Friday, February 23, 2007

OK. Let’s Get This Over With.

Is it an understatement to say the finale of the three-episode Grey’s Anatomy “event” fell short of expectations? Umm… after the hour-long show crawled on for what felt like half my life, I sat on my couch dumbfounded, certain that I had just been hit in the head with a baseball bat. It was, in fact, the same bat that I wanted to use to destroy my television after 45 minutes of watching the doctors not give up on Meredith.

Just call time of death and let’s move on. For the love of....

Here’s my problem, with this episode and the show in general. Meredith’s character does not resonate with most females… most females that I know anyway. I suppose it’s difficult for a television show to pull off the neurotic female character that is charmingly eccentric, tortured to a believable degree, and yet relatable (characters such as Carrie Bradshaw, Buffy Summers, and Ally McBeal come to mind). Meredith is neurotic. Meredith is tortured. Meredith is not relatable. I don’t identify with Meredith. If you do, you might want talk to someone 'cause she is one profoundly sad, messed up chick (I say this with love, readers). In fact, in a non-scientific poll of people I’ve talked to about Grey’s, she’s most often the least favorite character.

However… a conundrum. The show itself does an incredible job of portraying raw human emotion—pain, sadness, loss—with juicy storylines and sexual tension you can cut with a butter knife and melt in your mouth (ummm... tasty). So like many other dedicated fans, I put up with the title character and attach myself and my emotions to the other interns, to Addison, Callie, the Chief, McDreamy, Dr. Burke, and Miranda, their trials and tribulations, and the memorable patients they treat. And I cry... nearly every episode is a release, a guilty pleasure of emotional outpouring both undeserved and completely unnecessary. And that is why I love the show.

Meredith drowning? Meredith laying on the operating table, the doctors trying desperately to bring her back from what was apparently some kind of purgatory where she could decide for herself whether she would live or die? Really didn’t evoke all that much feeling. In fact, like I said before…

Just call time of death and let’s move on.

At the end of the day, we all knew Meredith would make it. Sure, we speculated… but if it had come down to putting money on the table, all bets would have been on her pulling through. The show must go on, right? Dragging out the entire episode to try to convince us otherwise merely did the opposite. We’re not stupid. We saw it coming, but we were willing to play along with it for a little while… not for three-quarters of the show while Meredith figured out why she gave up on life with her new bffs from beyond. No one cares about Meredith giving up! We all gave up on Meredith’s sad little girl story long ago. And sure, maybe the whole mother-daughter post-mortem moment provided a mild plot twist and much needed closure to the episode, but someone should have told Meredith to get over her mommy issues a long time ago (umm… Christina, this one’s on you).

At this point, I am reassessing my commitment to the show. I may have to stop watching. OK… I’m not going to stop watching… yet. But, Grey’s, you’re on probation.


@ said...

thank you, lou. beacause of this blog, i finally understand my major problem with this show (besides the fact that it's an hour of my life i can't get back.) Meredith, aka skinny bitch, is tortured and sad? really? i'm to believe this? because i really don't buy it. instead of feeling sympathetic for her, i actually just want to roll my eyes at her.... and every week, i do roll my eyes, as i realize this was an hour of my life i will never get back.

Lou said...

Like I just said to you in person—though I love to communicate with you via blog as well—you can't be as screwed up as Meredith and be a doctor (a surgeon no less). It's just not believable.

Lou said...

Now if Meredith was a hooker... we'd understand why she's such a mess and we wouldn’t feel compelled to relate. I sure don't want to relate to a hooker... unless it's one of those really high-priced call girls.

@ said...

other more believable professions:
-cynical writer
-social worker
-actually, any occupation in the mental health field, because all those people just want to figure themselves out

Lou's Sister said...

I could not disagree with you more. I realize that most people did not enjoy the last three episodes, particularly last night’s, but I thought it was amazing. Meredith is not my favorite character on Grey’s, and I can’t completely identify with her, but when I see Meredith I see someone that has been through the ringer, so much that she basically never really talks about her problems, at least her real problems. She holds it in. And when her mother told her she was ordinary and then when Meredith yelled at her and cried and blamed her for being the reason she’s ordinary, that was probably the first time I saw real emotion from her. She actually became human to me. And I liked her better for it. It was like her breaking point. And even though that happened in the episode before the saga began, it obviously tied it together. Here’s what I liked about the 3-part saga, particularly last night:
1.Meredith – Symbolism of the drowning. The breakdown she had in front of Denny.
2.McDreamy – Every time he spoke I cried. Last night might have been his best performance of the entire series.
3.McDreamy – Yelling at Ellis Grey. He basically saved Meredith’s life.
4.Denny – Loved that they brought him back. Loved his speech about feeling Izzy sometimes and then at the very end they ran into each other and she felt it too.
5.Izzy/Callie – Fantastic. Way to alienate all of your friends Izzy.
6.Miranda – Fantastic performance.
7.Ellis Grey – Finally dying. Her interaction with Meredith in the afterlife. Meredith knowing she died before McDreamy said anything.
8.McSteamy/McDreamy interaction.
9.Addison and McDreamy interaction.
10.Christina – Loved how they revealed she watched her dad bleed to death when she was nine and that’s part of the reason she can’t deal with death of loved ones. Loved how she finally got over it and went into the room with Meredith after they gave up and she shouted “TRY AGAIN!” Also loved how she told Meredith she was the only person she wanted to tell about her engagement to Burke.

Hey, I get it –everyone knew Meredith wouldn’t die and it’s “annoying” they stretched that out for three weeks. But come on, you have to take it for what it’s worth. And the last three weeks were about character development. At least they didn’t pull a Sopranos and have Meredith stuck in a coma for the rest of the season. That’s reason enough to like it.

Lou said...

Wow Sar, quite the response. I agree with you on McDreamy, Callie and Izzy, the reveal about Christina's past, and Ellis finally kicking the bucket. I can't imagine that anyone wanted her around any longer... that story was parasitic to the show… it sucked from other, better plotlines. But, it’s not about the show dragging out the death scene even though the viewers knew that Meredith ultimately wouldn’t die… it’s about the lack of emotion I have for her character. Her vulnerability just doesn’t translate to tears for me. I don’t sympathize with Meredith; I find her to be pathetic to a fault. The whole drowning theme felt too played… Meredith drowning in her own self-loathing… Meredith almost drowning in the bathtub… her real drowning in the water… the scene with Denny. Perhaps it is Ellis’ character that really is to blame. Maybe Ellis’ anger and resentment towards her daughter just didn’t seem believable? What we do know is that Meredith gave up on life because of her mom; we all got it and I think I just got over it way faster than the show did. It was overkill. My fear is that the show turns into an ER… every week is a new must-see medical catastrophe, where one of the characters is in eminent danger. They can’t keep killing or almost killing off the characters, people will grow tired of that.

Kendra said...

So I realize the show is called Grey's Anatomy - but I think it should be called McSteamy's Abs. He is hot. I will continue watching the show just in case he takes his shirt off again.