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.

Friday, January 16, 2009

There is NO Denny, There is NO Denny (Say it with me now)

I've figured out how to make Grey's Anatomy good again. I simply ignore all contact and conversation between Izzie and Denny. It's that simple. It's actually getting easier each week; I think I've mysteriously trained my brain to ignore it and so tuning them out is rather simple.

That being said, I have to confess: I liked Grey's this week. Seriously.

Ignoring the Izzie breaking up with Dead Denny storyline (although, seriously, didn't you for just one moment wish, at the end of the episode, that Alex could see Denny too so that maybe he'd punch his lights out and send him back from whence he came?) I have to say, I'm liking the drama of the serial killer played by Eric Stoltz. I can't remember the serial killer's name so I'm just going to call him SK for now, ok?

Yes, it's farfetched and overly dramatic but it's working for me. I love that Meredith is continuing her journey from being dark and twisty to being a multifacited individual who can seperate herself from her boyfriend's wants and needs. I love that she's so torn about doing a kind thing for SK and knowing that he probably doesn't deserve it. I think that's a natural reaction; I mean, honestly, isn't wanting a serial killer to die still wanting to take a life, no matter how much the killer deserves it? That's a heavy issue and I'm not going to start a debate about the death penalty. Yet I think SK was right when he told Derek that they were two sides of the same coin. SK wanted to take the victim's life because it made him feel better, regardless of how twisted that is. He took his victim's freedom of choice away. Derek wants to save SK's life so that he can die by capital punishment, taking away SK's freedom of choice. It's different...but it's not.

I like that the show is making me think. What would I do? Would I be compassionate, like Meredith, treating SK like he's any patient or would I be like Derek, bitter and slightly self-righteous because of a personal tragedy that occured because of someone like SK?

I don't like that Sadie is trying to be sympathetic. She's going away though, thank goodness, according to several TV spoiler sites. Thank goodness; maybe we can get Meredith and Christina back on track.

Because, let's face it, they need each other. Tonight, Meredith had the terrifying task of meeting Derek's mother, even though she's 'not good with parents'. Christina got asked out on a date by Dr. Hunt. Normally, there would be scenes of angsty discussion where they snarkily exchange information that shows the deep bond that holds their friendship together. Instead, they had to turn to Izzie, which is NEVER a good idea. Izzie has terrible judgment. She falls in love with dying patients, cuts their LVAD wires, saves a deer in the parking lot instead of being inside the hospital, she breaks up marriages and declares herself to be in love with George when the only chemistry they really have is the momentum of the wrongness of their being together. Now she has Alex hooked, poor, emotionally stunted Alex who is trying harder than he's ever tried to be right for Izzie. She's trying, I'll give her that. She tried to kick Denny to the curb but he didn't go.

Yet she is no substitute as a friend for Christina or Meredith. Izzie is too perky, too sunshiny to be helpful to Meredith and too fluffy to help with Christina's romantic issues. Meredith and Christina need each other and I'm hoping that they realize that sooner than later because it's hard to watch them skate around one another, the tension so thick it's visible.

So, overall, it was a good episode, ignoring that Dead Denny stuff. I can't wait until next week, which is definitely a forgotten feeling with Grey's as of late. I want to see if SK really does save the life of little Jackson, whether even a serial killer can find redemption by saving a life. We'll have to see, I suppose.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The "House" Drinking Game

It's time for me to pick on House. Let me say upfront, I love Hugh Laurie. Being British, I appreciated him long before he became Gregory House; I particularly love him in his small, surly-but-kind role in Sense and Sensibility.

However, I've been watching House for a number of years now. I had the opportunity to catch a marathon on cable over the holidays. During this marathon, I was watching one episode and I remember glancing at the clock and seeing it was 25 minutes into the episode. Dr. House and his team of useless twits were trying to diagnose a difficult disease and throwing out guesses. I thought, "Well, we know they're wrong. We still have 25 minutes before House has his weekly epiphany". Then, at exactly 50 minutes into the episode, presto! House figures it out.

It led me to realize that while I enjoy Dr. House, the show is horribly predictable. I won't go into detail about how I used to think Dr. House was an arsehole but he had some redeeming qualities but, lately, he's just a miserable man with few redeeming qualities. He's mean, cruel and selfish. Not much is new there, I know but there are fewer and fewer moments where I care about him anyway.

Enough of that. Since my epiphany over the break, I decided to try a House drinking game. So, without further ado, here it is:

Take a sip:

  • When House says the patient of the week is lying.
  • When House insults Foreman
  • When House says something inappropriate about Cuddy's breasts
  • When House bursts into Wilson's office to talk about Cuddy
  • Take a bonus sip when House uses metaphors to talk about his relationship with Cuddy
  • When House calls Dr. Kutner "Kumar"
  • When House mocks 13 for having Huntington's Disease
  • When House makes a racial slur to anyone
  • When House does something illegal
  • When any character breaks into a patient’s house
Diagnoses/medical conditions/treatment:
  • When any of the doctors suspect the patient of the week is on drugs and a tox screen is ordered
  • When the diagnosis is suggested to be any of the following;

