Holy bleeding christ, where to start.
Last winter, when my grandparents were dying left and right and i was in the middle of a job transition, I got the Fever Plague from Hell and spent four days at home on the couch. I was too sick to read, too sick to drink (EVEN SCREWDRIVERS, which is insane), and all i could do was watch TV. I spent one day watching Angels in America, and the rest of my sick time watching as much Grey’s Anatomy as I could stuff past my eyelids.
I loved the show instantly – it reminded me of the best of what I once thought working could be: camaraderie, debauchery, constant drama and intellectual stimulation. I identified with all of the characters (although I found Meredith whiny and unpleasant to look at – like a full-grown gollum with hair) and, blame it on my fever, I thought that Christina Yang was the smarter asian twin I never had. The last episode of season two had me sobbing – SOBBING – on the living room floor, wrapped in a blanket with a glass of merlot in my hand. Those three days watching Grey’s on repeat might have been the highlight of the whole winter, as far as I’m concerned.
I spent a long ten months waiting for season three on DVD, and on September 11, the day of its release, I happened to be home sick again. By some stroke of luck, Blockbuster had one disc left on the shelf, and that disc was disc one. I went home, curled up, and hit “play all”.
The first disc was fine. the third disc slid downhill a touch. by the fifth disc, i had doubts about the future of the series, and by disc seven i had surrendered my faith in humankind.
Are we all familiar with the phrase “jump the shark”? It represents a point in a TV series when the plot becomes so ridiculous that it can never recover. It was coined during an episode of Happy Days where whats-his-name with the car donned water skis and literally JUMPED A SHARK. Dumb. Stupid. Over-the-top. Kind of like season 3 episode 2, where a a patient was rushed into the OR with a tree through his chest. The title? “I Am A Tree”. Or, better yet, episode 15, featuring an endless, poorly-constructed CG shot of a ferryboat in flames. The only thing worse than the CG are the drawn-out “Dramatic Reaction Shots” aped by the cast we’ve come to know and love. Episode 17 is essentially one long, lame dream sequence, and by the end of it I was like, jesus, just kill the girl off already. She’s ugly. It’s time. But the true shark-jumping moment came in the opening shots of episode 22: Addison Shepherd in a little red cabrio en route to LA. “Painful” doesn’t BEGIN to describe the experience of watching a show with such promise tank so completely.
Remember “Saved By The Bell: The College Years”? No? BECAUSE NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE HIGH SCHOOL KIDS AFTER GRADUATION. I mean, seriously, by the time “college years” aired, they were all at least 27 and had been in high school for about 12 seasons. It’s not about reality, it’s about staying with your theme. I’ll watch Grey’s season 4, but now that they’re not interns, and now that there’s a mini-meredith, and now that addison is moving and george is all married and moody, seriously. Fuck that. I’ve got better things to do with my time. Like basketweaving.
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