Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shh...gotta post this before Shonda knows I'm here...

Dear Grey’s Anatomy,

It is hard to believe it has been five years. Well, maybe 4.5 if you consider that your first season finale (which was so much better than Desperate Housewives’) was when I truly became committed to you. It’s been three years since you offered me familiarity and companionship when I first moved to a new city. I may not have known many people yet, but I had your first season DVDs to pass the time and not think about the craziness of law school I was about to endure. I considered your characters my fictional “friends” for a while, and it always gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling back when Meredith, Izzie, and George (yeah, George, you remember him, right?) lived together to see them all acting as a family unit. We’ve had our ups, and we’ve had our downs. You provided a way for me to schedule a social occasion with some of my classmates during our first year of law school. You also caused me to spend a panicked weekend on message boards when I should have been studying just to make absolutely sure my instincts were correct and you weren’t killing off Meredith. I purchased your second season DVDs with a gift card I got from some former co-workers. I had the DVDs scheduled to arrive within a week of the release date. My new-found friends at law school were surprised (not sure if they were actually impressed…probably a little freaked out) by my dedication.

I should have seen it way back then when I got those DVDs and season 3 began. I always had to psych myself up to watch the season 2 finale because it was so painful. Not painful because the characters are put through a horrible situation (which they are), but painful because it was contrived and gimmicky. Not the quirky, character-based drama you introduced yourself as back in the winter of 2005. Then there was that whole Meredith almost dying thing. The third season finale was so incredibly depressing that I actually hand wrote a letter to one of your producers warning her you were going down a dark path and that you needed an intervention to be set right again. But I let us keep stringing each other along. I watched the fourth season premiere and was happy that you seemed to be feeling lighter again. I justified “Izzie saves a deer!” to my best friend by saying, “Hey, it’s Grey’s, it’s supposed to be quirky like that.”

After the writer’s strike forced us to be apart for a little while, you came back on your best behavior, and I found myself starting to care about you again. I was considering starting up a blog at the time, and I began my first test blog entry with “Grey’s is back!” I wasn’t, however, thrilled with your choices in season 5. Sadie was a disaster. Izzie’s cancer plot hit a little too close to home since I had just lost a close relative to brain cancer. I was getting tired of all the new characters at the expense of face time for George. Then you killed George. I was, however, content, since we’ve come so far already, to stick with you for season 6 and see where the ride took me. Until now. I see you have big changes planned. You’re moving ahead with different plans for your future, higher aspirations than you had when we first met. That’s fine. You’ll just be following those new dreams without me.

When we met, you were all about the characters. You had sharp dialogue. You embodied a sort of misanthropic worldview similar to my own. Those characters are what kept me coming back to you. It was never about Seattle Grace. Sure, the hospital was bright and shiny and fancy, and crazy things happened there, but that’s not why I cared about you. It was about Meredith, Izzie, George, Cristina, and Alex and their struggle to balance being a doctor with being human. Now, instead of being a show about young people finding themselves, you think you need to be a full-on hospital drama with interchangeable characters that can potentially last for 15 seasons? Seriously? I know ER’s cancellation left a vacuum, but I never liked ER. I never watched ER. That’s not what I’m looking for when I turn on my TV. We want different things out of life. You want to be mainstream fare, a medical procedural, and you know I don’t watch procedurals. I need the character work. I need the quirky dialogue. It’s time we go our separate ways for good. There are plenty of other shows on my TV schedule that I can watch on Thursday nights, and you still (for now) have millions of other viewers besides me. We’ll both be okay.

So, goodbye, Grey’s. It’s been an interesting ride, to say the least.

Thanks for the memories,
Jen the TV Junkie

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