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I’ve Never Watched Grey’s Anatomy — So Why Would I Want to Watch “Grey’s Anatomy in Space?”

August 3, 2009

Look, I’m not going to judge you for watching Grey’s Anatomy. As far as I can tell, most new couples seem to go through a “we never thought we’d like Grey’s Anatomy but it’s actually really good” phase that they like to go on and on about at parties. I get that. The ABC network’s tentpole drama has apparently bonded more six-month-dating couples together than that first pregnancy scare. As the demographics continue to prove, we hate real-life hospitals but will watch them endlessly on television.

Unfortunately for ABC, however, their beloved Grey’s Anatomy, which has spawned homophobe Isaiah Washington, back-from-obscurity Patrick Dempsey and better-than-you Katherine Heigl, has turned out to be a bit of a train wreck. The writers have been accused of poorly slopping storylines together, critics have derided its nonsensical subplots, and Emmy snubs have spawned repeated snarky comments from a cast that believes it deserves more.

It sure would be great if we could wash our hands of it. Shoot it into space, even.

ABC has farmed some great dramas over the past few years, including the quirky Desperate Housewives and, of course, the mindbending Lost. If only ABC could tap into those creative juices and continue to turn out fresh hour-long programming. Instead, ABC just looks to things they already have which are hits and order up a season of something that looks just like it, only set somewhere else. Lost begets the upcoming Flash Forward, which utilizes the island mystery’s spin on character development. Dirty Sexy Money is a retread of Desperate Housewives, albeit one which takes place in the elite world of the rich and famous. Even Bob Saget’s Surviving Suburbia might as well still have family photos of the According to Jim cast on the end tables of its living room set.

But ABC’s not even trying to disguise the subversion behind its newest summer potboiler Defying Gravity — the producers themselves have referred to it as “Grey’s Anatomy in space.” Gravity‘s leading man Ron Livingston has himself even called it “Grey’s Anatomy with astronauts.”

This summer, space exploration’s about to get a whole lot sexier, America.

Are we really to this point? That we can’t even pretend that something is new? That it won’t be so obvious that sexy singles in a high-stress job sleeping with each other isn’t a thematic rip-off of something else? Furthermore, is it this easy to land a television show in Hollywood these days? If so, I have some ideas. Cheers in a shoe factory. Hill Street Blues on an organic farming commune. Mr. Belvedere in Honduras. Making TV shows is fun!

I didn’t watch ABC’s Sunday premiere of Defying Gravity, so I can’t speak to whether it’s good or not. I can’t tell you if there were any touching moments by the airlock. I don’t know whether or not a long shift of minding the spectrometer led to some sexy stratospheric fun. But I do know that I’m much less inclined to watch a television show if the stars and producers themselves are telling me it’s just like something else I don’t care to watch. And is comparing your show to Grey’s Anatomy a pro or a con? If I don’t watch it, that turns me off. And if I do, why don’t I just keep watching Grey’s Anatomy? Is it going to be that much more interesting in zero gravity? Will an alien eat Katherine Heigl?

So thanks but no thanks, ABC — although I do appreciate your laying your cards out on the table. Get back to me when you’ve got a Dancing With the Stars in the silverback gorilla pen at the Bronx Zoo. Because if you’re going to flat-out tell me exactly what it’s going to be, there’s a teaser I can get behind.

One Comment
  1. August 4, 2009 7:28 am

    I agree, Defying Gravity was boring and the acting was awful and worse than most daytime soaps, used too many cliches as someone previously stated, in addition, there was the cute but annoying mexican girl who threw in unrealistic Spanish in for no reason (look at under “Gratuitous Foreign Language”), even if in the future Spanish becomes more of a major language, it’s still completely ridiculous if the girl speaks English (almost) perfectly, and yet she’s speaking random Spanish words to everyone else whose common language is obviously English, it’s just complete Hollywood bullcrap and unrealistic, Spanish speakers if they speak English, they’re not gonna speak in random Spanish to “gringos” who won’t understand what they’re saying, it was so stupid and just one of the many things wrong with this show. Also those corny musical sequences, how about replacing those moments with actual good and interesting dialogue? Sorry, that’s my critique.

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