Rain. Heavy rain. Not heavy rain. Blech all around. Gloomy day.
NCAA championship – yep, half of my Final Four picks are still alive – Illinois and Louisville. Problem is, they’re about to oppose each other and only will remain standing, and I picked Illinois. We’ll see…
On the CD player right now: The Best of Sting. Yeah.
Are medical shows back? Hmm. “Medical Investigation” on NBC never got me, even if it did have Neal McDonough (“Boomtown”). But, “House” – I am such a sucker for “House” on FOX (putting aside the fact that I did watch Hugh Laurie back when he was a funny Brit actor) – great show. And, I do like “Scrubs” (even though I can never watch it, because I seem to watch everything else at that time slot on Tuesday nights). And, then, last night, “Grey’s Anatomy” premieres on ABC. I’m not going to say that it’s some kind of great winning show (it’s not – some of the lines were a little lame). But, there was some charm to it. As the NY Times’ Alessandra Stanley puts it:
Now that “Sex and the City” is off the air and “ER” is on its last legs, ABC has concocted a drama that tries to be a little bit of both: on “Grey’s Anatomy,” alluring young interns compete to become surgeons – “Sex and the City Hospital.”
And that is not a bad combination. In this age of “Desperate Housewives” and “The O.C.,” it is refreshing to see a television show whose heroines aspire to meaningful work as well as meaningless sex. Certainly that seems to be the vocation of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who narrates the series in a soft, Carrie Bradshawesque voice-over. In the premiere episode Sunday night, Meredith wakes up, callously tosses out the handsome stranger she picked up at a bar the night before and races to her first day at Seattle Grace Hospital. Her one-night stand, of course, turns out to be Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), a surgeon and her boss. [….]
“Grey’s Anatomy” is a Girl Power version of “ER,” focusing as much on the interns’ love lives and career ambitions as it does on the patients’ treatment. It is an unsatirical update on “Ally McBeal,” and has a similar sensibility to “The American Embassy,” a Fox drama about an American woman who escapes a bad relationship by moving to London to work as a diplomat. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy,” James D. Parriott, was a creator of that show. (Fox pulled “The American Embassy” after a few episodes.) [….]
Surgery is known as “the game,” and it is the interns’ obsessive quest to scrub in and get their surgical gloves bloodied. “The game,” Meredith says in a portentous, if inane, voice-over. “They say that a person either has what it takes to play the game, or they don’t.” (These must be the same people who say “Good things come in small packages” and “Beauty is as beauty does.”)
On her first, terrifying 48-hour shift, Meredith bonds with other freshly minted doctors who are as hazed and overworked as West Point cadets: Isobel (Izzie) Stevens (Katherine Heigl), an ethereal blond former lingerie model known to her peers as “Dr. Model,” who is immediately assigned dozens of rectal exams by her scornful bosses; and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh, “Sideways”), a ferociously ambitious and hard-edged intern who always seems an inch away from smashing her helmet into some miscreant’s skull. [….]
Ms. Oh steals every scene as Cristina, cynical and so crudely ambitious she appalls even her hardened superiors. While Izzie keeps a mournful vigil over a breathing but brain-dead patient, Cristina wishes he would hurry up and die so she can assist at the organ-harvesting surgery.
“Grey’s Anatomy” marks the return of women in white coats after a long dry spell. And even viewers who don’t track feminist trends on television may enjoy the sight of a quivering liver being lifted out for transplant and tenderly placed in a thermal picnic cooler.
If you enjoyed the medical textbook, you’ll love the television show.
Ok, so Stanley does a number of things – she mentioned “The American Embassy” (a show that died real fast, but one that I had enjoyed – and I was probably the only one who did – and Stanley’s absolutely right – “Grey’s Anatomy” narration and poignancy felt a lot like “The American Embassy”); she gave Sandra Oh good marks (Stanley’s right – Oh’s character was way tough and felt less-than-compassionate. Boy, is this like a stereotype on Asians in the medical field?); oh, and that weird little sex thing going on with Patrick Dempsey character and the Dr. Grey character… Hmm. Well, I have to say that Dempsey was quite cute; had a few lame lines; but otherwise acted ok. Does his Dr. Shepherd have a clue that Dr. Grey could nail him on sexual harassment if he doesn’t get serious about cooling things with her? (yeah, I’m thinking like a lawyer again). But, then again, Dr. Grey seems to feel awfully conflicted about him – I mean, she did invite the guy home before knowing he’s her boss, and when they were alone at work, she didn’t exactly stop herself from kissing him.
Hmm. The rookie diplomat heroine in “The American Embassy” kind of had that same kind of conflicting emotion in terms of her romance thing with the CIA agent. But, there’s the obvious difference between “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The American Embassy”: the rookie diplomat, like intern Dr. Grey, was professionally competent – but the diplomat had a romance thing going with the male character whereas it feels like Dr. Grey’s going for the sex thing, which makes her more… well, I guess more modern and/or independent. Meredith Grey, after all, isn’t looking for emotional attachments, unlike her predecessors of Starring Women on TV. Meredith just wants to be a doctor, even if maybe she doesn’t want to be the kind of doctor her Pioneer Doctor Mom was (her mom was apparently the Great Surgeon of Seattle – which goes to show you how cool this show is – don’t go assuming that Meredith’s medical parent is a man when they say she’s the daughter of a doctor). I’ll have to see the second or third episodes before I give a true thumb’s up on this series.
So it goes. Let’s sing it now: Rain, rain go away…