October 11, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 11, 2007 |


After reading over the comments to the RTR-suggestion diversion, it became more or less apparent which show we’d end up real-time reviewing. It couldn’t be a great show, like “The Office,” or “Friday Night Lights,” because I could never bring myself to mock either one of those programs. It needed to be a show that definitely wouldn’t be cancelled soon, thus disqualifying shows like “Cavemen” and “Kid’s Nation.” “30 Rock,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” are just too good — making fun of them would only make me look stupid; it’d be like Bret Ratner mocking Spielberg. Ideally, it would be a show that is not only bad, but that everyone either watches, watched at one time, or at least is familiar enough with the characters that a RTR would be of interest (we are, if anything, an inclusive site, now aren’t we?). I assumed that “Heroes” would be a popular choice, but it got very few mentions, so in the end, it basically came down to “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” two shows that are consistently rated among the top five, and that most people are familiar with whether they want to be or not. And since I gave up on “Housewives,” a very long time ago, I wouldn’t know how to pick up on the plotlines (nor would I have the inclination, really). “Grey’s,” after all, is a show that most of us — at least those still watching — absolutely love to hate. Granted, it had a decent first season, but it’s been rolling downhill like a sticky ball of dung picking up dirt ever since. (I note for the record, however, that in future, I am not ruling out a RTR or two of “My Super Sweet 16.”)

And so, we begin with last week’s episode — the second of the season, unfortunately titled “Love Addiction.”

00:00: For those who jumped off the broken rickshaw at the end of last season, just before it smashed into the flaming “ER” bus, the “previously on” segment reminds us that the angry black homophobe left the bitter perfectionist Smithie at the altar; that one of the only two decent characters on the show, Dr. Bailey, was shafted by Dr. Torres in her quest to become Chief Resident; that McHerpes Simplex (hereinafter, “The Herp”) dumped the lawn boy from “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which triggered a bout of the McBreak-Up sex; that The Herp’s little half-sister, Lexie, is perky and needy (and actually, pretty cute); and that at the end of last weeks’ episode, the other decent character, George (who is repeating his internship), told Katherine Hackle that he loved her, despite his marriage to Dr. Torres, a moment that most of us who were watching “Grey’s” on our TiVos missed because the TiVo Gods were punishing us for our bad taste in TV by cutting it off before the show ended. Now, we’re up to speed:

00:32: We are introduced to “Love Addiction,” by The Herp’s now familiar and grating voiceover narration, which reveals this week’s theme: Addiction, as in: Those of you still watching “Grey’s” know all about the diminishing returns of addiction. The high is gone, but you keep watching because you really want to see what rock bottom looks like. I can see it in the not too far distance: It’s shale.

00:42: The Herp and Lawn Boy are addicted to break-up sex (though, rules have now been established preventing sleepovers); George is addicted to epiphany — the realization that he shouldn’t have gotten married to Torres; Katherine Hickle is addicted to George; and Christina is apparently addicted to frantically opening wedding gifts she should be sending back. I love symmetry.

03:04: The Herps’ narration lasts a full three minutes, finally, mercifully, concluding that it’s “the high we’re after,” during which time her nasal whininess may have managed to loosen the bowels of actual crack addicts watching at home.

03:21: The Chief, in an effort to win back his wife, is delegating more, or so he says. In fact, he says “delegate” five times to hammer home the message. There goes this year’s Emmy for subtlety.

03:38: Lawn Boy tells McSteamy (hereinafter “Grizzledouche”) that the Chief is a “junkie”; Grizzledouche says that it’s Lawn Boy who looks “strung out,” before telling him the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. See how the theme follows us throughout the entire episode, like a head cold that just won’t let go? I could sure use some Nyquil.

04:12: Christina is giving away wedding gifts in exchange for professional favors. Her beeper goes off: There’s carnage in the pit. A house exploded; people are hurt. Christina is overjoyed.

6:40: Dr. Torres assigns Karev to the baby that won’t stop crying, pushing Katherine Horkle out of the way in an almost-too aggressive to be passive-aggressive fashion.

