Sunday, April 23, 2017

What's on the Tube?

Several months ago, we cut the cord to cable TV.  We simply got tired of paying $200 a month for 200 channels, of which we faithfully watched maybe a dozen.  We decided that we could make do with Netflix and Amazon Prime, thereby  saving ourselves $2200 a year (my sister pays for the Netflix) and the annoyance of sifting through 200 channels and finding nothing decent to watch, much more frequently than $200 a month should allow.

I've always been a re-run addict anyway, dating all the way back to our newlywed days umpteen years ago when I used to tune in to reruns of "Emergency" while I made dinner in our tiny one bedroom apartment next to the airport.  So "binge-watching" entire series in a couple of months has not been a great stretch for me.  We've done "Bones" and "Crossing Jordan" (which,  it turns out, are essentially the same show, with similar plotlines, similar characters, and similar unconsummated sexual tension between the major male and female characters.)  I confess, in the end,  I liked "Jordan" better, as the characters, while quirky, were never as caricaturized as the "Bones" cast eventually became.  Too, with "Bones," I have a real problem with the wardrobes of the female characters.  Apparently, you just throw a lab coat on over your  body-hugging designer sheath dress, and the stilettos make it so you don't have to pump the autopsy table up too high.  What woman wouldn't want to display the height of fashion while sifting through gore and rotting flesh?

Having come to the end of the series with both "Bones" and "Jordan," I had to choose another series to keep me company while I stay up late on puppy duty--keeping her out of trouble and making sure she goes potty one more time before I head to bed.  After some deliberation, I decided on "Grey's Anatomy," since everyone seems to be so hooked on it.  The OTHER things that are so wildly popular these days--like Orange is the New Black, or Breaking Bad, or Mad Men or some of the other dark, sex-obsessed offerings that are floating around the airwaves have no appeal for me at all.  Sorry.  When I watch TV, I like to be entertained.  Not titillated or grossed out or pissed off or frightened. 

So.  Grey's anatomy.

I guess I was expecting something a little more...mature?  Believable?  Something...

If Grey's characters are supposed to be representative of  "strong female roles," someone goofed.  I mean...the first scene of the first show has our main character giving the bum's rush to a one-night-stand, flippantly ejecting him from her apartment and her life on the morning of her first day as a surgical intern at a fictitious Seattle hospital.  Now...there's a strong woman!  An independent woman; one who knows what she wants and goes after it with single-minded confidence!  Right? 

But then she goes to work and finds that the guy she just rushed out of her bed is a surgical attending at that very hospital.  Basically, her teacher/boss.   And of course, she proceeds to fall in love with him, and things get very messy. And hyper-sexual.  

Honestly...these young people are supposed to be working 48-hour shifts, and yet they seem to have limitless energy and appetites for sex.  One of these supposed brilliant young female interns is even stupid enough to get pregnant from one of these intense sexual relationships. 

Yes, I know this is fiction and is not meant to resemble reality.  But I am a little put off by what these characterizations say about young female professionals.  About the fact that they can't seem to be good at or serious about what they do without being in the thrall of some man--and, incidentally, a man who is in a position of authority over them.  It's the same old tired, male-dominated garbage that we've been watching since Donna Reed, Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver.  These young interns might not be wearing shirtwaists and pearls while they vacuum and wash up after dinner, but they are clearly demonstrating Woman's inability to climb out from under the thumb of Man,  even though that thumb rests on a higher level than it did fifty years ago.

I'm into the first couple of episodes of season 2, and so far I haven't seen anything magical.  It's a nice little show, inoffensive enough on the surface.  It's entertaining; it keeps me awake while I wait for 11:00 and the final dog walk to roll around.  But, frankly,  I can't quite figure out what is exceptional or award-winning about it.   

I'll keep watching.  Maybe it will get better.         

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