have evolved but not in the way you want them to evolve. The only character change I like is Meredith because hers has been a natural growth, a move from being isolated to being part of something. Sometimes it's best to stick with a good thing. Shonda, you don't need to make crazy things happen. The best moments of the show are when the doctors are being good doctors and they have good patients. There are fewer and fewer of those. I live in hope that we'll have more again but I'm starting to lose my faith again.

But, as I remind myself, there's no more Denny and that, at least, scores some points with me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Izzie Stevens, it Really is Time to Go....

I have a confession to make. I'm starting to like Lexie Grey and Mark Sloane as a couple. I admit, in the beginning, I thought it was a gimmick, just another inappropriate pairing to try to bring ratings.

For weeks, I thought it was contrived and now, a few weeks later, I'm starting to think it could work. I'm starting to think that Lexie in all her sweet neurosis is the calmness that Mark Sloane, Dr. McSteamy himself, needs in order to stop being a cliche and start being a real man.

I'm not sure I like my change of heart. It could mean that I might have to doubt some of my earlier opinions on Grey's Anatomy. For example, I might rethink that Denny coming back from the dead and being the Most Smugly Annoying Ghost Ever was a good idea after all. I might think that maybe, just maybe, I misunderstood Izzie Stevens, that her do-good but act-stupid nature was actually compelling rather than groan-worthy annoyance. I might start thinking that it's ok that George O'Malley doesn't do much at Seattle Grace anymore.

However, I think I'm safe for now. I know it sounds mean but I'm actually hoping beyond hope that the rumours behind the scenes are true, that Katherine Heigl is going to be let out of her contract as she's been wanting for a while now. I think Grey's would be the better for it. It's obvious that Katherine thinks she's better than TV, that she believes her Oscar is waiting. Unfortunately, what she doesn't seem to realize is that any young female actress in Hollywood could play the roles she's choosing. Seriously, think about "27 Dresses". Now, replace Katherine Heigl with, say, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, Isla Fisher....not much different, huh?

Seriously, I think Grey's needs to lose Izzie. It's time. She's a whiny pain who does nothing but complain and try to get other people to solve her problems. She judges others for the same things she, herself, does on a regular basis. She's been relagated to the clinic, rarely does she interact with Alex, Meredith, Christina or even George anymore. She somehow ended up with ALL of the interns (who knows how and why that happened) and she's now realizing she's dying of some as-of-yet undiagnosed condition.

I should feel sorry for her but I don't. I feel sorry for Alex who might have be losing the first women he's really let himself love. I feel sorry for George who could be losing his best friend, the inevitable confused relationship that male/female friends inevitably explore. I feel sorry for Meredith who has tried to stop and be friends with Izzie even though Dr. Stevens has ignored her, embarrassed her, exploited her and used her.

Yet there's little sorrow for Izzie herself.

Aside from Izzie, tonight's episode was better. I think it was better because I realized that I didn't have to watch Private Practice too. The storyline was resolved on Grey's and Addison Montgomery got to go back to Los Angeles to the stereotypical new-agey lifestyle that Southern Californian's exude and escape the misery of Derek Shepherd.

And he has misery. Poor Derek. He lost a lot of patients on his clinical trial and, even though, in the end, he succeeded, he can't forget those deaths he caused in trying to be the best, to be better than a man, to be a god. He tried so hard to save his patient tonight, even trying to save her life though she'd live as a vegetable, a near-monster, unrecognizable to anyone who'd ever known her. In the end, he lost his fight. He's not used to that. He's a broken man, now a mere mortal when before, he'd been a god, the best of the best.

I'm just glad he has Meredith. She's come so far over the past couple of years. Though she's still neurotic enough to be bothered by Derek working with his ex-wife, she's now mature enough to be there for him, to recognize that now, she's the one he listens to, the one who can pull him out of his own mind and bring him back to earth.

And, when he crashes, she's there to catch him, to bandage his wounds and give him a drink and just hold him, to let him know it's ok to just be a man. Meredith has matured over the past seasons and Grey's is the better for it.

I can't say there aren't flaws in the show. I mean, Izzie IS still on the show. I wasn't sure about Dr. Hunt and Christina but these last episodes have shown that they need each other. His hardness brings out her softness and, for Christina Yang, that's definitely an admirable feat.

I'm still not sure about Bailey going to Pediatrics. I like the idea of her becoming Chief some day. Yet she wants it and, maybe, it'll work. I'm also still not sure about Callie; one minutes she's experimenting with being bi-sexual and the next, she's fully gay. I think Callie needs to focus on medicine for a while, to let herself figure out who she is instead of jumping from relationship to relationship.

