Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Seriously? Seriously?

Friday, May 8, 2015

I stopped watching "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007 after becoming bitter that it beat out "Lost" at all the major awards shows. I started watching it again in 2010 when all the shows I loved ended.

I stopped watching it again two weeks ago when Dr. Derek Shepherd was needlessly killed off by Shonda Rhimes, a showrunner who doesn't seem to understand loyalty to fans or how a plot works.

In all fairness, I knew when I started watching the show again that it was all about doctors whining, having sex and whining about having sex. I accepted it nevertheless because I had recently started college and didn't want to invest my energy in new programs.

Why not just stick with a TV show I knew was bad instead of being disappointed constantly? I'm looking at you, Ryan Murphy.

So I started watching "Grey's Anatomy" again in season seven, a season following a surprisingly well-written hospital shooting. If the writers could pull off such sensitive material, I thought, maybe the show wasn't even as bad as I believed.

Then, two seasons later, the Shonda Killing Machine barreled through, taking out beloved couple Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan in a plane crash. Chyler Leigh, the actress portraying Lexie, revealed after her character's death that she had asked to be written off the show in order to spend more time with her family. Eric Dane, who played Mark, was written off due to budget concerns.

Both exits made sense behind-the-scenes, but Rhimes wrote these deaths in such a convoluted, over-the-top way that many fans began to believe she resented Leigh for wanting time off.

See, not only was Lexie crushed by a large section of airplane. She died just as Mark reconnected with her, saying he loved her even though they hadn't been able to work out their relationship in the past. He said all this to her as blood spilled from her mouth.

Mark died from internal bleeding once everyone in the crash got rescued but not before Lexie's corpse was eaten by wolves. Eaten by wolves. If that doesn't sound like vengeful writing, I don't know what does.

But on the bright side, those deaths did have build-up. Mark and Lexie were clearly beginning to come back together, so their exits had an emotional punch that didn't feel disingenuous. It didn't hurt that Rhimes had promised fans of the couple that things would work out between the two; it just turned out that they had to die in the same time frame for that to happen, I guess.

Derek Shepherd's death, though, was poorly written and insulting to fans. The husband of the series' main character, Meredith Grey, Derek died after ignoring Meredith for months, cheating on her and finally returning to apologize. Before he died, he and Meredith were planning to have more children.

So of course he was hit by a semi-truck after stalling his vehicle in the middle of an open road to check his phone, and of course Meredith got pregnant with his child as a final way to remember him.

It reeks of bad writing. There was no build-up to Derek's death; he didn't appear on the show half the season and then returned two episodes before being killed off. Behind-the-scenes chatter revealed that Patrick Dempsey, the actor who portrayed Derek, wanted more time off to pursue racing cars.

Accounts vary past that, with some fans insisting that Dempsey wanted to stay on the show in a limited capacity and others saying he wanted out of his two-year contract early. Dempsey appeared shocked in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, so I'm going to guess this was simply more vengeful writing.

My guess is that Rhimes wanted Dempsey to be super-dedicated to the show and wrote him off hastily when she realized that he wasn't going to be.

At any rate, you can count me out from watching the show now. I don't like it when TV writers obviously attempt to upset viewers, especially when they don't accomplish it.

I didn't cry over Derek's death, and I've cried while watching that E! reality show about Hugh Hefner's girlfriends before. I can only imagine this is true for other viewers, minus the E! reality show part.

Bad move, Shonda Rhimes.

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Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com.