"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


The End.

Warning: TV spoilers lie here in. If you've Tivo-ed the Grey's Anatomy season finale read me later.

A few months ago I decided that I no longer wanted to watch the
Gilmore Girls. I love them, have from the very beginning. The witty banter, the unbelievable mother-daughter relationship, the town troubadour. I have defended it against the hatred of all of my boy roommates. And then I just couldn't do it any more. At the end of last season, the mother, Lorelai, got married to the man she's been on-again-off-again with for like 20 years. But then three TV months into their marriage, she decides that she does not actually love him and she's still in love with the person she was actually supposed to have married at the end of the previous season. The thing in all of this WB-typical drama that made me give up and state aloud at my TV, "They are dead to me" was the fact that no one is allowed to be happy. To just be in a relationship that is a til-death-do-us-part sort of life. I was again drawn in when I found out that this was the last season, so I watched again. And then second to last episode, the daughter, Rory, is proposed to by her loving, wonderful, long-time boyfriend. But she can't do it, and he goes away. Again, the Gilmore girls are alone together.

So tonight I was watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy, and one of the surgeons is getting married to one of the interns. The Interns discuss that this has to work, because if this works for this couple, it means that it can work for all of these women, giving them hope that despite their dysfunctions and their powerful careers they can have a normal, happy relationship. But it doesn't work. He knows that she's not sure and cannot be okay with that, so it's over.

Now, I don't watch these shows for hope that I can be independent and educated (and a wee bit neurotic), and still find a way to have a normal life. But I find it upsetting that none of these women is allowed to find someone who loves them, and who they can love, and who they can build a life together with. I know very well how difficult it is to make a marriage work, and how difficult even the easy ones are. But I am almost offended that a woman on television is not allowed to be bright and independent, and capable of having other people in her life, without them being only her dysfunctional girl friends who she can sit with and lament how impossible it is to find a good man.
Read on...


jch said...

This is really well written and while I don't watch TV all that much, I can appreciate your take on what you've seen. Very powerful.

The Minority Report said...

something else to consider...the folks at the top of these shows...men. sure shonda is the creator, but she answers to a lot of people above her. and though there's a surprising # of women in mid-mgmnt levels in tv, at the top, top are dudes.

Of the show's directors, 12 out of 15 are men. though i was surprised and disappointed to see that more than half the writers and producers are women.

though 3 of the 5 executive producers are men. these are the producers with more of the power. the supervising producers are usually glorified writers and the consutling and associate producers are usually somebody's friends. so though ladies are there, they may not be weilding much power at the end of they day.

pegc said...

Not only can a good relationship not work, but they have so much freedom in bed with anyone.

I get so tired of everyone jumping into bed at the drop of a hat and trying it on with a friend.

I am swearing off Grey's Anatomy after this last episode. It was very disappointing and not worth another season to me.

Enjoyed your blog, BTW.

Hilary said...

while i appreciate peg's comment about everyone jumping in and out of bed with each other, and casey's perspective that none of these characters can seem to be happy in normal, funtioning romantic relationships, i actually had a different take ...

i loved that rory didn't marry logan because it meant giving up her career as her #1 dream, closing the door to certain opportunities, and she knew she was too young for that. she ends up on the campaign trail, where a finance could not have followed.

and i found myself noting in the finale of grey's that it was actually derrick and preston who were chasing after the girls, when i feel so often it's the female characters pining away and the men who can't commit.

i actually found both finales refreshing from a female perspective! (not necessarily healthy or realistic mind you.) nonetheless, i loved your post kc. :-)