Posts filed under 'Has Everyone Gone Mad?'

Why does Shonda Rimes ruin everything?

I haven’t watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy since Katherine Heigl killed Jeffrey Dean Morgan and then whined about how she missed the guy she MURDERED for an entire fucking year. At the beginning, back in, wow, 2005, when Grey’s Anatomy was a midseason replacement and a surprise hit with a sexy, diverse cast and its own distinct dialect (seriously?!), I liked it a lot.

Lookit the babies!

And then everyone on that show became a complete and utter asshole. Meredith Grey was always a bit of a dishrag, but back at the beginning Christina was awesome, and all the men were hot, and Bailey was just super. Even Katherine Heigl was pretty terrific, when she ripped her shirt off and yelled at everyone for making fun of her for being an underwear model and proclaimed that while they were in $100,000 worth of debt apiece, she paid her way with her spectacular rack. Remember? That was great. But then they all became jerks. And even pretty, pretty Kate Walsh and Eric Dane couldn’t fix it, because let me repeat myself just this once, Izzie KILLED SOMEONE and then moaned about it for a YEAR.

So when show creator Shonda Rimes spun off Private Practice, I jumped ship on whiny, bitchy Grey’s Anatomy and went with Kate and her pretty hair to California. Because at that point Addison, Bailey, and Torres were the only people on Grey’s Anatomy that I didn’t want to set on fire every Thursday night. it had everything I’d originally liked about Grey’s Anatomy with none of the whining: very pretty people who are ostensibly fantastic at their jobs, an excellent soundtrack, ridiculous medical cases that make you go google shit and panic mid-show.

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8 comments May 10th, 2010

When singing nerds attack

Did you ever wonder what happens when politics and musical theater have a baby? No, not 1776. This.

I was listening to the podcast from Rachel Maddow’s Friday-night show on my walk home, as I am wont to do, and the first segment had me laughing out loud and gasping in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The chutzpah it takes to do that amazes me. Well done, Billionaires for Wealthcare.

1 comment October 26th, 2009

Law & Order: This one time, the show jumped the hyena

So Law & Order: SVU is kind of batshit crazy lately. They were four different kinds of ripped-from-the-headlines last week, and this week…oh my GOD. Let’s discuss.

Last week, Benson and Stabler took on a Gloucester, MA–style pregnancy pact, only because it’s SVU, they had to start off with a homeless man who’d been castrated and set on fire. Fantastic! Turns out he was castrated and set on fire because he knocked up a high school girl, and her older brother thought that the crispy critter raped his sister. But not so! She wanted a baby! Because her friend got pregnant and being pregnant is, like, awesome. Just ask my friend Suzy, it’s all vomiting and people thinking you’re fat and surreptitiously growing a penis inside of you.

And you thought the only flamers at NBC Universal were over on Bravo. Shame on you.

And you thought the only flamers at NBC Universal were over on Bravo. Shame on you.

From the friends-who-tell-friends-to-get-pregnant, the detectives embarked on another of their Awesome Adventures in Hip-Hop. Which are ALWAYS BAD IDEAS. Look, I know the people behind SVU think they can get away with storylines involving rappers and that subculture because they cast Ice-T, who once upon a time was a real rapper, but, um, they cannot. In last week’s episode, this adventure in alternate job choices included casting one of the kids from Sleepers as a wannabe rapper whose mission in life is, and I quote, “Wreckin’ decks and gettin’ sex.” …Yes. That part was lame.

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2 comments November 20th, 2008

Commercials: Now Sara tells you how to vote

This video made me very sad. So I’d like to remind all of you who have the chance to vote down the various horrible, divisive ballot measures that will be before you next Tuesday to do so. Californians, that’s no on 8. Arizonians, no on 102. Floridians, no on the Marriage Protection Amendment. Arkansans, no on the adoption ban.

Basically, the world sucks right now. How about everybody votes not to limit the civil rights of people in love and the capability of loving parents to foster and adopt children in need of families? As Dionne Warwick reminds us, the world needs love. The economy needs it, too.

It’s not often that I’m sincere. So, um, pay attention. Vote. My roommate and I will send you an “I Voted” button if you want one. Thanks.

October 30th, 2008

Has Everyone Gone Mad?: Mad Men

It is purely a coincidence that the first entry into this new segment, Has Everyone Gone Mad?, also has the word “mad” in the title. This segment is dedicated to bucking conventional wisdom and delivering the hard truth about television trends. Or at least questioning some widely-held critical judgment and offering a small, shaded distinction of opinion. (I’m trying to make that not sound like “complaining.”)

madmen.jpg
Drinking at the office: Yet another way that Times Have Changed.

Mad Men is a show that thinks it’s bucking conventional wisdom and delivering truly edgy period drama (ad execs in the 50s! cigarettes! busty dames!), and many critics seem to be under this delusion, as well. But for some reason, everyone is blinded to an obvious truth: Mad Men is terrible. It’s full of “oh ho ho, look how backwards people were in the past!” moments, obvious sexual dalliances, and very little actual drama to speak of. And yet, Heather Havrilesky and Scott Tobias, normally paragons of taste and judgment, both recently praised it. Lavishly.

What the hell? Has everyone gone mad?

This is show where a character tells his rival he knows the rival stole something from his wastebasket, because “there’s no magical device that can make instantaneous copies” (paraphrase). Hardeehar. They don’t have Xerox. Those ignorant fools!

The thing is, as M.T. Anderson said far more eloquently in a speech I was lucky to hear recently, period drama often falls into this trap. It’s the trap of thinking we’re smarter than people from long ago, just because they smoked while pregnant or were sexist jerks. Isn’t it fun, to look back at those poor saps and laugh at all their mistakes? Aren’t we clever, knowing so much more than them?

I don’t know about you, but taking down easy targets like misguided historical people makes me feel icky. Everything that happened on Mad Men was so obviously Informed By the Characters’ Ignorance, it was impossible to feel for the characters as human beings. Compare this to an awesome show like Deadwood, that treats its uneducated, rough-and-tumble, fairly provincial group of whores, profiteers, and honest folks as multi-dimensional people capable of true insight. Just because they know nothing about Xerox machines and the internet doesn’t mean they don’t have compelling problems of their own.

It felt like every problem on Mad Men was only there because they didn’t have Xerox machines and the internet (and a little bit of gender equality and accurate health stats on cigarettes). That’s not drama. How are they supposed to know that they’re lacking those things? They know nothing about them! It’s just pointing out how things have changed; it’s not actually getting into the nitty-gritty of a time and place to see how things are actually the same. People are people. There should be something we can relate to, and not just sneer at.

I suspect that these critics are giving Mad Men a pass because the writer had something to do with the Sopranos at one point. I can’t understand why else they’re praising it, unless the whole world really has gone mad.

12 comments July 24th, 2007


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