And Sloane and Lexie....they're swaying me. Ever since she broke his penis, she's been good for him, slowing him down and making him realize that there's more to life than sex. She's a good fit for him as long as she doesn't tame him completely. Grey's wouldn't be Grey's without a little McSteamy. Just because he's experimenting with being tamed doesn't mean he's completely ready.

And while the show continues to lose me one minute and hook me the next, I still live in hope that'll it'll find its footing again. I just hope it doesn't mean I have to keep watching Private Practice because, seriously, I can't...I've tried, oh, I've tried. And I can't. Not for Piz, not for Taye Diggs and not even for Addison Montgomery. No more crossover 'events'. Please.

An Ode to Benjamin Linus

I like dark characters. You've probably got that from reading my Dexter posts. I have a fondness for the complicated and shadowy non-black-and-white world. I like that while Dexter Morgan does what is regarded as wrong and inherantly evil by taking human lives, his moral code complicates matters and turns it into an act of heroism, ridding the world of the rubbish that preys on it.

This is probably why I'm enamoured with Benjamin Linus from Lost. I have a confession; I was a fickle viewer back in Season 3. I quit Lost, cast it aside like an old boyfriend that no longer fit me. I don't remember where exactly I gave it up but the show was starting to wear on me and I couldn't be bothered anymore. My giving it up also can be blamed on J.J. Abrams. Since he had helped create the show and it was going into inevitable decline, i assumed it was going to go the way of all J.J. Abrams shows- a great premise, exciting action and then a complete and utter jaunt into the ridiculous that took away from everything I'd originally loved about the show*

(*For a prime example, see Alias)

Yet then came the writer's strike and there was nothing on. I had friends who said that season 3 of Lost had the coolest ending ever. So I Netflixed the rest of the season from the point at which I'd quit.

And I realized then that I shouldn't have given it up. Realizing that the flashback was a flashforward was genius.

Since then, my admiration for the show has grown. Every moment is carefully choreographed like an elaborate dance, weaving in and out of mythologies, creating intricate connections between all of the characters in some way or another. It's amazing, compelling TV.

For me, every week, though, it's Ben Linus who has me truly hooked. He's a perfect villain, the Keyser Soze of the small screen, complicated, manipulative and so full of lies that it's impossible to know when he's telling the truth.

I love him for that. The actor, Michael Emerson, plays him with brilliance; he's both creepy and compelling. I don't want him to be the bad guy because I don't want him to lose. How's that for screwy thinking? The villain always loses at the end of every heroic tale. It's hard to say if Ben is really the true villain of Lost or if he's just an ambassador. Yet most of the time, especially to the Oceanic Six, he is the villain. He's a chessplayer moving all of his pieces exactly where he wants them even though even Ben may not know what the endgame is. He never misses a beat. One of my favourite scenes is where he gets transported off the island into Tunisia. He's instantly assailed by would-be attackers. Ben doesn't miss a beat, deftly beating the crap out of the men with his telescopic beating-rod (sorry, I don't know the technical name for it). He then walks into a hotel as though that happens every day. Who knows, for Ben, it probably does.

Every week, we learn more about the Island, more about the characters. I love that the stakes are raised, everything is changing all the time. The time travel is brilliance and being executed perfectly, revealing the truth about events that happened clear back in Season 1, events that, on any other show, would have been forgotten, abandoned in hopes of a more sensational plot. Not with Lost, however. Lost is a show for the nerds of the world, the geeks who thrive on details that most people would miss. I confess, I'm one of them. I live for the "holy crap!" moments that the show delivers every week. It's a puzzle and even though it seems as though we're getting closer to solving it, instead we're seeing that it's not just one puzzle but an artful weaving that goes on indefinitely.

At the heart of it is Ben. We still don't know if he's good or bad, not really. We know he lies but only at times because at other times, he's brutally honest. For example, a couple of weeks ago, Kate confronted Ben and accused him of trying to take Aaron away to manipulate her. Jack, not wanting to believe that even Ben could be that cruel, tries to defend him and, in response, Ben simply says, something along the lines of, "no, that was me." Cruel, blunt and precise, Ben never minces words. He can be snarky, particularly with John Locke. He always gets what he wants.

