Friday, May 2, 2008

Grey's Stupidity

With pregnancy comes unbelievably heavy fatigue, which has slowed me down to a snail's pace. I wish I could use that as an excuse to explain my desire to watch mind-numbingly stupid television, but alas, I cannot. I was watching Grey's Anatomy long before I got pregnant, and I'm afraid this nasty habit will continue for a while. But after an episode like I witnessed last night, I really need to find something more constructive to do. Like sleep.

Last night's show was all about babies, but that's not where my beef lies. My inner feminist was particularly offended by one passing remark, yet this show has been known to coin new phrases that quickly make their way into the vernacular of pop culture. McDreamy? McSteamy? Those aren't items from the menu at McDonald's. No, they were coined by the writers of Grey's Anatomy, and I'm sure their parents are so proud. And don't get me started on "coded." That just makes me want to vomit, though it doesn't take much these days.

But last night, Dr. Montgomery, the all-powerful Ob/gyn and pediatric surgeon, who now has her own show that is even more vapid than the original, came back to Seattle Grace to perform a complicated surgery. Her presence allowed the other doctors to vent about their failures in their own pathetic lives. Noticing the close friendship between the newly-divorced Dr. Torres and Dr. Hahn, the steely new heart surgeon, Addison asked Callie if the two are doing the "Vagina Monologues." To put it bluntly, she was asking if the pair of female friends have become a lesbian couple.

Now, I couldn't care less about what is going on in someone's bedroom, which is probably why I hate the show like I do. There's so much sex that it almost warrants an episode about the dangers of STDs and unplanned pregnancies. But this is the same show that fired Isaiah Washington for his nasty comments about the sexuality of T.R. Knight. This is the same show that gives African-American and Latina actors starring roles on the small screen. And this is the same show that coins phrases used by everyday people in real life, so show a little respect.

Grey's Anatomy has the potential to sing the praises of women in medicine and to show the amazing talents of these "world class" surgeons. Instead, it reduces all the characters, and especially the female doctors, to simpering idiots in search of their next sexual encounter. In the real world, one's sexual orientation is supposedly off limits, but here, it is the one thing that defines each character. Dr. Hahn and Dr. Torres should be celebrated as leading surgeons in their fields of medicine, and I would love to watch them treat patients once in a while. Instead, we're left to wonder if they are falling in love, and just to prove that she's not interested, Callie makes the decision to go home with McSteamy. What is wrong with this picture?

Not to mention the fact that Addison's question about The Vagina Monologues also shows a complete disregard for the cultural significance of this piece. As I've discussed before, Eve Ensler's play has brought attention to the struggles of women across the world, and is currently working to bring healing to the streets of New Orleans. To reduce her work to a silly little phrase describing a possible workplace dalliance makes a mockery of everything The Vagina Monologues have come to represent.

Grey's Anatomy has the makings of an excellent show, yet it falls flat time and time again. Maybe I'm just too thin-skinned. After all, it is on ABC, the Disney-owned network that also employs Elisabeth Hasselbeck. That could, in part, explain the infamous "va-jay-jay" comment Oprah loves so well.

Yep, time to go vomit.