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Season finale of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ was horrible, senseless violence

For years, I watched no television. I stopped watching because I had a tendency to watch poor quality programs just because I wanted to know the end.

When I started making videos, I wanted to be able to see my work on TCTV, our local access station. So I became a Comcast subscriber.

I watch CNN and occasionally Oprah and Dr. Phil. Recently, I began watching "Grey’s Anatomy" and "House."

Last night, I was extremely distressed by the two-hour season finale of "Grey’s Anatomy." It was a terribly violent program.

In "Sanctuary" and "Death and All His Friends," a gunman breaks into the hospital and shoots doctors and interns. For two hours. It was terrible.

First, the story idea itself was flawed. Have a season finale showing about a dozen people getting shot and several dying? What’s the point in that? It appeared as though the idea was to offer something bloody and dramatic to improve ratings.

Second, it was a terrible show to watch. A deranged man, whose wife had died at the hospital, just kept shooting people in the locked-down hospital. It was way too much violence. I'm sorry that I started watching the program. The writers get you interested in a program, then they do a terribly, terribly violent program for two hours. It was horrible.

Third, the Seattle Police Department looked uncoordinated, unprepared, and ineffective. In addition, the way the scenes were set up, some staff person, Owen perhaps, could have tried to take the gunman out. It didn’t happen.

The creator of the show, Shonda Rhimes, wrote on the post "Shonda Rhimes on ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Death and All His Friends’" that the show was extremely difficult for her to write.

Rhimes said it hurt her to write it. It hurt me to watch it. It was so terrible I was afraid I would have nightmares.

My advice to Rhimes. Next time, if it upsets you so much to write a terribly violent show like the one you wrote, then don’t write it, don’t produce it, and don’t show it to the American public. Use your intuition. Save the TV viewing audience from mindless, senseless violence. There’s enough of it around in real life, in the movies, and on a wide-variety of violent TV programs.

TV could be such a great medium for educating people and moving society forward. However, once again, it was used for mindless violence. It’s what TV and movie makers do. Over and over again.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

Comments

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susan wi

I have to agree. Although I have forgiven the ebb and flow of this show's quality, the season finale was senseless. I admit that I am sensitive to violence - but I actually had nightmares Thursday night. This plot did nothing to move the storyline forward, and I expect better from what is supposed to be a "smart" show.

I'd be very interested in understanding the intent behind this.

Chris

I agree completely with your post. Watching this finale was disturbing and left me feeling horrible. In a way, I feel violated -- I was in no way prepared for what I was about to see. I purposely avoid programming with violent content and had I known how awful this episode was going to be, I never would have watched any of it in the first place. I should have turned it off after the first "shooting," but I really thought that it couldn't possibly get any worse...after all, I was watching Grey's Anatomy! Graphic violence of this kind has no place in a hospital drama. Or in any media, for that matter. I had enjoyed watching Grey's Anatomy because it was a departure from the myriad of graphic forensic/cop shows. There is so very little available to viewers seeking creative, clever and intelligent programming. I am sick of the portrayal of senseless violence in the name of "entertainment," and the fact that a show like Grey's Anatomy has fallen victim to the moron mindset is extremely disappointing. This finale was a betrayal of its viewers and a cop-out. I will not be watching the series next season.

Josh

I wouldn't call it senseless violence. Grey's anatomy has been a show phenomenon since its first episode. People loved the combination of medical cases mixed with the social lives of the doctors and interns. But the violence shown in this episode was more of a potrayal of how this can happen in real life. The man lost his wife, and he couldn't take it. The subject matter of this episode was at a more different tone than the others. Yes i do agree that the writers did put this in to make it interesting. But it worked. We the people, like to see situations in distress, because its what we see in the world. This episode wasn't senseless, it was an example of how things like this happen. Yes the violence was graphic for a television show. But this episode was also great because it brought the characters to let out their true feelings to each other, because they were in a state of fear, because they were being hunted. The message of this episode was more of an example of not taking life for granted, and always give people the love and attention they need before its too late.

