Monday, April 03, 2006

Grey's knows the gray territory of the heart

I've been watching Grey's Anatomy since it premiered as a midseason replacement back in March of last year. No one expected it to do well. Indeed, I was a little chagrined to tune in, expecting some soapy blend of ER and Passions. It didn't start out with as distinct a voice and as dependable laughs and drama as it has now, but over time, Grey's evolved into the genuine article: good TV that actually makes you feel good.

One of my favorite things about the show is its willingness to play with the good and bad sides of the characters. My 'favorite' character isn't fixed - it changes with every episode. Sometimes I find myself rooting for Cristina's blunt brand of wisdom, and sometimes I just want to sit her down for a time-out until she learns a little patience. When I first met Addison, I was disappointed that I couldn't incinerate her with the power of my glare through the TV screen, but now I sort of hope she can repair the marriage she offhandedly destroyed last year. At the end of pretty much every episode, I find myself thinking 'won't those two crazy kids get it together?' - but the people I'm hoping will make it work change week to week.

Some people argue that the character of Meredith has gone too far into pathetic territory, mooning over McDreamy far past any rational mourning period over their brief-but-blissful relationship. But personally, I like that they're willing to make Meredith unsympathetic. I like when people do things wrong. It's like life. Sometimes you make choices you'll regret, you settle for something mundane in the short term instead of waiting for something better, you don't know which direction to go in. You wallow. I like that Meredith is a real person.

I don't expect characters on TV to be better than people in real life. I just expect them to be more interesting. Life isn't made up of black hats and white hats. We're all just shades of gray.


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