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.