Do you still buy the DVDs of your favourite shows even when some of the season truly sucked?
I don’t always buy them.
If you're reading this blog post, then I have to assume you love Grey's Anatomy. Or you simply love great TV. I'm close right?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I adore Grey's Anatomy and have loved this show and it’s characters for 13 years, but it is not my favourite show. In September 2011; Person of Interest (POI) premiered and I was hooked, POI became my favourite show. I was fascinated and I had the same feeling when the Grey’s Anatomy pilot, A Hard Day's Night aired six years earlier in Australia. But; POI is and will always be my favourite show. One day, I will explain why, but not today.
POI ended last year, and I think the whole world probably knows how pissed off I was about that. Many an article, blog post, Facebook status and Tweet have been shared regarding my disdain for TV network bosses and their non appreciation of Person of Interest. For years POI had been getting the proverbial stink eye from CBS. Shit! How ironic. The eye network gives POI the stink eye.
My anger, sadness, frustration and heartbreak is directed at the CBS network bosses and Warner Brothers who own Person of Interest, who did very little to keep their show on the air. A show they obviously had no understanding of how great it was. It was simply a cash cow and had served that purpose.
And I cannot continue with this post until I leave you all the link to: Save Person of Interest
POI will stay in my ever loving TV heart as number one. I have all the episodes on my hard disk drive (HDD), on DVD, and on BluRay. And I also want to point out that I have every episode of Grey's Anatomy on the HDD and I now proudly own the complete box set released last year. I recently sold some of my single DVD sets of Grey's Anatomy on Ebay.
Now there have been some great shows on TV and there still are great shows around, but nothing will come close to the greatness of Person of Interest. Now people may feel that's my opinion, but it you haven't seen it and you decide to, you will see what it is I mean. This show, the story they told. Unreal and the best I've seen in years.
One Rule Dictates Whether I Buy The DVD
I buy the DVD set of a TV show I love based on one reason and one reason alone. If I feel as though I could sit and watch the show more than twice and enjoy it, then it is added to my rather large collection. I also burn a copy of each episode to my HDD just in case something goes amiss with the discs in my DVDs sets, which happens more than I'd care to admit.
If the TV show in question does not fit that one criterion, then it does not go on the DVD shopping list, even if I have every episode available to me via a streaming service or on my HDD. I love being able to stream or download multiple episodes of shows to see if I like them. That is how I found The Walking Dead.
My stepson finally wore me down, so I gave in and watched the entire series early last year, most of it was saved on my HDD over time. I am so glad I watched it because The Walking Dead is so much more than a TV show about Zombies killing people. Had I not streamed and downloaded The Walking Dead. I also would never have bought each season on Bluray. Streaming and downloading are the best ways to watch TV. I watch what I want on my timetable and my DVD collection has grown so much larger.
I Buy All The Grey's Anatomy DVDs
Season 6 of Grey's Anatomy was my least favourite of the series, and whether she likes it or not, Katie Heigl's antics had a lot to do with this. Izzie; Heigl's character was newly married, battling cancer, losing her career because of that illness and a great many other issues were affecting the actress, none of which I believe warranted so much time off.
To be clear, I have never had an issue with Katie Heigl as an actress, I think she is an awesomely talented actress, but I was never really a fan of Izzie. There were times when I loved her character and other times, she annoyed me. Mostly, Izzie was all about Izzie and that became so obvious when George met Callie. Her cancer story was sad and a real tear jerker, but not long after all that drama was done, she (Izzie Stevens) really began to piss me off again. And not long after all of that, Heigl was gone for good it seemed.
She wanted to do a movie; why not film it during her summer break? She was adopting a baby, Shonda Rhimes did that too, and I don’t recall Rhimes needing much time off. I am also doubly sure that Heigl had her reasons, but still; burning your bridges with Shonda Rhimes? I don't care who the hell you think you are! Stupid is what I call that behaviour. I can hear Dr Bailey in my head right now.