07:30: A pretty good looking guy (hereinafter, “PGLG”) who was at the exploding house is being checked for internal injuries, after the explosion blew him against the wall. He’s in shock. Not shocking: That on this show a chiseled man wouldn’t have a blemish on his face after being blown against a wall in a house explosion.

08:08: The pissing match between Dr. Bailey and Dr. Torres begins — Dr. Bailey wants to put residents in the free clinic; Dr. Torres vetoes her, saying she can have interns instead. If this were a real show, Dr. Bailey would gnaw on Torres’ arm until she relented.

08:40: Mama Burke arrives, looking for Christina. A tongue lashing is in the works. Mama Burke, presumably, is also on hand to provide closure for those who miss Preston Burke’s character, since angry homophobe wasn’t invited back onto the show.

09:39: The baby that won’t stop crying still won’t stop crying — if Karev is looking for a remedy, I find that Hickory Dickory Dock in combination with bicycle legs is surprisingly effective. Failing that, I know a guy named Ferber. Meanwhile, Dad is crazy-frantic; he is beginning to look a little methy.

10:52: The Herp gets the first tongue lashing from Mama Burke for using Dr. Burke’s decision to leave Christina at the altar as an excuse to publicly break up with Lawn Boy at the end of last season. Funny, I always thought weddings were a great time to break up with people, what with the ready availability of alcohol and single folks.

12:33: Katherine Hegal tells George not to tell Dr. Torres just yet, because she is afraid of the skankslap that will ultimately arrive when George tells Torres that he’s in love with Katherine Heeby.

15:30: Dr. Bailey guilts The Herp into working in the clinic, setting up a showdown with her half-stalker.

16:36: Karev gets results back from the lab and then ominously tells the nurse not to leave the father alone with crying baby.

17:30: PGLG just had a conniption during an MRI. Umpteenth sign that your show has become ER: One of the doctors puts on the most serious expression he can muster and says, “Code Blue! We need a crash cart right now!” I want a crash cart at home, so I can yell that while making dinner. After I drop food, I can scream “There’s a meatball on the floor. We need a crash cart stat!”

17:45: Meanwhile, Karev tells the Chief, “The one year old; he’s strung out on meth. Yeah. It was a meth lab that blew up. This woman and her husband are running a meth lab.”

19:43: One of the many plot strands in this episode involves a wizened black man (think very low-rent Morgan Freeman, or Scatman Cruthers in The Shining) who babysat for the drug dealers for years, never realizing they were cooking meth, even as it saturated their walls and floors, where the baby ingested it. This is so ridiculous that I’m just going to skip over this storyline. It’s obvious he won’t die — he’s way too kind.

20:45: Meanwhile, back in the clinic, The Herp’s half-stalker won’t stop staring at her. I’m still not sure why Lexie was brought onto the show; however, Mrs. P-h has hypothesized that, with her on board, perhaps they can run Meredith off the show and still maintain the title, “Grey’s Anatomy.” And since the show clearly has Ally McBeal syndrome, i.e., the lead character is also the least liked, it’s not a bad theory, but for one thing: Meredith’s absence might actually improve the show, and that won’t be tolerated on network television.

22:10: George is next in line to speak with Mama Burke, to have the wrap-up conversation he couldn’t have with Burke, since he hates gay people. Among other things, Mama suggests that the world would be a better place if George would divorce his wife. I agree; Dr. Torres is the only person on this show I dislike more than The Herp.

24:07: The Herp explains to Lawn Boy that their relationship is exclusively S & M: “Sex and mockery.” I’ve had a lot of relationships like that myself, only not so much with the sex and more with the weeping.

24:40: Crying baby is still motherfucking crying; Meth Dad is screaming at baby to stop crying. Karev to Daddy: “He can’t stop crying because he’s withdrawing from crystal meth, you son of a bitch.” Meth Dad explains that he just sold meth because he’d fallen on hard times, but he doesn’t use it: “I’m a good Dad and I love my family.” Karev tells him he can love his family from prison, which earns him a right cross from Meth Dad. Meth Dad decides he’s gonna love him from the back alley of a McDonalds.

