The unkindest cut.

November 4, 2007

I don’t really watch television these days. While I saw my fair share of “the Simpsons” back in the day, and occasionally consented to a post-exam DVD marathon back at university (thank you, “Arrested Development”), I’ve lived the past two years without a television, and I can’t really say I miss it. My abstention isn’t a means of condescending to the CheezIt-consuming public; I’m just busy, and when I do end up watching television, I find that I have little patience for the ever-increasing hyper-fast cuts between scenes and the tortured, reality-show-inspired melodrama of most dramas (and I would not mind if everyone even remotely related to the washed-up-celebrity-repackaging-apparatus of MTV and VH1 were to be imprisoned in a gulag, or better yet, shot into the sun for unleashing “I Love New York 2” upon an unsuspecting humanity).

As you might imagine, this cuts my arsenal of small talk down a bit. When confronted by references to “Lost,” “30 Rock,” or “the Office” (USA version, as the British one dodged the statute of limitations), I generally have to steer the conversation toward something a little more familiar (not the local sports team). It’s not that I have anything against these shows, I’m sure that they’re quite entertaining, as they happen to have engrossed plenty of smart people I know (though there are exceptions, although to avoid offending anyone I will have to refer to the show via an “alias”), but I simply find it easier to toss the whole medium aside.

However, entering medicine has cut off a major line of retreat for me. Whenever I begin shepherding matters away from television, someone always manages to ask, “what do you think of _____ medical show?” The directness of the question defies easy deflection, and after a while, I simply got sick of not having a good answer. So, with Sun-Tzu watching over my shoulder, I decided to defy the tactic by giving into it. I sat down and watched some medical-y shows on my laptop. And by the end, I wanted to toss my laptop out with the television.

Grey’s Anatomy

Plot: Dr. Meredith Grey is a new surgical resident at a high-powered hospital. There are also other surgical residents and attendings, and they are all terribly attractive. The lot of them have steamy encounters outside of the OR, and drama ensues.

Big risk: Can a drama succeed when the main character is basically a prickly twat?

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