Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's waste time chasing cars around our heads (Snow Patrol)

SWMBO does not like comedians and can't see why I adore some of the genius exponents of a good chuckle (Groucho, Woody, Bill Murray, Jerry Seinfeld, Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais frinstance).

So we watch a lot of action films and TV series (The Unit, 24) because that's where our tastes intersect. Period shows like Downton Abbey and medical dramas are also in the intersection mix.

Currently we are watching Grey's Anatomy. This is definitely Jacky territory but it's growing on me as I get comfortable with the characters and the gooey surgical procedures (still not there with that last bit).

We're up to season three (and don't worry Jade I'll be bringing them back to Nu Zild at some point).

The old hospital drama eh. Doctors and nurses. Sex basically. Where did doctors and nurses get this reputation from?

Growing up I remember seeing a lot of Richard Gordon's Doctor fixated novels about our house: Doctor in Clover, Doctor in the House, Doctor at Sea, Doctor on Toast (yes that was really the title) etc etc. That was the early 60's. They were pretty tame but never-the-less the old nudge nudge wink wink was often part of the subtext.

I'm not sure where the stereotype of the nurse as an administring angel (dressed in white) got turned into the promiscuous version that is often seen in TV hospital dramas in the late 20th/early 21st centuries. Let's not even think about the daytime soaps version of general hospitals and sand through the hourglass type shite.

It's interesting that some of my favourite TV medical dramas have all drawn on the stereotype.

M*A*S*H* (a smart, anti-war comedy) also had Margaret 'Hotlips' Hoolihan and a parade of readily available nurses for Hawkeye and the rest of the male cast to drool over; ER started with George Clooney as the dishy doc and he had relationships with various cast members before heading away to star in movies and ads for Omega watches.

Grey's Anatomy doesn't deviate much from the ER template - bizarre medical cases, doctors regularly swapping sexual partners, dramatic relationships between characters, traumatic events (the bomb in the body episode was a memorable episode), and more doctors regularly swapping sexual partners.

The point of difference is probably the focus on the younger doctors (interns) as they learn their profession in a highly glamourised way (obviously the show doesn't often show the brutal hours and the mundane routines - this has to be an exciting hour to spend our time after all). The racial mix is also much more interesting and the musical montages are a great feature. It also appears to be really realistic (those gooey scenes that Jacky loves).

The drama associated with doctors and nurses in a hospital is clearly a proven winner. The show has been hugely successful and is up to season eight now.

Of the main characters Jacky and I agree that Meredith Grey's voice is annoying and she is the least likeable character (Yang is a close second). George (left) is easily our favourite character. He's like a rumpled cuddly puppy compared to the intentionally obnoxious Alex and the blonde trailer-park-trashy, at times feral, Izzy.
I think that's why I enjoy the show actually - the characters are well drawn and multi-dimensional and we are slowly finding out more and more about them as the seasons unwind. Just when you think you have a charcter nailed the writers reveal something else about them that forces a reassessment.

Alex (a.k.a. Evil Spawn) for example can be seriously annoying and confrontational but then there will be an episode that shows he has a sense of humour; just when you think he's the shallowest man alive he not only drains a little more out of the pool but in the next episode he will do something nice for someone (like not kill them).

An enigma wrapped in a riddle.

Love and peace - Wozza

Oh btw - finished Groucho and Me and now moving apace through I Am Ozzy. Obviously he was taped doing a while lotta remembering and then hours of disjointed stories and memories were pieced together by a writer (Chris Ayres). That doesn't mean it isn't Ozzy's book or that its not a terrific read - it is (both).

Full of Ozzy honesty and details about his younger self and the emergence of Black Sabbath from the Earth. Superb and funny as firetruck.

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