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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Watched the latest two Grey's Anatomy eps last night. Looks like they've gone to five acts. I'm not sure I like it. I'm missing the shape of the episode. While all the medical stories are resolved within the hour, I felt like I was losing track of some of them -- and I'm watching without commercials. Meanwhile the soapy personal stories pop in and out, feeling more like moments than story arcs.

Maybe I'm missing having strong act outs. About half of the outs seem fairly soft. Some of you are surely going to retort that this gives the show a more realistic feel. And it does. But the show feels spotty. Some of the stories are moving. Others just feel like they're trying to push the episode's theme -- whatever faux profundity Meredith Grey is spouting this week, such as "love is about choices."

Before you rebuke me for being tough on the show, bear in mind, I'm watching the damn thing, aren't I? So it ought to go without saying I'm there for the clever and occasionally brilliant writing, the convincing and compelling characters, the scary if occasionally over-the-top life-and-death trauma ward stories. If I didn't actually like the show, I wouldn't be watching it. And how about a round of applause for the most ethnically diverse show on TV? But I watch everything with a critical eye. (Lisa says I've ruined television for her, though usually it means that she can now predict plot points an act or two away.) I try to see where the seams are. If you don't look at what doesn't work, you can't avoid those mistakes in your own work.

Boy, Meredith Grey, though: surely the least interesting title character on television. People are dying and being saved all over, and the thing that leaves her reeling is her breakup with her boyfriend of, oh, I don't know, three months? Someone get this character an aneurysm. Then she can just narrate from her coma, Sunny von Bulow style, and we'll be spared the Dr. McDreamy maunderings.


So, then, to tie your themes together, to what extent do you think Sex in The City's greater success in pulling off the "different plots tied together by protagonist-spouted theme" concept derives from the lack of commercial-driven structure, as compared to merely better writing or different genre expectations?

By Blogger Kane, at 3:24 AM  

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