While this week's episode, "316" had a lot of unanswered questions, where is Aaron?, why is Jin in a Dharma jumpsuit driving a Dharma van?, why are Sayid and Hurley on the plane, the one question that I want to know is this: Benjamin, who did you kill and who dared beat you up this time?

There's only one and a half seasons left of Lost, the writer's endgame is moving forward. I hope that means Ben's is too, no matter how grisly and dark it gets. The darker Ben is revealed to be, the more compelling the show and the more I'm hooked on watching it. In a way, I can't wait for the end of the show, to see how it plays out.

On the other hand, I don't want it to ever end, the ride is too much fun. Especially when Ben is the driver.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So...Exactly...What WAS the Point of the spinoff?

So, I'm currently watching the Private Practice/Grey's Anatomy crossover. It's the Private Practice half now. During the Grey's portion, I did, at least feel like I was interested. I mean, in spite of some horrid mistakes over the past two seasons, Grey's still continues to compell me.

I admit, when I sat down to watch the two hours of television, I did wonder if I'd have quitter's remorse towards Private Practice. I gave it up a few months ago and still remember the show, the characters and the reason that I quit in the first place.

Then I watched tonight's crossover and I realized that no, in fact, I did not miss this awful show.

I do miss Dr. Cooper, the unlucky-in-love pediatrician. But I don't actually miss Dr. Cooper, I miss Agent Kellerman from Prison Break, also played by Paul Adelstein. I miss Kellerman's ruthlessness, his backbone, his vicious sense of purpose. I do not, however, miss Dr. Cooper's drippy world of Oceanside Wellness.

I miss Addison Montgomery but not the Addison from Private Practice. I miss the Addison from Grey's Anatomy. Seeing her back at Seattle Grace again reminded me why I missed the old days of Grey's. These days, the hallways are filled with too much drama that seems so farfetched, it's hard to relate. Tonight, I hated watching Meredith, who has come so far over the past season, who has confronted her demons and named them, watch the love of her life morph into a different man, a man she doesn't know.

Because tonight, Derek became a character on Private Practice and that was ugly. I don't care that he wrote a song for Addison for their wedding. I don't care that his oldest, dearest friends are suddenly back in his life. I like Derek with Meredith. I like the Derek who remains steadfastedly a part of Seattle Grace, not the one who's caught in the half-life between Oceanside Wellness and the world we've seen him occupy for the past four years.

Mostly, I confess, I hate that I'm being suckered into watching the insipidly annoying characters of Private Practice. I want to like them....but I can't. I find myself wondering how Dr. Charlotte can have such terrible hair. I wonder how Taye Diggs can pick such bad roles (Kevin Hill, anyone?) and still remain attractive. I wonder how Tim Daly can be so bland. Then Dell, the midwife-receptionist-whatever-he-is-these-days, wanders on screen and suddenly I find myself missing Veronica Mars with a longing that only the best TV can fulfill.

I can't complain, really. At times, Grey's still fulfills that longing. These days, Lost is blowing me away with its intricate genius. I'm watching 24 and enjoying Jack Bauer's breathless sense of action for the first time in several seasons. And tomorrow, I have the first episode of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse to look forward to. So there is good TV to watch. I'm just not watching it at the moment, no matter how much they try to throw Alex Karev, Derek Shepard or Dr. Bailey at us during an episode of Private Practice. I mean, seriously, isn't the whole reason Addison left in the first place was to try something new?

Clearly, if that something new has to rely on the something old to get some ratings, something is wrong. I gave Private Practice a fair shake, a season and a half of watching. Yet it annoyed me and I quit. Now I'm watching it for the first time in weeks just because it's gone back to the world that gave it life in the first place.

It's like trying to take a cutting from a plant. Sometimes, it can thrive on its own and grow into something unique, something different. Yet sometimes that cutting can't survive on its own, it has to go back to its source to survive and renew it.

And that is where we are with Private Practice. It was a noble experiment but it just didn't work. It's time to either take the transplant back to its roots or put it out of its misery. Addison is a strong character but she's not enough to support a dying show. She needs to go back to Seattle Grace. She can take the place of Izzie and George, if the rumours are true that Katherine Heigl and T.R Knight are really leaving. I think Grey's would be better for it. If not, at least the 10 p.m. slot behind Grey's could be filled with something new.

I gave Private Practice a fair shot. I even tried tonight but when I'm spending the hour blogging instead of watching, you know something's wrong. I hate this Archer character. He's annoying. I think I'm supposed to, actually. Yet when he's just one of a roster of annoying characters, it's nothing special.

