Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I absolutely, positively cannot read or watch anything that involves kidnapped children. I bought at the thrift store for $1 a copy of The Stolen Child. It looks interesting, but not for me, right now. Maybe in 20 years. I'd also like to read What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman, but also not for me.

The rest, though? Stuff related to my life? I actually tend to get sucked in, even with the pit of dread of my stomach.

Private Practice, though, just infuriates me. I really enjoy Grey's Anatomy. Even though it is ridiculous. Storyline about the face transplant? Absolutely laughingly ridiculous, but it was used to get Izzie to tell her friends about her cancer, so fine, good metaphor, and who cares that it made no sense from a medical perspective, it's a soap opera. I feel that way about law shows, cop shows, science shows (the rare ones) - who cares? It's escapism entertainment, they're getting the broad outlines ok, so just enjoy the story. But Private Practice? Where to even begin. The sanctimonious jerk of a pediatrician? The Amy Brenneman character who walks all hunched over with too much eye makeup and ridiculous fake pregnancy? I don't remember her being that hunched up and annoying in Judging Amy. So she's intentionally playing the character that way? The prolife fertility doctor? I'm with Wabi, give me a freaking break. The fact there seem to be no patients in the clinic? No nurses? (No wonder the practice is in financial trouble.) No bulletin boards of smiling baby pics? The "feel good" doctor who diagnoses cancer and doesn't send his patient to a specialist? No background happening except for the central characters? Are they that cash poor they can't afford extras?

And then there's Addison. OK, here's her backstory. She's a OB/GYN surgeon, married in NY to a brain surgeon. He has no time for her, she has an affair with his best friend. Husband leaves her, moves to Seattle, and thus Grey's Anatomy begins with him hooking up with Meredith in the first episode. Addison gets pregnant from best friend, has abortion, move to Seattle to save her marriage. Best friend (plastic surgeon, he of the bad face transplant storyline) moves out to Seattle to get her back. Husband rejects her for Meredith Grey. Addison rejects plastic surgeon. She visits her friend fertility doctor in LA to see if she could have a baby and through the marvels of modern technology, learns she has no eggs left. None. Zippo. So she moves to LA, spinning off Private Practice, to start a new life.

This most recent storyline - she has a patient who has lost at least two pregnancies, one at 7 months. Patient's marriage is in trouble. Addison puts her on pelvic rest, no sex, promises to see her through. Meanwhile, Addison washes her hands at the surgical area three times over two months and meets a heart surgeon who falls in love with her after brief inane exchanges of conversation. Shocking plot twist - heart surgeon is husband of pregnant patient. Heart surgeon expresses love, says he'll stay away. Addison resists by blinding repeating, "I'm not a cheater." She lets it slip she has feelings for heart surgeon, too. Last episode, heart surgeon shows up at her door like a creepy stalker and they partake of one passionate kiss before she pushes him away and closes door behind him. Oh, and earlier pregnant patient begs Addison to save her and the baby to save her marriage, before her heart stops and heart surgeon saves own wife.

Yeah. I watch this show, still, despite how stupid it is, because it's supposed to be entertaining escapism, and I like the Addison actress - she's very striking and wears good clothes and shoes (escapism!). And she was strong and tough as nails when she was a character on Grey's Anatomy. She was at the top of her game professionally, strong personally, and interesting. All this shit (infidelity, marriage break up, abortion, infertility) happened to the character over the course of about two years. That is a lot of shit. A vertible hell of a shitstorm. And yet, she's managed to make it through all that without realizaing one shred of self awareness or gaining one ounce of maturity. Because if she learned anything, from any one of those experiences, it would have made her turn to heart surgon and say, "look, your marriage is tough right now. You're not having sex. You've been through a lot with this woman. You need to feel close to someone right now, and you're grasping at me. But this is not real, this is not based on anything other than trying to escape what's been happening between you and your wife, and you need to man up, straighten out, get your priorities in order, see your wife through this pregnancy, get some counseling, and get your life in order. Not transfer all these feelings onto someone else who seems fresh and new and without troubles, but I've got troubles too and I'm not interested in compounding my own troubles by getting involvved with someone in your position."

Because. If she really learned NOTHING whatsoever about herself, her life, her priorities, her place in the world - after having an affair, having an abortion, having her husband leave her, and being diagnosed with infertility - then, frankly, she's not a very interesting character at all.


Wabi said...

I laughed when you said you watch the show for the clothes, because that's one of the reasons I tune in, too!

I think they should give Addision a drinking problem. At least that gives some plausible reason for the complete lack of consistency in what she does ...

Which Box said...

Oh, and the hair. She use do have really amazing hair. Now, eh.

At the very least she should have a blog!

Tash said...

I don't watch ANY of these programs, and am now rather thankful.

I do, for some reason, watch the Dollhouse -- and I'm equal parts offended to my core, and in awe that Weadon can think this shit up on a weekly basis. But that's another blog. ANYWAY, last week, character whose mind has been wiped clean, finally gets some residual long term memory back, sees a baby carriage, and says, "I have a baby. I have a daughter. I need to find her." And I turn to my husband and say, "$10 this woman's baby is DEAD." And sure enough, 10 minutes later, there she is in a graveyard, sobbing over a grave with her daughter's name on it.

And I thought: 1) Jeebus, I can now pick these people out of a haystack, and 2) I wish someone would wipe my mind clean. I now kinda get this program.