I famously watch television like I’m a 13-year-old girl (that is, when I’m not watching Keith, Rachel, Hardballs, or The Group.) I am trying these days to compensate for this fact by putting a Redskins game on every Sunday. But, still.
So you can imagine that this is a pretty exciting day. “Grey’s Anatomy.”
(Spoilers may abound, depending on if you followed last season or not.)
I love this show, I’ve even loved it after it jumped the shark, which most I think would agree happened when Christina was impaled with a stalactite. I have another idea of when the show jumped the shark. It’s when George and Izzie smooched and drunk-kerbanged.
George is why I’m such a rabid fan. I’ve been accused, in fact, of having a man-crush on the character. That’s plain silly. It’s just that it’s his story that got me loving the show in the first place, the man who screws up an appendectomy and becomes known as a 007 but then who really shines when the guy everyone assumes is the class stud freezes up.
But I think they screwed the pooch on George. I know that common wisdom among TV writers is that you can’t ever let a character be happy (the Joss Whedon principal), but my theory has always been that the show would have benefited from allowing O’Malley every happiness and success in the world, primarily so that one could watch Meredith perpetually eat crow, perpetuating her tendency to be “dark and twisty.”
O’Malley was always at his most interesting when he was defying expectations. When he takes the scalpel from Alex and performs heart surgery in a stuck elevator. When he grabs the picket sign and proclaims himself to be a “union guy” (still the best George moment ever). When he tells a Nazi patient to his face to fuck off. When he passionately sticks up for his new wife. That’s the Superman George, and he was imminently more interesting than the feckless wussy the show’s creators insisted on pummeling him into.
They should have kept Georgie married and blissful with the hot tamale Calliope Iphegenia Torres, should have had her spoil him sick with her mysterious daddy’s money, should have allowed him to become the most brilliant surgeon in the world, should have given him many, many more chances to exhibit Superman George.
And, they should have had children. You’re telling me that in a crew of this many attractive folks, only one of them squeezes one out? And that she’s (formerly) married to a grumpy sourpuss who seems perpetually surprised that he married a late-working surgeon? That’s just not realistic. None of these people are allowed to be married and happy and well-adjusted?
If they had to make someone miserable and to kill off someone in a grotesque manner, why not Mark Sloan? Sure, the majority of the audience (13-year-old girls) would never forgive the show, but it would certainly be interesting. And, he being one who would screw his best friend’s wife, one could even argue that he would have deserved it.
From the time she met him, Calli was the one who saw Superman George, while everyone else just saw Bambi. Why not make good on that storytelling premise and allow her vision of him to be tranformative for George? Instead of dooming George to ambivalence and misery in love, why not offer him a steady, loving woman whose influence molds him into a great man? That wouldn’t have been interesting? No? You have to have him recruited and then killed randomly and gruesomely?
(Admittedly, my theory is partially due to the fact that Sara Ramirez makes me weak in the knees. But still. I think they messed up regarding O’Malley.)
So, we’ll see how a “Grey’s” without George manages. I think it was a mistake. But, still, “Grey’s” does do a hospital drama like no other show. I tried “Trauma” last night. It has many actors whom I like, but it just doesn’t create a universe as effectively, and it’s missing the strong thread of humor that runs right down the middle of “Grey’s.” Not to mention that it smells a little bit like “Nurse Jackie,” which does it a hell of a lot better than “Trauma.”
I told you. Like a 13-year-old girl.