Boil it down, that’s where the flavour is

It’s all about cred, man.

For some reason I kept holding back in blogging about what I know. What I do. What I live and breathe. Cuz I think it’s cheap. I’ve got some of that artsy-litzy guilt that prevents me from putting out what I know, and what I think. But y’know what? If you people don’t want to read about what I think about TV and why I think it, and why it matters to me, you can just stop reading. That’s all there is to it.

I love Grey’s Anatomy.

There, I said it.

I can hear the sniggering. I can hear the guffawing. First of all, he’s talking TV again. Second, Grey’s Anatomy? Is he gonna talk about how Mer should end up with McDreamy already, or whether or not I like Ellen Pompeo, or what Isaiah Washington called who this week? No. Because that’s not why I like it.

I like it — no, I love it, because it does what good storytelling is meant to do. It gets inside you, makes you feel things regardless of how much you see the soapy machinations coming, or how much you may actually kinda wanna smack certain lead actresses. It’s one of those series’ (just as one of those movies) that gets people right. Not real people. TV people. Real people are boring — I know I am. But all TV people are, at their best, are constructed, magnified, slightly blown out versions of normal people. Poorly made TV people are cheap cutouts, melodramatic in all the wrong ways, thin, vapid, un-self-aware, ciphers meant to say things that aren’t really worth saying anyway. Or on the flipside, bad TV people can be overwrought, painfully serious, too self-aware, thick, dense, detailed-to-death ‘reflections of real life’ that forget a cardinal rule of TV (or any storytelling) that I’ve already touched on: real people are boring.

Grey’s Anatomy, soapy and teary as it may be, understands that distinction between good and bad TV people, and executes it perfectly. It’s unfortunate that it’s got the following it has, and the stigma (for lack of a better word) attached to viewership, though it still manages to be one of the most watched things going. But there’s that guilt or that cheapening of it that goes along with even mentioning you watch it. Yeah, the promos butcher it, sensationalize, and the media coverage blows things to hell, but those are things savvy folks like us have to look past, or see for what they are.

If you say you care about storytelling, or drama, you should see the value in a thing like this. If the hip or ‘elevated’ reaction to something that tries to combine populism (and any schmaltz or sap that sometimes has to go with it) with a bit of sophistication is to crap all over it, well that’s just stupid.

I don’t care if McDreamy is ‘the one’, ultimately, I really don’t. I don’t care who gets chief resident, or who sleeps with who. But I do care about watching something that can make me feel something for the good TV people who do. It’s the essence of good storytelling, and to me, it’s plain as day.

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2 Responses to Boil it down, that’s where the flavour is

  1. beth maher says:

    This is awesome! Keep writing stuff like this! I will make you cupcakes! … Ok, that’s not entirely true, more like: I’ll make ME cupcakes, and you can have some. How’s that?

  2. Travis says:

    I wanna be a TV person! Who does one achieve this?

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