This past week, I, for reasons that I swear are work-related, have been immersing myself in the world of Shonda Rhimes and Grey's Anatomy. Am I the only woman under 45 who never watched a single episode of this show until now? I was dimly aware of the show and its stars (for reasons that are also work-related), and based on conversations I've overheard at parties and bridal showers and such, I have gathered that pretty much everyone else is a fan. But I'm too busy watching shows nobody else seems aware of (The Riches, people!) to stay abreast of the wildly popular ones, and so now I have a lot of catching up to do. Lucky for me, Grey's Anatomy is on twice a week -- the most recent season is in reruns on ABC, and older reruns air on Lifetime -- and ABC makes episodes available for viewing online. I am approaching it with scientific interest -- So this is what everyone else has been talking about for the last couple years. How interesting. I feel like an anthropologist visiting from another century (or planet).
So far I've seen two episodes from this past season and one from (I think) the season before, and all out of sequence. So that's confusing. But you know what, it would be confusing no matter which three episodes I caught, because this show has, like, 17 major characters, all of whom appear in at least one of every episode's plotlines (a minimum of five, three romantic and two medical). I was expecting something kind of dumb and dramatic, the sort of thing you could watch with only half your brain, but instead -- well, I won't go so far as to say the show is smart, but my heavens, it certainly is busy. Is it always like this? Don't you regular viewers find it exhausting? And doesn't covering your eyes and/or leaving the room during the "gory surgical procedure" portion of every episode make the show that much harder to follow? (I assume I am not the only one who does this.) Here's another question: do men watch this show? I get the feeling they don't, and aren't expected to. The fiance gave up after about three minutes and left me alone to watch, so I'm wondering if it's universally man-repellent. Oh, and speaking of repellent: was Meredith, the sort-of-titular character played by Ellen Pompeo, ever likable? At all? Because in the three hours I've seen, all she's done is simper and sneer and mistreat people who, for some reason, put up with it, and I'm waiting patiently for her to display even a tiny bit of appeal. If I go all the way back to season one, will I be rewarded? Or has she always been this way, like Ally McBeal without the charm?
I tell you all this for a couple of reasons -- first, to let you know what's keeping me busy, and second, to inform you that I've finally gotten with the program (ha!), in case you've been dying to chat with me about Grey's. If any of you are Grey's fans, I'd love to hear your reasons for watching/coping strategies/strong opinions. In the meantime I'm going back to my "research." It may surprise you to learn this, but -- as they say over at The Comics Curmudgeon -- more information on Grey's Anatomy can be found on the internet.