In my mind and the mind of many other TV lovers; Shonda Rhimes is the most powerful woman in television today. She has; hmmm, how many is it? Four? Perhaps five TV shows on the ABC network under her Shondaland production company and Lord knows what other TV shows or other media projects she has influence over. Now 8 years ago, when Season 6 of Grey's Anatomy was being filmed, Shonda Rhimes was not someone you wanted to piss off. Clearly Katie Heigl did not give a crap about the people she pissed off.
I do not blame Heigl competely for the failure of Season 6 and seriously it wasn't all bad, but not that great either.
This post is not a bitch-fest about Izzie Stevens or Katie Heigl, I'll save that for another article.
Season 6 had good episodes, even a couple of great episodes and too many so so episodes. There were a few shit story arcs that occurred in Season 6 and I think much of what was written was because they lost a fan favourite. Did the network panic when rating dipped to record low levels? I refuse to believe that Shonda Rhimes panicked at all. That woman has her shit together. If I had to speculate, I think the network did panic and perhaps roasted Rhimes' ass to do something about the flagging ratings due to Heigl's absence.
I can't be certain that was the reason, because I really have not studied the numbers comprehensively enough to make a judgement like that. But what I do know with absolute certainty is that Grey's Anatomy was and still is ABC's top performing drama and when you have a TV show that performs as well as Grey's still does today, the network will move heaven and earth if they have to for their top show. And what I noticed was that the ratings dipped once Heigl left and never really recovered to what they once were.
What I simply cannot stand and I'm sure that all writers hate this, is when off screen antics dictate what writers do with their characters. The plot has to be changed drastically, but the integrity of your characters is the backbone of the story you are trying to tell. When you have characters doing shit they would never do, that's no one's fault but the writers and the show-runners. The show-runner dictates where each character's story will go and how that story will get there. The writers put the show-runners ideas into the script to be approved by a number of people, namely the show-runner/producer.
Rewrites And Shit-Fights
Heigl’s absence meant a lot of rewrites and I truly believe Shonda Rhimes and her team did the best they could with what they had, but mistakes were made. For example; the introduction of Hunt's best friend Altman. Enter a cardio God for Cristina, exactly what Seattle Grace Mercy West (SGMW) had been missing for a long time. The last cardio surgeon was Dr Dixon and we did not see another one for about a year in the Shondland timeline.
Dr Altman should've arrived in episode 3. Cristina was flailing during that year, what with doing anything she could think of to get on a heart surgery. At one point she lied to Arizona and pretended to like kids to get in on a cool pediatric cardio surgery. It was clear from Season one, she was going into cardio and nothing was going to stop her, so this was long overdue. And I was never able to suspend belief that Burke, Hahn, and Dixon when they were there, were the only cardio surgeons in the entire hospital.
The shitty part of Altman's arrival was her being in love with Hunt. Did we really need that drama? No! Big mistake and that falls on the writers/show-runner and producers. Kim Raver AKA Teddy Altman should have been left alone and stayed in the role of kickass cardio God, teach Cristina, her resident and leave Owen Hunt. The love-struck Teddy, mooning over Hunt made the character pathetic, and this was sad because Kim Raver made a convincing cardio God.
When Lexie and Mark broke up after New Years, there was no reason why Mark and Teddy could not have hooked up and cause some drama there. The Christmas story with the patient who had her heart removed until a new one could be found was a great story. Kim Raver and Sandra Oh working together made it great, all of it, except when the story involved Hunt.
This was the site's banner for the longest time, I had no choice but to change it, and the reason is obvious. Three of the people in the photo are dead, and one left the show in 2014. Meredith Grey is the only one who remains. Good thing too or I would have quit this show if they dared kill her off.
Christmas at Meredith and Derek's house was great, but why ruin it with Teddy swooning over Hunt while he was playing the guitar. Teddy was clear on the fact that Hunt was with Cristina, this again made the character look pathetic. Again if I had to guess, they needed a Cristina story full of drama, because the actress who plays Meredith was not front and centre due to just having had a baby. The love triangle between Owen, Cristina and Teddy was a huge mistake as Cristina and Owen had a huge following of fans and those fans were all over the forums spitting poison at the writers. Some; I believe, even switched off and DVR'd the show for later. That would have affected ratings.
