Day 10: A show you thought you wouldn't like (or hated) but ended up loving
I have made fun of this show. A lot. I have ripped it on continuity, characterization, the unlike-ability of the lead character.
But then... Lifetime, yes the much lamented and lambasted Lifetime dished out what is my Kryptonite. They started running a marathon of this show in the summer from 5:00-8:00 and I went from disliking it on a whole to loving the whole messy show.
When I began watching this show in the first season I thought it had everything I would love in a series. Overly verbose characters who are so self-obsessed that every intricate thing they do is only defined by the so huge they can't be kept inside feelings. It was a better produced soap opera, with better storylines, better acting, and the editing was delicious.
In fact, the editing, blocking, direction is what kept me coming back to it as my graduate school friends would crow about how they loved the characters I said the only one that did not irritate me was Dr. Callie Torres, but the book-ending, thematic arcs of the episodes, and the conscious editing down to sound design/music selection was really great.
I got blank stares.
I asked them if they actually listened to the monologues at the beginning of the episodes. They responded that they kinda did, but not really. They were watching for the eye candy as does most of the audience from what I can gather of reactions to Shonda Rhimes on twitter.
I graduated and was cable television-less for a long while so I fell out of watching the series which I was fine with since Meredith Grey was grating on my every last nerve.
So what changed a disliked show into being loved?
I realized two things in those marathons where you can see seasonal arcs as well as individual character arcs progress. The first was that the writing was actually very good and reminded me more of character studies than most shows on air at the time. The second was that Ellen Pompeo was actually acting her ass off and somehow transformed an emotionally stunted character into a smart and interesting one.
Well and the addition of Jessica Capshaw as Dr. Arizona Robbins.
I am not immune to eye candy.
I knew it had grown into full blown love when I started reading fanfiction and then convinced Nikki that we should write something with Grey's characters. How can you write what you hate?
So I watch for the surgical story lines, which I actually think are interesting. The most moving ones usually through the eyes of Lexie Grey, the better Grey, although I will always remember the sensitivity that the MTF storyline was played by Eric Dane as Mark Sloan.
The friendships on the show are better than the romances. I'll go down with that. Meredith and Cristina or Callie and Mark are more interesting than Meredith and Derek. And while I root for couplings with big pennant sized banners it's not the only reason I watch.
Watching this show through the summer after both of my grandparents passed away was more healing to me than I really thought it would be... especially a scene in 5x19 that I almost want to save for best line, but I want to share here. In Elevator Love Letter, written by my favorite writer of the show, Stacy McKee, an old woman who has been hanging on for years and her family keeps coming to her side when they are told she only has days left has this to say to Dr. Alex Karev when he tells her not to die to make the insensitive family happy.
They're impatient. It's been a long time. But they always come. They're my people. People keep you going. People are better than no people.
We then see as she passes that the family was there... because they did love her and it hit a little too close to home after my Grandpa passed away.
But I think, like Buffy, Grey's reels you in with the big! anvil! feelings! of the episodes and you become like the surgeons where every storyline somehow hits on you or your life and that's when it sings the loudest.
Even if it's off-key at times.