I like watching TV from time to time, but I don’t watch a lot of live TV, except for comedy re-runs and quizzes. But I do watch quite a few films and box-sets (which come with my Sky subscription).
Since I started writing more seriously, it’s not only affected my ability to read books, it’s affected my TV viewing. It can be difficult to turn off my inner editor. When I’m watching TV, I find I tend to analyse the plot logic, believability, and why certain things work. If I enjoy it or dislike it, I’m now more able to work out why.
The three shows I’ve been watching recently all have elements in common, which is interesting. I’ve been watching Elementary since the beginning, and the fourth season is now showing. I started watching Grey’s Anatomy, on the basis that it looked like Scrubs but with less stupid humour, and now I’m hooked. I started it a few weeks ago and I’m already half way through Season 3. And I’ve also been watching Bones and have nearly finished the first season.
My husband happened to comment that the music in these programmes all sounded slightly similar. The themes are all light, plinky-plonky tunes which indicate intrigue and mystery and drama, but without anything really dark and nasty. Which figures, because I like underlying mystery themes, but I also like stories that focus on characters. All three of these dramas have mysteries or situations that get resolved in one episode, with underlying character plots that continue throughout the season.
Grey’s Anatomy revolves around the life of five brand-new surgical interns as they play out their daily lives. I like the fact that they are all very different characters, each with individual flaws, but that deep down they are a family and treat each other like family, despite those flaws. Some of them I don’t like very much from time to time, but they all have redeeming features. In that respect, it mirrors everyday life and feels realistic. Their relationships are messy, their lives are flawed, they make mistakes, and yet they are always there for each other.
With hospital dramas, it really brings the home the fact that our time here is finite, and that in life stuff goes wrong. We have to deal with that, and sometimes the only way to deal with it is to be there for other people if they need to talk. I suppose I’m someone who wants to fix everything, and if I can’t fix people’s problems it frustrates me. But you can’t make everything right for other people, sometimes literally the only thing you can do is say that you are there for them. It’s probably one of life’s lessons that sucks the most–not being able to fix everything–but it makes me feel more human watching it play out on the screen.
There are plenty of things that bug me about the programme. The interns probably take part in advanced surgeries and situations that wouldn’t happen in real life, and there are probably way more weird and wonderful cases than appear in real life. But then it would be boring if it mirrored real life–that’s what we watch TV for, isn’t it, the same as reading books.
It annoys me slightly that the entire hospital staff appears intent on sleeping with the entire rest of the hospital staff, but again, I don’t imagine that’s the case in a real hospital. Mind you, when I was a student I remember the med students and vet students did have a reputation for work hard/play hard … so who knows!
I suppose in a way the show does remind me of being a student again. The student life is all-engrossing in a similar way because you work with, live with, and socialise with the same group of people, allowing you to know their lives in a way that just doesn’t happen when you get older. So perhaps part of watching the show is nostalgia for a good time in my own life.
It intrigues me how a lot of the program consists of medical jargon that I don’t understand, and yet I still know what’s going on. It would be interesting to watch the show with an actual doctor to see how accurate the underlying medical terminology and treatment is. I’m assuming it’s fairly accurate, although as the part of the show I’m watching is ten years old, I guess it could be slightly out of date these days.
Previous shows I’ve been hooked on are Ally McBeal and Ugly Betty, and I go out of my way to watch Doctor Who and Sherlock. So … If you’ve got any other recommendations for shows I might like, based on all that lot and those above, I’d be interested to hear it. Or let me know what shows hook you!