    • Sarcoidosis
    • Lupus
    • Legionnaire's disease
    • Allergy to _____(fill in the blank)
    • Pancreatitis (chronic or otherwise)
    • Cushing's/Kawasaki's/Parkinson's disease
    • Poisoning (any type)
    • Lymphoma
    • Cancer of whatever organ just bled/exploded/failed
    • Toxoplasmosis
    • Tuleremia

  • When any patient starts bleeding from an unexpected place
  • When they give a patient steroids
  • When a patient needs chemotherapy/radiation even though they might not have cancer
  • When a patient suddenly loses one of their senses (sight, vision, etc)


  • When "13" gets the diagnosis wrong
  • When Foreman acts self-righteous and then realizes he's just like House
  • When Chase appears on the screen for more than 2 minutes
  • When Cuddy scolds House for going against her orders
  • When House gets his ephiphany re: the diagnosis in the last ten minutes of the episode
  • When Cameron gets emotionally involved with a patient
  • When Taub says something really mean but is dead-on in his accuracy

Take a big drink:

  • When Wilson stands up to House and House actually listens
  • When bad things happen during an MRI
  • When a patient actually has one of the diseases listed above
  • When a patient’s kidneys or liver fails
  • When a patient has a cardiac incident and is saved at the last moment
  • When House takes a vicodin, someone comments and he offers a smart remark
  • When House eats someone else’s food or makes them buy him lunch

Drink the entire thing:

  • If someone other than House makes the correct diagnosis
  • When the patient isn’t actually lying about anything
  • When House plays the piano because he’s sad and alone
  • When a prostitute is present in the episode
  • When Cuddy wears something that doesn’t show off her breasts
  • When House says something genuinely nice to someone and means it
  • When Wilson has a patient of his own

So, there it is for now. Feel free to modify it any way you like or make up your own rules. I just really wanted to see how many predictable things there were in an episode. I know this isn't the only game out there either. Happy drinking!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dancing it Out with Grey's Anatomy

I haven't done a TV blog for a while. It's hard in the holiday season- mostly because shows are all in repeats and there's not much to complain about. One of these days, I'm going to do a House drinking game; I need to consult a friend on that but it's not exactly going to be hard. I watched a couple of House marathons over the break and, let me tell you, that show, WAY boring and predictable.

Today though, I'm going to do a brief blog about Grey's Anatomy. When I started this blog, I didn't mean for it to turn into all Grey's, all the time. Except that's what it seems to be. That may be because despite it's flaws and terribly plot twists this season, it's still my favourite show. Grey's is my security blanket, my way to lose an hour, guilt-free, glass of wine in hand on a Thursday night. It's the perfect night for it: Close enough to the weekend that I can relax but still a workday so I'm still home.

Tonight, I have to say, I enjoyed the show. I still don't enjoy the fact that Denny's STILL around. I already posted about that though, a couple of times. I'm fed up with Jeffrey Dean Morgan now. I think the writer's might be too- he's been reduced to a wisecracking shadow- a blip on the radar of the show. I'm hoping that means he's on his way out, even if he takes Izzie with him. I liked him when he was a live character and I'm sure the writers have the best of intentions now but, honestly, I no longer care about him. I can't even go back to my DVD's and view him the same way- that's a bad thing to do to a formerly beloved character. Sorry, Shonda and co. but I now, officially, hate Denny.

I know there are people that think Denny shouldn't have died in the first place; I disagree with those people. His death was poignant. The "Chasing Cars" montage in which the interns gather around Izzie was one of the most powerful moments on the show. As a writer, I know that sometimes you have to kill a character to make their life mean something. That's what Denny used to be for me.

Moving on from Denny, I'm still bitterly disappointed that Meredith and Christina aren't speaking. I've mentioned that they were my favourite relationship on the show. I know that, in real life, friend's fight. Yet I think it's time someone gave a little. I can't stand to see them not speaking. Mostly, I can't stand to see Sadie being the voice of wisdom. Actually, I just can't stand Sadie.

Yet tonight did have some redeeming moments for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'm intrigued by Dr. Hunt's ability to summarize the world around him yet do little about it. He's astute but he's not doing much about those observations. He's proved he's a doer- our very first introduction to him had him stapling up his own injuries. So why can't he be the one to bash Meredith and Christina's heads together?

Yes...wishful thinking, I know. I will say that Derek redeemed himself tonight. I was a little confused by his coldness towards the death row inmate. Yet his explanation to Meredith was honest, short and to the point. I love the evolution of Meredith and Derek as a couple. They really have grown and it's a wonderful thing.

My favourite moment though was Derek's dancing. I'm a sucker for a bad dancing sequence. One of my favourite TV moments ever is the episode of Angel in season 1 in which Angel goes to a party, acts like a wallflower and imagines what would happen if he danced. It's pure comedy when you see how bad his dancing really is. I laugh aloud every time I see it.

Derek's dancing tonight was like that. But it was wonderful because he didn't care. He did it for Meredith because her usual 'dance it out' partner- Christina- wasn't there with her. It was the best moment on the show in months.

So I'm not giving up on Grey's. I can't. I thought that the break between the last episode in December and this new one would make me realize I didn't like the show anymore. It didn't. Instead, it made me realize that like a true friend, I have to give it a chance. I have to be willing to forgive. That's what I expect Meredith and Christina to do for one another so it's only fair I try the same outlook.

It doesn't mean I'm forgiving the Denny stuff but I'm trying. Don't let me down, Shonda and co. Please.