Rita

Hi Josh,

Thanks for your opinion. It's good that you got something positive out of this violent portrayal.

Please visit The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide again and let me know your opinions.

Rita

Ashley

I understand that some people are sensitive to violence and would prefer not to watch it on television, but I have so many objections to these criticisms.

Violence HAPPENS. Violence IS ugly, it IS scary, it IS horrifying. It's part of life, and I don't think it should be downplayed on television as less than what it is. You'd be hard-pressed to find a primetime drama that doesn't have any violence. The adverts for the finale stated that there would be a shooter in the hospital. If you knew this ahead of time and you weren't expecting it to be, as Rita says above, a "violent portrayal," then I don't know what you were expecting. I don't know any other way mass murder can be "portrayed."

I can see the points made of the storyline being purely for shock value and ratings. I'm sure that's probably partially true. But the storyline was a catalyst for major character changes and development. If you've watched any of Season 7, you can see that. It's not something that the writers just did and then left it behind in Season 6. It has affected all the characters, and continues to influence the plot of the show. It has also brought attention to the alarming increase in public violence, as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I think you should keep in mind the people who have actually been through an event like this. The episode of "Private Practice" where Charlotte is brutally raped is another great example. I was very shaken up by the violence, I found it very upsetting. I was not at all entertained by it, I was disturbed. But I also realized, "Hey, this is what rape is. This is what women and men and children experience, this is what happens to a person every day of the week. If it upsets me to see a portrayal of it on television, imagine how the actual victims of this feel?"

I think we are in an age of television where shows do more than entertain, they also inform on issues that are current, important, and not often fully told. This is the world we live in now, unfortunately, and I think this finale was art imitating life.

I'd love to get some responses.

JM

While I don't have anything against a TV program or movie portraying realism in order to expose what mental health issues can do to a person, and to numerous other people, Grey's Anatomy is not a "realistic" show. Yes, it's about doctors and their private as well as professional lives, but it is first and foremost a soap opera (even though it doesn't have the hazy soft lights). In every season, something dramatic happens to one or more of the characters that is life-threatening in order to have a "shocking" episode to draw in viewers. It's only gotten worse in the last several seasons, with increasingly lazy writing and more "shocking" events thrown in to cause characters to up the drama, to realize that they love one another, and ultimately to up the viewership.

After seeing Callie's car crash where she and her baby almost died, I thought...ok, yes, car crashes happen. But then there was the shooting. Then the plane crash. Then the explosion. Of course, who could forget the bomb from an earlier season. It's just trashy at this point - Catastrophic events don't happen to the same group of people every single year.

Even the wikipedia article on Grey's states: "The season will always end with a finale, typically involving a tragic event such as a death." The show has been bordering on the absurd for years now, and I'm afraid its more about the entertainment and trying to create an increasingly dramatic finale than it is about depicting realistic occurrences.

Rita

Hi JM,

Thanks for your comment.

I'm afraid "Grey's Anatomy" is in decline. I think Shonda Rhimes is putting her time and "talents" elsewhere. I didn't watch "Scandal" when it was launched because I didn't want to get hooked on another TV evening soap opera.

"Grey's Anatomy" had fewer episodes this year. I kept looking for a few shows after Christmas, like before, but they never appeared.

Also, it was dull for Christina to break up with her husband, again, and we had to watch them dating others. This story line is just too, too old. Christina is supposed to not be returning next season. I wonder if they'll just say this fall, "Oh, Christina moved to xxx." Her fans have made it clear that they don't want to see her die.

In the meantime, I've started watching "Downton Abbey." I saw a summary of the show this summer and saw what Masterpiece fans see in the English show. However, I'm so disappointed to find it only has eight episodes for a season.

I also started to watch "Parenthood," but some of the characters always are having turmoil. So, now, I just listen to it while I'm writing blog posts.

Please stop by my blog again and let me know your opinions.

Rita

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