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.