As I have mentioned here many times I don’t watch much TV. No time for it, really. Probably a bad thing for someone who has a job doing a lot of parodies of TV shows… but that’s just the way it is. “LOST” is the only show I will try and catch at airtime, although I do sometimes watch “Medium” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” when it’s TIVOed… except both shows lost me last season. So, when I get assigned a show I have to research it by either hopefully catching some reruns, setting the TIVO for new episodes and/or quizzing any friends or neighbors who watch the show. The best time to get assigned a TV show parody to draw is in the fall or late summer, when the new season is about to start. The reason for this is simple enough: LAST SEASON ON DVD! Thanks to the weird need for consumers to own a nicely packaged DVD boxed set of a series of TV show episodes they likely had recorded for free already, and the quick pursuit of said consumer’s hard earned cash by TV show producers, the late summer sees a slew of TV series last season releases on DVD. Researching “Grey’s Anatomy” was a matter of going down to the store and buying the just released second season DVD set. And watching them, of course.
I spent the last day watching episodes of the show, just the final seven or so. I did not expect to like it, as ‘soap opera’ type shows that deal mostly with who’s sleeping with who and who’s backstabbing who are not my favorite programs. From what I was told of the show, most of it revolves around the personal lives of the cast and there is very little medical drama or storylines which I might have found more interesting. I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked the show. There is quite a bit of humor in it, and the cast are all very good in their roles. Also surprising was that, unlike many “hip” TV shows today that are filled with artificial-like hotties that seem to be made of plastic, this one has faces with some real character in them. Oh, there are plenty of good looking actors/actresses in it, but none are of the interchangeable-generic-beauty variety. They all have expressive, great faces and should be a lot of fun to draw.
Overall the show actually is very soap-opera-ish but with enough wit to laugh at itself now and again. All the characters are flawed and their shortcomings, whether they are ones you dislike them for or make them endearing, they are out for display. Sandra Oh, who is probably the best known of the cast (the only one I knew) and a very good actor, has a great role as the know-it-all overachiever kiss-ass with an attitude… a role that could easily be overplayed but she pulls it off very well. There are a few of the stereotype characters you find in many shows like this… the gruff and tough but secretly kind hearted boss, the jerk with a soft spot, the brainy and egotistical hero, the flighty and emotional hottie, the nerdy and soft spoken but deep feeling kid… but it’s the excellent casting and acting that keeps them from playing the characters into stereotypes, as I said Oh also avoids. There is also plenty of medical storyline that happens, and one of the best things is that they are seldom drawn out over more than one episode. The medical issues are definitely not the focus, but they add interest to the show and characters.
The lead character, that of Meredith Grey for whom the title is named, is played by Ellen Pompeo. When I first saw the show she reminded me of another actress who’s name I couldn’t quite remember. It was one of those things where it’s on the edge of your brain but you can’t reel it in. I could picture her face… the same freaky, ice-bright eyes, arched and dark eyebrows, heavy cheekbones and set jaw. For some reason I kept thinking of her in a sci fi film or show, but couldn’t come up with a title and she was mostly a guest star anyway. So, finally I had to call my friend and resident TV/movie expert, St. Louis cartoonist Jim Batts, for the answer. Jim of course came up with it right away: Meg Foster.
Thanks, Jim! Eerie resemblence. Should have some fun with that one. All of them, really. Even the hot, former-underwear-model-turned doctor “Izzie” Stevens (played by Katherine Heigl) has plenty of features to play with. Pencils are underway and I will post some sneak peeks at some of the art next week.
674 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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