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.