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View Full Version : The inexplicable popularity of Grey's Anatomy



TerzaRima
04-25-2008, 10:26 PM
Okay, I do realize I'm a late adapter to a lot of pop culture trends. I have just watched a few episodes of this one at the urging of one of my friends, who thinks it's the best thing since Homicide, and I have to conclude: I don't get the love.

Real physicians don't act or speak in anything remotely approaching this fashion. Even some of the intended funny conceits, like the contest to see which resident could do the most surgeries, are so far off the mark as to seem positively bizarre. Also, the near constant preoccupation with sex the characters have is unrealistic. Real residents are too tired and unwashed to approach that level of libido, and that's all I'll say about that.

The main character--Meredith?--needs a sandwich, and also a good slapping. Her narration is clearly intended to act as the show's conscience, but it just comes off as unbearably whiny. "Choose me. Love me." Yecccch. I know her romances supply most of the plot points of this show, but it's hard to care about whether she winds up with McDreamy or McSteamy when the reasons for their attraction to her are so obscure.

On the positive side, the music--both that composed for the show and the soundtrack--is inspired, both in itself and the way it is paired with the action.

Overall, though: Two thumbs down. Now to find that DVD of Homicide.

kristie911
04-25-2008, 10:31 PM
Don't know...but I love it. It's like TV crack for me. I can't get enough. :)

CDarklock
04-25-2008, 10:32 PM
Okay, I do realize I'm a late adapter to a lot of pop culture trends. I have just watched a few episodes of this one at the urging of one of my friends, who thinks it's the best thing since Homicide, and I have to conclude: I don't get the love.

The first couple seasons were great. Then it turned into something that would be better titled "orgy in the ER", and I lost interest; I simply didn't care about the characters anymore. Everyone had cheated on everyone else, and it just wasn't even remotely sensible.

Once George and Izzy had their drunken moment, the show completely jumped the shark for me. I liked George, I liked Callie, I was glad they got married, and they had very much become the one saving grace of the show. I was even tentatively willing to accept Callie's ill-advised moment of weakness with Mark, since they weren't married when it happened. But once George and Izzy "went there", as far as I was concerned, the show simply died.

donroc
04-25-2008, 10:36 PM
Ever since Dr. Kildaire on film and TV, series clones have continued to have high ratings. Other films such as NOT AS A STRANGER and THE YOUNG DOCTORS were popular in the 1950s and 60s before Ben Casey, St. Elswhere, ER, and now HOUSE and the like.

They all fill a primal need, I suppose.

althrasher
04-25-2008, 10:36 PM
Psshaw, who cares about accuracy? You could probably come up with a similar slam of my favorite TV show (House) but I don't care. It's entertainment, not insight into the hospital world.

Claudia Gray
04-25-2008, 10:45 PM
Reality is not the standard by which fiction is judged. A show can be gritty, realistic and brilliant ("The Wire"), or it can be stylized, fantastical and brilliant ("Pushing Daisies").

I don't watch "Grey's Anatomy" any longer -- I think it's gone downhill -- but I enjoyed the first couple of seasons greatly. At its best, the show featured strongly written and acted characters (with a very welcome emphasis on diversity) and a good mixture of humor and drama. It's a soap opera, so if you get cooties from scenes of people kissing, yeah, it's not going to be your bag. But GA's popularity is anything but inexplicable.

SPMiller
04-25-2008, 10:48 PM
My favorite thing about it (and the only thing I like) is that they spelled it with an E.

House may be blatantly formulaic, but if you can get over that, at least it's somewhat entertaining.

TerzaRima
04-25-2008, 10:49 PM
Maybe what I'm objecting to is the writing, then. I realize that a TV show has to take creative license, but when it takes as much as GA does, it had better be done with a lot of panache.

caromora
04-25-2008, 11:58 PM
I liked the first season, but only made it through about two episodes of the second before I gave up. Every single character has become almost unbearably unlikeable. :(

pconsidine
04-26-2008, 12:05 AM
I think I still watch out of habit (and misplaced loyalty to someone who works on the show) than anything, but people tuning in now absolutely won't understand what drew people to it when it first started. For one thing, when it premiered, it was one of the few non-procedural shows on TV (House, all the CSIs and all the Law and Orders are procedurals). And if you consider that ER (its closest kin) had been on for 10 years by then, there was clearly an opportunity to fill a need.

Unfortunately, I truly hate the turn the stories have taken lately and think George and Izzie's tryst to be one of the worst betrayals of character (a mortal sin in television writing) I've ever seen. But I choose to be hopeful that what was once good can find its way back.

ColoradoGuy
04-26-2008, 12:06 AM
I dunno--my residency environment (circa 1976-8) was pretty steamy at times. But maybe pediatricians are softies. And doc shows have never been about what really happens--who wants to watch that?

maestrowork
04-26-2008, 12:06 AM
The soundtrack is catchy, but other than that, no. The only medical show I watch now is Dr. G - Medical Examiner. Oh, and Scrubs.

Daimeera
04-26-2008, 02:19 AM
I adored Grey's until Meredith died, but didn't die, and saw her mother and Denny and former patients. That killed it for me. I didn't enjoy it any longer, and I stopped watching shortly thereafter. Of course, I never liked Meredith or Derek, so the fact that it continued to focus on them didn't help . . .

ChaosTitan
04-26-2008, 02:48 AM
Reality is not the standard by which fiction is judged. A show can be gritty, realistic and brilliant ("The Wire"), or it can be stylized, fantastical and brilliant ("Pushing Daisies").


