Sunday, November 25, 2007

Grey's Monotony



What the hell has happened to "Grey's Anatomy"? There has been ONE decent episode this season, and at the moment I can't even remember it. Other than that, every episode has been as exciting as watching (oil-based) paint dry. The writers appear to have suffered from character-amnesia, serving up a bawling Miranda Bailey (more than once), and suddenly chemistry-free Izzy and George (a transparent attempt to appease the squealing fan base who hate their pairing). The Mer-Der storyline has been milked for all it's worth, but the writers are still pulling the teats. And please... don't let Ellen Pompeo dance. Ever again.

Things that made the first two seasons so compelling are gone: Meredith's mom, Izzy's illegitimate daughter, fascinating patient stories that tied in with the theme... beautifully, seamlessly, but not obviously. What we're left with is obvious. Blech.

The absence of Kate Walsh is unfortunate as well. The only interesting characters left are Alex and the new cardio-thoracic surgeon who replaced Burke. But then again, there is a blank-slate backstory for her. We're not sitting there saying "Wait.. she would never do THAT."

What killed this show? Too many characters? Too many writers clamoring for a chance to work for Shonda? (I don't know...have you ever listened to the Shonda/Betsy Beers podcast? I couldn't listen to those two for more than 30 seconds or my ears would bleed.) Or maybe it was the over-exposure of the actors after all the Isaiah Washington hoopla... it's hard not to look at them in that context. It's why movies with unknown actors are sometimes easier to watch...you're not seeing the person who was just splashed all over Page Six. You're seeing the character.

Oh, I'll keep watching. But I'm less likely to sit glued to the tube at 9pm on Thursdays and more likely to record it and save it for the TV wasteland that is Friday night.

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If you haven't seen "Man Men" on AMC, don't download it illegally and watch the entire season in one day, because that would be wrong.

If you did that, which you shouldn't, you'd be riveted from the Saul Bass-style opening credits (think James Bond) to the spot-on art direction, costumes and mind set of the year 1960 in which the show is set. The misogynists in the workplace, the catty secretary in the sheath dress, the torment of the original desperate housewives, and the stifling limitations of the pre-feminist gender pigeonholes (for both genders)... it's all there.

Sometimes the period-piece writing can be over-the-top in the "things were different then" category. (Two children are running through the house, one with a plastic dry cleaning bag over her entire body, pretending to be a spaceman. Mom shouts "Sally! If I find my dry cleaning all over the bed you'll be in big trouble!")

Catch it on DVD when it comes out (in January, I think). If you're a baby boomer, you'll really enjoy the trip down memory lane and be equally glad to return to 2007.

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