Higher Forces May Have Dictated The Writing
When Cristina wised up that something was going on and confronted Hunt, why did the writers make Hunt waver for the rest of the season? Teddy arrived in episode 9 and this crap went on until the Season Finale. He did choose Cristina, and was with her right through Season 6, but he got pissed off with Teddy for telling him how she felt, because he felt the same back when they were in Iraq. All he had to say was "I'm flattered and back then, I did feel something for you, but it's over." Why the PTSD rubbish with his war memories and the like? The Owen centric episode was a good one, but we didn't need it, all that episode did was show us when he realised he loved Teddy and his unresolved grief over his CO dying.
We went through all of Owen's PTSD trauma in Season 5. Why did it bear repeating. Here we were, halfway through Season 6 and they were repeating a story from the previous season. Were the writers really that desperate for ideas?
This is when I really started to believe that someone (the network perhaps) was putting pressure on the creative team and demanding more drama in the script for their new hot, blonde actress who had done great things on 24 and Lipstick Jungle. Was she hired to replace the hole that Heigl left? Absolutely! And actors deal with that kind of crap everyday from TV bosses whose only interest is in money in the bank. It wasn't necessary and I fucking hate it when network executives dictate the creative process.
It was frustrating because it seemed like Hunt finally got where Cristina was coming from when he talked his friend; the heart surgeon into coming to SGMW to teach this amazing student. Hunt then lets his memories almost screw up his love affair with Cristina. Cristina's only failing was that she was never very good at letting people in and Owen had been asking her to let him in for awhile. The writers tried to use that as an excuse for Owen looking Teddy's way, but that would not fly with me, and would never have gone down well with Cristina.
I adore Cristina, she is my favourite character and always will be, even though she has left the show. I so hope she returns one day, I would love for Shonda to find a way to write her back in, even if only for a guest story arc. And while I'm on the subject, the rumours we're hearing that this might happen are false; for now anyway. People love to spread this kind of horse-shit, it gets eyes on their articles.
The Good & The Great In Season 6
On top of the bad, there was quite a lot of good. Callie and Arizona (loved those two together, still do), Mark finally realizing he wants to be a Dad. Derek becoming chief and hating it. Bailey meeting Ben and the romance that followed that. Meredith finding out she was pregnant, only to miscarriage. It was the loss of the baby that made her realise she wanted to be a Mum. That broke my heart, but it was a great story.
The Derek centric episode was awesome and then Webber goes and fires him for doing a risky surgery, but we then realised Webber was drinking again, but Derek had no clue. He turned up for work the next day as if nothing had happened. I so loved it when he drew the tumor on the wall of Meredith's house and the fact that later when they moved, they kept it.
I totally loved Derek and Meredith and all the newly wed sex, and Derek kicking Izzie and Alex out to go live in the trailer. Lexie ran off to Mark's, after she caught them having sex in the kitchen. Webber's fall off the wagon was a great story, although how he managed to operate for six months without anyone catching on except Meredith was a little far fetched.
The rest was kind of Meh....I hated the Mercy West merger and the Mercy West residents. And this story was planned because of the lack of Meredith re Ellen's pregnancy. It was not done last minute to accommodate Ms Heigl. It was also clear who were the favourites early on of the four Mercy West residents. We barely ever saw Reed or Charlie after the first half of the season. There was definitely more April and Jackson, so it was clear Shonda had chosen to keep the two characters.
It has taken me the longest time to warm up to April and Jackson and it was only when they became a couple that this happened. I have only just begun to love them individually as two separate characters. I love April as a Mum and how she puts Catherine in her place regarding her daughter, although not so much lately however with the whole Dr Minnik and Dr Webber situation.
How Catherine Avery sleeps at night is beyond me, and I've never really liked her. Love the actress, hate her character. A little bit like Negan actually. Hate Negan, love the actor. Especially his role as Denny on Grey's. Such a different character on The Walking Dead. And I prayed there would be no more dead Denny in Season 6. Thank God Shonda Rhimes got the hint re that idiotic storyline.
