Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Serious Sugar Rush

I like Grey's Anatomy just fine. But I love The Office and 30 Rock more. Nevertheless, half the fun of TV is talking about it the next day. So I record the Thursday funnies and watch Ugly Betty and Grey's the night they air so that I don't miss out on the Friday morning discussions at work.

And since I do enjoy the show, I almost hesitate to bother venoming about this development today. But. Sometimes nothing lets off a bunch of McSteam like a pointless rant, so, here goes.

First, I want to say that I realize that viral marketing and blogging and working the fans into a lather in off-air ways is just as important as the TV show itself anymore. The more chatter about the show, the better to get people to tune in. So I can't entirely blame Shonda Rhimes, creator and writer, for this blog entry. In fact, the better part of me applauds her for doing what's necessary to whip the fans into a frenzy and keep the chatter about the show going now that Isaiah and Heigle have shut up for a few days.

And, given that everyone in my office had the same reaction to the supposed "stunning" episode last week -- that reaction being "meh" -- she seriously needs to stir the pot to keep people tuned in for what the network has promised us is TWO more of these episodes. Seriously. I really don't think my whole office is skewed far from the masses when it comes to our reason for interest in the show. We watch it to see attractive people flirt and fuck. Period. It's a good enough show, but the main draw is that it can be a silly show with a high heat factor. McDreamy and Meredith are doing it and calm right now, but we're relishing the imminent Addison/Alex hookup.

And what does the show give us instead? A bloody, mournful episode about a giant tragedy on a ferry boat. Meh. Seriously? Seriously. Who the fuck needs that? We're not watching this show because it's a great drama. When I want that, I'll turn to HBO. But trust me, Ms. Rhimes. If your previous resume of "Princess Diaries 2" wasn't a clue to you, at least take a cue from the press and realize that no one's creaming over your heavy, angsty bullshit. It's all about McDreamy. It really is. Seriously.

And that's where the blog entry just increases the pain. If Rhimes is just stirring the pot and hyping speculation, fine. But, to me, it seems like she's really taking herself a bit seriously here. Seriously seriously. Talking about how ferries are metaphors for Meredith and so is a lost little girl and how she's not writing a normal TV drama and blah blah blah. Bitch, please.

Number one: You're NOT writing a normal TV drama. When you're at your best, you're writing an hour long romantic comedy. When you're at your worst, you're stretching the patience of your primary viewers by trying to force more serious shit upon us that we don't want. Anyone remember the show Third Watch? That was such a good show when it first started. It was a bunch of hot, young dudes dressed in tight cop pants running around New York. Then it got all self-important and preachy and totally jumped the shark by killing off the hottest of the hotties, Bobby Cannavale, better known around my office as simply, but appropriately, "Hot Bobby." It went downhill from there, and limped along for a few more seasons but steadily lost viewers. Shonda, don't get all self-important and pull a "Third Watch" here, okay?

Number two: Don't talk about your metaphors. First of all, the little lost girl was obvious. Embarrassingly so. Seriously? You don't want to be calling more attention to it and acting like it was a stroke of writerly genius. It's hack, Shonda. The thing is -- we don't care. We can overlook it as long as Addison keeps dreaming about Karev -- especially when she's boffing McSteamy! THAT is your money-shot, Shonda. Don't shy away from it. Don't make the mistake of suddenly thinking you're fucking Balzac and writing "Lost Illusions" just because 30 million people watch your show. We're watching it for the soft-core fucking. Seriously.

Number three: Don't tell people how you lay on the carpet and worry you can't write. Because although you'll trick the 13-year-olds into sympathizing with you and thinking it's so cool how you suffer for your art and all, there are even more frustrated 30-somethings out there watching the show for the sex scenes and to see just how beautiful Sandra Oh's hair looks and who get a little miffed when you try to flex your writerly muscles in the first place and foist this overblown shit episode on us. And then there are even nastier, not-very-successful, jellus h8er writers who know just how you've hit the goldmine and we don't want to hear a single word of your deep explanations regarding the utterly trite shit you write. And we'll call you out about it.

Number four: We get it. You think Meredith is dark and twisty. Now you need to get it: We'll tolerate you thinking that and we'll tolerate all her scenes were she talks about it. But she's dark and twisty the way a slinky is. It's twisty alright. And the metal color is dark. But it's still a whimsical little toy. Now matter how badly you want Meredith to be your Hamlet, she's still Cinderella. Okay? She's wispy and lispy and adorable and sunny. Get over it. You don't write "Six Feet Under," Shonda. Meredith is not Brenda. You really want to see dark and twisty? Check out Atia from Rome sometime. She'd eat Meredith's angst and grief for breakfast and not even shed a drop of Ox blood to cleanse herself of it.

In summation: Get the fuck over yourself. The show is riding a wave of success and a rash of free publicity. Please don't get all self-important-twat on us and start fucking with the format and thinking you can write some heavy shit. Maybe you feel compelled to prove you've got some serious drama chops. But this is a medical show, and it's been so successful because it seemed like you knew the oldest adage in the book: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. We'll take our medicine from you, Shonda. But only because there's so much wonderful sugar surrounding it. Sugar like Addison/Alex sex. Seriously.


Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

You've summed it up for me exactly. Soft core porn! Mcsex! I'm even bothered by george/callie's marriage. Now they won't have hot monkey sex any more.

Ellen said...

*But she's dark and twisty the way a slinky is.*

You nailed it. As usual.

I do watch Grey's but alas I missed this last episode. Must remember to Tivo this stuff.

Can we talk about Idol yet? Can we talk about Seacrest? I don't think I'm going to be dissing him this season. I'm digging him. He's funny and subtle and hitting all the right notes.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

I've always said, Ellen, that Ryan Seacrest is actually really good at what he does. The fact that he's a talking head may not say much about his depth, but there's something eerily right about him in that role.


SusanD said...

I adore Ryan. I like to pick on him, but Jordan's right -- he's very good at what he does. He evens out the tone -- eases the sting at the right times and adds just enough levity. Plus he's cute. He's Virgil-Beatrice for the contestants.