AMEN.

Grey's Anatomy is my guilty pleasure. Sure, some of the storylines are ridiculous. The show's creator has admitted the Izzy/George thing was a mistake. But you know? It isn't Dr. Kildaire. It isn't St. Elsewhere. It isn't ER. It's a soap opera.

It hit a snag this past year, but it's getting better. I'm in it for the long haul (and not just because I get weekly doses of Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane :D ).

Silver King
04-26-2008, 03:05 AM
Despite the spelling, at first I thought the discussion would be about this (http://www.bartleby.com/107/) lovely volume. It goes to show how out of touch I am, as I haven't watched commercial television in over twenty years. Well, except for a select few sporting events.

It sounds like this show is far removed from the Marcus Welby, M.D. that I grew up with.

TerzaRima
04-26-2008, 03:08 AM
what really happens--who wants to watch that?


Hee. "Our next episode of Must See TV: What's the left shift and the CRP? Do we add more potassium to the TPN?"

I mean, how can you resist?


Scrubs is my guilty pleasure. It's so over the top goofy, and yet it somehow gets right some of the things about medical training--both the exhilaration of learning to care for patients, and the greenness and ignorance that can turn the whole time into something resembling a telethon for low self-esteem. And its soundtrack is also really well chosen.

DonnaDuck
04-26-2008, 05:09 AM
Yeah, never even watched an episode. I couldn't even tell you Dempsey's character's name let alone any kind of plot. I've never seen Desperate Housewives either. I watch House by buying the DVDs and I'll soon be doing that with Bones. Other than that it's Rescue Me (via DVD) and HBO's Rome (via DVD). I need to watch TV on my time and since I don't have TiVo, I do it like this. Besides, isn't GA the new generation ER?

Smiling Ted
04-26-2008, 05:38 AM
I tried to watch it.
Threw up in my mouth a little.
There's just some shows - I call 'em "The Cutesies" - that give me hives.

Allie McBeal
Felicity
Grey's Anatomy
add your show here....

BenPanced
04-26-2008, 07:15 AM
Yeah, never even watched an episode. I couldn't even tell you Dempsey's character's name let alone any kind of plot. I've never seen Desperate Housewives either. I watch House by buying the DVDs and I'll soon be doing that with Bones. Other than that it's Rescue Me (via DVD) and HBO's Rome (via DVD). I need to watch TV on my time and since I don't have TiVo, I do it like this. Besides, isn't GA the new generation ER?
I haven't watched GA, either. I'm really not interested in the latest crop of nighttime soap operas (actually, I watched Desperate Housewives religiously, never missing an episode, until it caught a severe case of teh stoopidz at the beginning of this season and I had to quit about four episodes in).

DonnaDuck
04-26-2008, 07:20 PM
I haven't watched GA, either. I'm really not interested in the latest crop of nighttime soap operas (actually, I watched Desperate Housewives religiously, never missing an episode, until it caught a severe case of teh stoopidz at the beginning of this season and I had to quit about four episodes in).

I actually tried watching Moonlight because I heart vampires but when I realized that a) he's a bleeding heart and b) they ganked the sunglasses concept from a RayBan commercial, I just couldn't get into it. I catch it if it's in the background but that's it. He guy's hot but I'm not wasting an hour of my time on that show. I do like Cold Cases (love the ES Posthumus song) but not enough to catch up via DVD.

That same thing happened with me and Buffy. I loved the show when it first came out (I was an early teen, give me a break) but then it broached into WTF land and I couldn't watch it anymore. I never saw any of the Willow lesbian stuff or the Angel/Cordelia mess or the Buffy/Spike shit. I'd say the first 2 or 3 seasons was good, up until Angel went nasty, pretty much.

But I have to say, any show with actual writing is a step ahead of reality TV in my book, no matter how bad it is. At least it requires an iota of thought process to create.

EriRae
04-26-2008, 08:13 PM
I can't get into GA either. I tried and found it a complete waste of my time. Life is too short. I was going to start buying series on DVD, but I haven't even started watching Ugly Betty (which I have watched, and I love). I never have enough time! Stupid ms won't write itself...anyone have a solution?

maestrowork
04-26-2008, 08:46 PM
I feel so out of touch. Maybe I should watch more TV.

Not.

Storm Dream
04-26-2008, 09:55 PM
I still watch it.

Yeah, it's gone downhill since the first couple of seasons. Meredith is actually finally on the improve; for me, things went sour after Izzie went bonkers over the whole Denny thing. Couldn't stomach it. Izzie/George, forget it.

It seems like things are starting to come back up, but about the only character who's ever been totally consistent is Karev. Oh, and Bailey and the Chief; they're awesome.


Seasons 1 & 2 were great, though. I think people who start watching it now will just see a giant soap opera.

Danger Jane
04-26-2008, 10:59 PM
I tried to watch like one episode...Mystery Diagnosis just happens to entertain me a WHOLE lot more...I get a kick out of the episodes where I figure out their problem three years before the doctors did. And, er, Diagnosis X, Diagnosis: Unknown, Medical Incredible, and the occasional episode of Untold Stories of the ER.

Okay, so I'm a sucker for medical shows. So what.

Silver King
04-27-2008, 01:15 AM
This thread enjoyed a short run in Office Party, but I think the folks in Movies and TV may also want to weigh in with their thoughts.

ChaosTitan
04-27-2008, 01:19 AM
Thanks, Dino. :)

Silver King
04-27-2008, 01:32 AM
Thanks, Dino. :)
My pleasure.