The hospital shooting was so well acted, written, filmed and directed, it was perfect. I hated April's short-haired best friend, can't remember her name. But, it hit me like a brick when April tripped over her body and ended up covered in her blood.
Even Charlie dying had me in tears. He was in love with her, April's friend. Shit! Reed! That's it! That was her name. Alex's shooting was the worst though. I adore Alex, I always have. Even in the early days I thought he was a prick, but a guy who'd lived his life in a huge amount of pain. When Alex cried out for Izzie and it was Lexie who was there and she pretended that she was Izzie, that just plain broke my heart.
And then there was Meredith right at that moment when she lost the baby and April wouldn't shut up. Derek is on the table, possibly dying and the gunman turns up determined to finish what he started. Jackson pulled off the leads and made it look like Derek died, what a moment. I really thought he was dead.
It just didn't stop. The drama and suspense went on for two hours. Richard confronts the gunman and gives him a choice, death and perhaps seeing his wife again or use his last bullet to kill him. I knew what choice the gunman would take and it would not be Richard going to the morgue. That for me was Richard's redemption story, his way of making up for the mistakes of the last year.
I felt like this Season Finale made up for the crappy parts of Season 6. When I re-watch this season, it is always the extended final episode on the DVD. I could barely contain myself when Season 7 premiered and as disappointing as the aftermath of the shooting was in the first few episodes, Season 7 got better and better. When Season 7 premiered in the US, this was when I learned how to live stream and I learned how to download the file from others who were sharing it online. I never went back after this, I never waited for another season to start on Australian TV ever again. If I had I would have been waiting six months.
Despite the disappointments of Season 6, I still bought the DVD. I would never; not buy a Grey's Anatomy DVD. The Season 6 Finale was well worth the price it cost me. Nowadays, I would not pay what I paid for that DVD, but I did back then.
The mistakes of Season 6 did not stop me watching the show.
But that's not to say that viewers were not lost. Now, looking back, it doesn't matter. Grey's is in its thirteenth season and it is still a good quality drama and a relevant show for today's world. I will never stop watching until the day ABC say it's cancelled and even then, I will watch my DVDs every year.
One executive at ABC said he'd love the show to go twenty seasons. I really hope he still works at ABC and has a lot of influence because that's how much I'd like for that to be a reality too.
Speaking totally for myself as a fan. If the show were to lose quality in a big way. If the writing starts to really suck and does not get better, that's when I leave a TV show. I rarely stop watching if I still enjoy the show, unless I get busy and run out of time. Then there is always the DVR or a download. Usually for me, the only reason I stop watching a show I love is if it sucks so bad that I fall asleep during it. And I never fall asleep during a TV show I love.
Anyhoo lovely readers of my blog. I hope you are all doing great and when I'm taking a break from writing my book, I'll be back. I do faithfully promise. I still have Katie Heigl to bitch about, which is going to be fun as there are many more choice words I want to share about her part in the poor quality of Season 6.
So now it's back to the joy of writing my book. It is so much fun writing about the many ways you want to kill someone or perhaps, something that is trying to kill you. Putting all those murderous thoughts down on the page is exhilarating, and I can't get enough at the present time. I don't know how many times my readers here have imagined killing someone and how they'd do it, but I have. I do it every day when I work on my book. My commitment to my book is to make sure I write 500 words every day, no matter what, no excuses. And once I'm in the zone, it's tough to break away from that pleasure and it ends up being way more than 500 words, which is why I need more writers to manage the blogs.
Rather a large essay to mull over, I know and maybe not to everyone's taste. But, when I'm writing the post, you should know it's usually a long one and it's not always me who writes every post. Other writers work on these posts and essays and for now they work for free. I wish that were different, but it is what it is. We do what we love because we love it and the paid work will come. It already has for many of us.
Also please remember that not everything I write is posted on this site, obviously it is a Grey's Anatomy fan site. Details of our other sites are below: So go dig in!
Signing off now, love to all...Jel
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