Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Grey's Anatomy rant

This has *nothing* to do with working from home. Just getting this off my chest.

In Season 1, fans were hooked by the romance between Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. In Season 2, they struggled apart as Derek worked to save his broken marriage to Addison. In Season 3, fans wondered: who would Meredith choose? Finn or Derek? When these star-crossed lovers finally reconnected, post-divorce and post-Finn, "Mer/Der" becam a delicious, weekly tune-in that held such promise. So why did Shonda Rhimes "Mer/Der" Meredith and Derek's romance?

Meredith picked Derek after all. Fans were left wondering at the end of Season 2: Finn? Or Derek? Derek and Meredith had, of course, just made love in an exam room, a product of pent-up passion, Derek's rage at his Meredith addiction (and, not-so-subconsciously, and his horrible choice to go back to his cheating wife, Addison) and Meredith's seeming inability to have a normal, loving, mature relationship with Finn, the stable, sweet veterinarian who was recovering emotionally from his young wife's accidental death. The young windower, played by Chris McConnell, seemed perfect for Meredith, played by Ellen Pompeo. But was Finn perfect? Was Meredith too "dark and twisty" for the man Mer/Der fans labelled "Finn-ished"? Was Derek (played by Patrick Dempsey) right for her after all? And could Meredith push past the pain of Derek's rejection to overcome obstacles and reestablish Mer/Der?

Mer/Der was left with a series of pushes and pulls through Season 2. Derek ignored Meredith's famous "pick me--choose me--love me" speech and thought himself a more moral man, in need of a return to his spurned wife Addison, played by Kate Walsh. Within a few episodes the answer was clear--Season 3 would bring a very different spin on this series, which had cruised and soared through seasons 1 and 2 with some of the best writing on television in years.

Derek backed out of the Finn/Derek race for Meredith, leaving her to realize that she did want Mer/Der. Poor Finn really was "Finn-ished." Then it was love tennis, with Derek and Meredith lobbying "yes, no, maybe" for a few episodes, driving Mer/Der fans wild with fury and frustration. (Perhaps they felt like Derek at the end of Season 2, hissing into Meredith's ear. Obsession isn't always fun.)

Finally, in a replay of their first meeting in Joe's Bar, Meredith and Derek were just a guy and a girl in a bar. and they rekindled the romance. And then, oh, Meredith nearly died, Derek refused to breathe for her, the chief told Derek he wouldn't make chief if he might hurt Meredith, Meredith's mother died, then her fake mommy/stepmother died, her father slapped her (and no one jumped in to stop him), she failed her intern final but was permitted to retake it, Thatcher returned to humiliate her at the hospital, Derek met a woman in a bar and hinted to Meredith that he was tempted, the woman was Meredith's half-sister...

And what a mess.

What is Shonda Rhimes doing? She's "Mer/Der"ing Mer/Der. And if that's part of some grand plan, then fine. But why not let the characters breathe? The show succeeds most when it is character-driven, and not plot-driven. The whirlwind of disasters isn't overwhelming in a literary sense. It's amateurish writing, and it never gives fans a chance to analyze and watch and absorb how characters model behaviors and grow.

Season 3 "Mer/Der"ed Meredith and Derek. And not in a good way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't stand either Mer or Der & I don't know any friends who do. Mer/Der is a teenage love-affair for 13yr olds. A one night stand between two people who didn't even know the others first names & a man on the rebound from an 11 yr marriage does not make a relationship.

Kate Walsh as Addison, Chandra Wilson as Bailey & Sandra Oh as Christina are the only reasons to watch Greys, & I will probbaly switch off now Kate Walsh has deservedly earned her own show.

Addison is a far more interesting & complex character than the whiny self-absorped ramblings of Meredith.