Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

On Shamelessness

I finally got to watch the 100th episode of Grey's Anatomy otherwise known as The Show About Doomed Young Doctors In Love With Too Many People. It's no longer the show I signed up for, with the wacky drunken sex accidents, and is far too lachrymose for its own good, and it lost something when Addison went off to some other show that bores me too much to watch, even with her in it. Yet, and especially right now, when I am aware of the bleakness and fragility of life and beauty and art, it meets my needs, which is to cry for someone who is not myself or the real people I love, because crying for a bunch of dead kids, or for Izzie Stevens, relieves my feelings and hurts less.

I am noting an odd orthodoxy in American shows not actually dealing with mediums, which is to assume that because you have provided a rational explanation why someone might be seeing a ghost, you have removed from the board the possibility that the ghost might have objective reality. In fact, in Grey's the ghost of Denny is obviously real because Meredith saw him when she was temporarily dead. The fact that Izzy sees him when her brain lesions and brain tumours are active - and, may I say, as someone who said Brain Tumour the moment she started seeing him, shame on you Shonda for saying it wasn't, casuistically saying it was an aneurysm caused by cancer, and now saying that,this time it's a tumour- might have partly to do with the fact that he is her psychopomp and partly to do with the fact that the sick brain sees more.

(Just as the dreaming brain sees more - and, though I am a rationalist who is disinclined to believe in the objective reality of the dead people I have talked to in dreams, nonetheless the fact that they have conveyed information that I had no obvious way of knowing and that was checkable gives me pause. People say - o but you saw them in a dream - to which my reply has to be - so the dead objectively visit us in dreams, big deal. I don't think they do, actually, but as an empiricist, I have to confront the possibility of actual visitation.

No talk of heaven or hell, by the way, just visits and chat, and odd snippets of teasing information - Kathy Acker didn't tell me anything, but she wore a pair of trousers, yellow velvet leopard skin jeans, that I found out, over a year later, she bought on her last shopping expedition to the Haight, weeks after she left London and stopped speaking to any of my friends here and only two weeks or so before she died.)

Shonda has always beaten us over the head with crude use of surgeries as metaphors - here it was, a bunch of students are - all but one - fatally wounded on their way to graduation, so seize the day, Izzie and Alex, and marry before the tumour kills her. More shameless than a shameless thing, of course, but that's what it says on the can. It isn't Grey's Rational Emotional Discourse Show, it has always been Grey's Cut Your Heart Out And Throw It To The Wolves Of Metaphor. Or maybe it's Bears.)


Oh, and I saw Coraline 3-D twice - my review to follow when the TLS prints it in a week or two - and some movie based on a television show that I vaguely remember...Which I loved and may yet post on. And I am reading the new Pynchon.

The real tragedy of Death and Love is this, Life nonetheless goes on, and we grieve, but we listen to The Musical Offering and The Rite Of Spring, and Holly Cole singing Tom Waits, and 69 Love Songs, and life goes on.

Which is something that Shonda is good at showing us.
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