Monday, May 16, 2005

I am addicted to Grey's Anatomy

Yes, I am addicted to Grey's Anatomy. No...not Gray's Anatomy, but that's pretty cool too.

The Grey's Anatomy I am addicted to is a quirkly Medical Dramedy that has replaced my Crossing Jordan viewing on Sunday evenings without the slightest tinge of withdrawal fetish. The show is essentially a more serious version of Scrubs, a tragically underviewed television show, and in "pitch parlance" would be called "Scrubs meets ER." Though, unlike ER this show doesn't feel the need to kill someone every episode and isn't quite as frantic in its pacing. This is not to say they don't ever kill people, (could you be a medical drama without death?) rather death isn't routine.

Given the large number of medical dramas out there why do I like Grey's Anatomy? After all, there is House, ER, Crossing Jordan (though that is more Quincy than straight medi-drama).

I like House, but it is essentially a detective show that takes place in a hospital. Crossing Jordan, detective show that takes place in a morgue. ER "jumped the shark" when they made John Carter an addict to pain killers. C'mon... we all know that John Carter goes to Barsoom after he is ambushed for his gold, not to Africa to find himself after struggles with addiction.

I like Grey's Anatomy because it is both lighthearted and serious. It deals with serious topics in a serious, but not grim, way. There are no Scrubs fantasy sequences, just human relations, pathos and comedy. The narratives so far have been entertaining and they have delicately balanced politically hot topics, kind of like Law and Order used to. I don't think everyone will agree with the "sides" that Grey's takes, but you have to admit it doesn't tend to ridicule anyone. Well...except Disco era parents who did too much blow and name their daughter Devo, but such people deserve ridicule.

I hate to say it, but it isn't the writing that brings me back week after week to this show. Shallow as it seems, it is the actors. Let me give you a rundown of the cast I have come to welcome into my house...

Ellen Pompeo plays the title character Meredith Grey. I have had a crush on Pomeo since her performance in Moonlight Mile and seeing her smile was one of the few bearable moments in Daredevil (the theatrical release, the Director's cut is a different story).

Patrick Dempsey, who I foundly remember from Can't Buy Me Love and Happy Together (bad 80s movies) plays the "dreamy" Dr. Derek Shepherd. So when exactly did he go from geek who gets the girl to sex symbol? Dr. Shepherd is so likable that he is currently one of the least complex characters on the show.

Isaiah Washington, one of the most beautiful men on the planet, plays Dr. Preston Burke. Washington is so attractive that it is an undeniable empirical fact. Dr. Burke is the talented doctor who doesn't take enough risks, and maybe doesn't believe in himself enough. Typical of truly talented people, he may portray an aura of confidence, but he is his own worst critic. Dr. Burke is one of the most complex characters on the show.

There are other actors, who are also great, Sandra Oh of Under the Tuscan Sun is one of them, but the three above are the reasons I keep coming back. It is just pleasant to have these individuals talking in my house on a Sunday night.

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