Wednesday, October 03, 2012

in which I go very low brow and talk about television

Apparently I'm the sort of person who now thinks talking about tv is acceptable blogging. Because, well, clearly I'm about to talk about tv. Mostly because this past week there were two things that I was really excited to see on television that are both very much on my mind. So fair warning, if you are a Grey's Anatomy or Doctor Who fan and haven't seen the most recent episodes, there may be some spoilers.

Grey's Anatomy has somehow gone from being one of my guilty pleasure shows that I watch in secret, when Bunny's not around, to being one of our shows that we watch together, always. And was last season's finale ever a heart-rendering cliffhanger, where it was very clear that this season was going to start off by continuing pulling the heartstrings. They do like to do this at the end of the season (anyone remember the shooting a couple seasons back?) and I was prepared for some emotional mayhem.

What I wasn't prepared for was how tied up Grey's Anatomy was going to be with my father in law's death. Watching the scene pulling the plug on Mark Sloane somehow had both Bunny and I right back in the moment when we stopped the mechanical support for his dad. Watching the way the accident had affected the doctors, what with inability to get on planes and so forth, reminded me of the messy emotional aftermath of loss. And the final scene, where you see how bad things are for one of my favourite relationships on the show? Just broke my heart, crawled under my skin and I've been uncomfortable and consumed with this need to think about that pain for days. And it's all fiction, all things that aren't really that affectacious to me ... but they bring me back to a very painful person moment and experience.

Now last Saturday's Doctor Who, on the other hand, was just made of awesome. It was this perfect, epic goodbye to some of the best companions the new Who has seen, and a goodbye to perhaps the best friendship that the Doctor has ever had. (I mean, aren't the Doctor and Amy totally the most awesome best friends ever? It's heartbreaking to see him lose that.)

The whole season of Doctor Who has been a toss up so far for me. I miss the big story arcs, and I'm not as big a fan of each episode being more of a standalone experience. I'd be lying if I said I haven't liked most of the episodes (although Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was a little weak for my tastes), but it just lacks the drama of the follow through, and the way the last series ended left me hungering for more story arcs to follow. Without an arc to propel the viewer from one season to the next I haven't been able to get as invested as I want to be in this year's series, but the episodes themselves have been really good in and of themselves.

Leading into this episode I wasn't happy with the idea of letting Amy and Rory leave the show. I still hate that they've left. But this is perhaps the best send off I've seen a companion have on the new series. It played on that dynamic of Amy always being torn between Rory and the Doctor, which has been played up since that episode "Amy's Choice" two seasons back. They're the two most important people in her life, and she loves the Doctor dearly but she will always, always choose Rory first. He's the centre of her universe and nothing else matters when placed against that. The way they played it made it heartbreakingly sad in that they've forever lost their relationship with the Doctor but at the same time amazingly beautiful in the love story between Rory and Amy and how strong their love for each other is, that they'll wait for thousands of years and give up everything else in their lives to be with each other.

So, in the spirit of low brow entertainment and enjoying the small things in life, what's on the tv in your house lately? What's been moving you and engaging you and pulling you in?

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