Also, I hate being manipulated in having to watch a show because otherwise, a story is not complete. Seriously, Private Practice, if you need Grey's Anatomy to give you life, it's time to let go. Seriously. Seriously.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

But I Don't WANT to Watch "Private Practice"!

I apologize for not having any new posts for a while. I thought about blogging about Lost but there are far better, far more loyal bloggers who already cover that. I could have covered the super-bizarro dream I had last night in which I was on a Lost-esque island that turned out to have strange 'stations' which were more like something out of Stephen King's The Waste Lands than Lost. The same dream also featured Weevil, a character from Veronica Mars trying to attack Logan Echolls (also from Veronica Mars, lately of Moonlight) with Heroes' Ando/Elle powers of super electricical impulses and then being sucked onto the Lost-esque isle in order to help solve the mysteries. I mean, this is a TV blog and wow, my subconscious did seem to tell me that maybe I watch too much TV.

However, rather than expose you to the minutae of my addled brain, I thought I'd wait until this week's Grey's Anatomy since that seems to be the main theme of this blog lately.

On a side note, I read a spoiler/article that mentioned that Denny is NOT 'dead' as I had celebrated in the last blog but will appear until March. I'm ignoring that because tonight's episode had no Denny and no Denny is as good as Dead-Denny but not the haunting-Izzie-Dead-Denny but the good Dead-Denny who died at the end of Season 2. You know the Denny I mean, the charming one who made you sad when they played "Chasing Cars" and saw Izzie in her prom dress.

I digress. Onto tonight's episode. It wasn't bad, actually. Especially in light of some of the more recent episodes. I will say that until next week, I'm choosing NOT to acknowledge the big Private Practice/Grey's Anatomy crossover. It happened at the very, very end of this week's Grey's and one minute into Private Practice when the "Fourteen Hours Earlier" flashed across my screen, I realized that this week's PP was probably going to do something very similar and involve Grey's at the very last minute. Thus, I refuse to watch it. I already blogged about how I gave up watching that show. I don't care how much you try to tie Addison back into Grey's; if she comes with that super-sexed, super-annoying, super-smarmy lot from L.A., I'm not watching until I have to. For now, I'm going to try to skip the PP part of the crossover and try to stick solely to Grey's. It'll probably be a bit like trying to eat vegetable soup and picking out everything but the carrots but still, I'll try it.

Yet tonight episode of Grey's had some good moments. I'm so relieved that Christina and Meredith are friends again. I'm loving that Meredith is treating Lexie almost like a sister rather than an abhorred stranger. I'm enjoying that Christina is giving Dr. Hunt a chance, even if he is a little spazzo and very, very much Dr. McPTSD at the moment. I like that Derek is going to propose although I hate that the uber-dramatic PP/Grey's crossover "event" is getting in the way.

The things I'm not sure about is Callie and Arizona, the 'new' pediatrician. See, I though Callie wasn't sure she WAS gay. I thought Callie had decided she would never be gay in the way that Erica Hahn realized she was. I thought Erica Hahn left the show because ABC decided that the gay relationship was too much. Now, suddenly, Callie is gay. And she has a new love interest. I'm not sure where this is coming from. I'm not against gay relationships and actually, I quite like Arizona. I'm just confused, like I'm sure so many other viewers are as to why Erica got left behind, inexplicably and permanently in the allegorical parking lot of Seattle Grace and now, suddenly, it's ok for Callie to keep having flings with other women. I actually liked Hahn. I thought she was growing as a character but...whatever. I'll follow this storyline for now and hope that it grows and becomes something and isn't another excuse for Callie to be bitter and hurt by the cards that Shonda Rhimes deals her.

I'm also not sure about Bailey's newfound aptitude for pediatric surgery. I think that's a bad idea. Yes, she's good with kids but she gets WAY too emotionally involved and that's dangerous. She became much less Bailey and far more Izzie during the storyline with Jackson, the kid who was dying for the past three weeks. I don't like seeing Bailey falter and become unsure; I like my Bailey confident and secure. I think she should stick with General Surgery. It suits her.

And then there's Izzie. Now that Denny's 'gone', I thought she'd be better. Instead, she wastes hundreds, even thousands, of dollars having the interns run tests on her under the guise that she's teaching them because she knows she's sick but doesn't want to admit it. Once more, Izzie proves to be a financial drain on Seattle Grace and a drain on my patience.