26:46: The whole “delegate” thing hasn’t worked out so well for the Chief; a baby is missing and Dr. Torres is the fall girl. Katherine Smegal tries to make Dr. Torres feel better about her inadequacy, which only raises Dr. Torres’ suspicions about her and George. “Get out of my O.R. Stevens. NOW!” I can’t even think “O.R.,” anymore without picturing Jason Schwartzman at the dinner table with Luke Wilson. “Oh, are they?”

28:00: Lawn Boy is next to have a sit down with Mama Burke. She makes him feel bad about staying in an empty relationship with a woman with thin lips and cold sores.

29:48: Dr. Torres is wearing a very unflattering pair of scrubs and searching the hospital for the baby; she tells Grizzledouche in her best “All My Children” intonation: “I think my husband is having an affair.” Grizzledouche’s response? “Talk to him.” Sage advice, Grizzledouche — where’d you get that? On the underside of a Nantucket Nectars’ bottle cap.

30:00: We’re hitting the last quarter of the show — the pansy rock song has to be hidden somewhere around the next corner. If it weren’t for shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “What about Brian,” where would “The Fray” and “Snow Patrol” be?

30:31: The Herp asks Lexie if she’s “an idiot or a stalker?” You know what? That sort of insulting bravura might work for Dr. Cox, but for The Herp? If I were Lexie, I’d just give her a Texas hello (though, I’m not sure what that entails. Ask Dan). The Herp: “(Sigh) OK. That was a mean thing to say, and I’m aware of that because I’m generally not a mean person.” Nope — just insufferable, annoying, and unpleasant to look at.

31:17: Lawn Boy finds Meth Dad in a room with his unconscious son. Lawn Boy screams for a nurse, but if he was a real doctor, he’d ask for the crash cart. Good news, though! The crying baby stopped crying: He had a stroke. Small favors.

32:18: Dr. Bailey loses her shit and scolds Karev — it’s the sweetest moment of the season so far.

32:50: Well, damn: I suppose it’s inevitable that Lexie would want to rebut Meredith’s whole “I’m generally not a mean person” speech with a “I’m a nice person. I really am” speech. There are no shades of gray here, folks. It’s mean or nice. One or the other. Anyway, The Herp retorts with the “We don’t have the same Dad,” speech, and then blames Lexie for her own unsatisfying love life instead of putting the blame where it belongs: Herpes and general whininess.

34:00: PGLG finally kicks it, coronary style. Still lookin’ good, though.

34:36: All right: Christina finally runs into Mama Burke. Mama Burke gives her the “you are a strong woman, I wish I were more like you” speech. Even Mama seems pretty sick of her own speechifying shtick at this point. Poor Isaiah has just made one more enemy.

36:49: PGLG’s sudden death inspires George to tell his wife that he’s leaving her. That’s what the medical profession is all about, y’all: Small moments that inspire greatness.

37:50: Christina uses that trademark bedside manner to tell Meth Mom that her life is over, but offers a very novel solution: “Just Breathe.”

38:20: The Herp’s wraparound narration sums it all up with another refresher on the trials of addiction. “Whatever it was that was making us high stops feeling good and starts to hurt.” The pansy white boy rock kicks in: It’s Gomez, which is not a bad band, actually. In fact, that may be the source of my misplaced allegiance to this show: I always dig the pansy white boy rock.

39:56: “Still, they say you don’t kick the habit until you hit rock bottom, but how do you know when you’re there?” Generally, you wake up in a stranger’s bed wearing a ballerina outfit, sporting a bump on your noggin’, and find a magician’s starter kit about three feet into your intestines. At least, that’s what I hear.

40:07: Torres, who knows what’s coming, asks George to put off delivering the bad news tonight — she’s trying to push the break-up to sweeps month.

41:40: Meanwhile, Lawn Boy can’t break his addiction to The Herp. Seriously man, there’s antibiotics for that.

42:00: Christina goes back to an empty apartment and stares blankly. This would be uber-boring, but for the emotionally gripping song with indecipherable lyrics playing in the background. I’m off to iTunes.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife and son in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.

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Herpes, Meth, and Crash Carts

Real-Time Review of "Grey's Anatomy" (S3/E2) / Dustin Rowles

TV | October 11, 2007 | Comments ()




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