Thursday, September 21, 2006

Will I ever ABC these shows again? Only time will tell.

You may be surprised to learn that I somehow managed to avoid being drawn into "Grey's Anatomy." Despite all the hype, I was never interested. I even watched part of one random episode and felt absolutely no draw. But all of that changed tonight. Or did it?

Ingenious ABC put together an hour of clips from last season, and when a show consists entirely of highlights, how can you resist that? Of course, I got dragged into watching the season premiere over the next hour. A woman grieving over the sudden death of her fiance. The famed romance between Meredith and McDreamy. What more could I ask for?

Well, I could ask for a hospital drama not to devolve into ridiculous storylines like, say, the plague. And I could ask for a show about serious issues to be complex and textured and finely acted, directed, and written rather than melodramatic all the way around. But I guess that would be asking too much, if the success of "Grey's Anatomy" is any indication. I know Sandra Oh is terrific, but surely the few moments that she is on screen are not enough to justify the massive following that this show has.

Oh, well. Guess I'll have to tune in next week to find out! Because, yes, I can feel it — I'm on the verge of being hooked. I'm not there quite yet, not willing to program the DVR for this stuff. But if my gradual loyalty to the terrible but delightful "Windfall" has taught me anything, it's that I can't write off a show just because its low quality makes it painful to watch. Apparently, I have bad taste just like the rest of the population.

And as if to prove it, now I'm getting almost hooked on "Six Degrees" too! Whoever put this thing after "Grey's Anatomy" is a programming genius. Even though I'm aware that I've been tricked into watching it, I still can't turn it off. We really are prisoners of human nature, huh?

On a lighter note, here's a fun game to play with "Six Degrees": try to connect the lead actors to one another in six degrees or fewer. With ads for the show splashed all over the subway these days, it's a nice way to pass the time during your commute. The easiest link is Hope Davis to Campbell Scott, as they were in the movie "The Secret Lives of Dentists" together. For this reason, if you can connect any of the other actors to one of them, you get an automatic connection to the other. But I would encourage you not to use this cheat. Makes it more challenging that way. (By the way, if you can play this game with a friend, you get the added pleasure of being surprised by the films and shows she chooses for her connections. For example, my friend utilized the movie "Dying Young" for the Campbell Scott-Julia Roberts connection. How's that for an oldie but goodie?)


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