Of course, she did get a lot more screen time than George who made a cameo this week. Yes, readers, George O'Malley appeared long enough to provoke our thought processes to respond: "Oh, hey, I forgot he worked here" and then he vanished. I like George. My advice to the Grey's powers-that-be, save George, lose Izzie. Not that they'll listen but I live in hope.

So, next week it looks like Addison's back, bringing her cronies from L.A. I know they're all friends with Derek so it'll probably make sense. I even think bringing Addie back to Seattle Grace makes sense. I just wish that would mean that her stint in Private Practice is over and she's realized that she belongs in the far more interesting world of Grey's Anatomy. However, I'll watch, hoping that Grey's will continue to make a come back into the world of good TV and finally leave behind the dangers of shark-jumping.

Because when Grey's is good, it is very, very good. It makes you count down until the next episode. It makes you compare people you know to characters on the show. It makes you smile when you remember quirky moments, sad when you recall the poignancy that stellar storylines can give you.

Yet when it's bad, it's scary. And when it's bad, it brings back Denny. And if he comes back, he'll probably tell Izzie: "I'm here for you". And we all know how Captain Monkeypants feels about that. It inspires anger and a tightly-gripped remote control. I've already worn off the writing below the buttons, don't make me break it too.

But this week had no Denny. And no Denny is good.

I live in hope.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ding Dong, the Denny is Dead (again!)

I think he's gone.

I think Denny might actually be gone.

I think I'm ecstatic.

Of course, it took a little while and a lot of annoying Denny/Izzy moments tonight to make that happen but in the end, it's worth it. Denny vanished with a quiet whooshing sound. I hope he stays gone. Seriously, if he pops up again, it's time to call an exorcist on Seattle Grace.

I won't say he wasn't annoying tonight. In fact, tonight was his most annoying episode. In what I suspect was supposed to be heartfelt sorrow that he knew it was time to tell Izzy she might, in fact, be dying, it turned out to be slightly vapid whining. And if he said "I'm here for you" one more time, I was about to throw the remote at the TV. WE GOT IT. WE KNOW. SHE'S SUPPOSED TO DIE. HE CAME TO HELP HER. SHUT UP, DENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uh, sorry, Denny irritated me more tonight than ever. I really hope he's gone. And, in honour of the fact that he might. truly. be. gone. this. time- I'm going to stop talking about Drippy Dead Denny now.

Aside from the Denny plot, I think the last three episode's of Grey's were some of the best in a long time. Eric Stoltz as serial killer, William, was fantastic. I love the polarizing effect he had on the staff. I love that Meredith could see why it was a waste of a perfectly good set of organs to keep him alive just so he could die a few days later. I love that although Derek and Christina opposed her, in the end, it didn't matter.

(Since I liked the plot so much, I won't point out the irritating fact that saving the serial killer's life probably cost a huge amount of money, not just in salaries but in equipment, time etc. I won't point out that even when the economy is good, there are people who can't afford to go to the doctor to treat an illness even when they're decent, honest people. And by not pointing that out, I also won't point out that since the serial killer was going to die anyway, essentially, Seattle Grace spent a huge amount of medical resources that could have saved the life and health of several others who weren't going to die a couple of days later anyway.)

Since it's TV, I'm suspending disbelief. I have to. It's Grey's and while there were moments I hated (DENNY!), there were almost those beautiful, poignant moments that make the show great. Those are the moments like Bailey's efforts to not cry in front of the chief even though she got too emotionally involved with her patient and wants nothing more than to sob and cry because he's going to be ok. Moments like Meredith's bravery and humanity in showing William compassion by being there as he was killed by lethal injection and her subsequent breakdown afterwards. Moments like Derek not understanding his girlfriend but loving her enough to know that sometimes a friend is what you need, not a boyfriend. And, finally, the moment where Christina sits next to Meredith and we know that even though we can't hear them, their friendship is renewed, that their quarrel is over.

This is why I love Grey's. It's farfetched and soap opera-esque but it still finds our emotional cores and burrows deep, forcing us to care, forcing us to want to know what happens next.

And yes, I know Lexie broke Mark Sloane's penis and that she now has a friend in Sadie but that was merely for comic relief, a way to break up the intensity of watching a little boy die while a serial killer gets to live.

It's episodes like these that make me glad I'm staying with the show. I'm sure in the weeks to come, I'll find something annoying but, at the very least, I think, finally, Denny is gone. Ding Dong, the Denny is (finally) dead!

Does that mean Izzie is dying? Now that, I could get behind. We shall have to wait and see.