Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Real McDreamy

You may take a look at the picture on this posting and think that it doesn't belong on a romance blogging website. But dear reader, please consider that television has brought us some of the finest romances of all time. Unlike novelists, TV writers can tease us with six or seven seasons of sexual tension. How marvelous is that? How inspiring (and distracting) for someone like me, who definitely doesn't want to sit down and start writing Chapter Eleven for Revising Mr. Right?

Inspiration for writing has to come from somewhere, and for me it often comes from other people's characters. (Be prepared: I am about to take you through the twisted inner workings of my brain.) Know that I am well-versed in the art of fictional obsession. As a child, my first crushes were on book people--Gilbert Blythe, for starters, and Mr. Darcy as I got older. As I discovered well-written television, I expanded my affections towards Chris in the Morning from Northern Exposure and various sexy undeads ala Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But in all my years of drooling over men who don't exist, nothing (and I mean nothing) could have prepared me for the advent of George O'Malley.

For those of you who don't watch Grey's Anatomy , this is a show about surgical interns living and lusting at a Seattle-based hospital. The show pivots around intern Meredith Grey, who spent the first season carrying on a clandestine affair with a hot brain surgeon labeled McDreamy. O'Malley was a platonic roommate who just so happened to be harboring a titanic crush on her... but she was clearly "off the market" until McDreamy turned out to be married.

Now, like most of the G.A. fan world I felt bad when McDreamy's cheating wife showed up and spoiled his adorable romance with Mere. But as the weeks went on, I grew considerably less enchanted. Meredith kept making calf's eyes at another woman's husband, and McDreamy (though ostensibly committed to working out his marital problems) kept sending sexy gazes and star-crossed comments in Meredith's direction. Reading the writers' blog, it's become clear to me that most fans take this as a sign that Meredith and McDreamy are Meant to Be. They make all sorts of comments about the two characters needing to get back together.

But personally, I think it's rather disgusting. The man needs to make up his mind and quit stringing along two women. Newsflash, fans: McDreamy doesn't love anybody so much as he loves himself. And Meredith's allowed a certain amount of wallowing, but it's not okay to totally ignore and then wantonly use your closest friends for totally disturbing and callous sex.

You want real love? Take a look at O'Malley. If we're looking for a Rachel and Ross equation at Seattle Grace Hospital, this guy is definitely Meredith's "Ross." He is by her side, literally holding the umbrella when her emotional *%#@ storm descends. He tries to protect her from the lameness that it McDreamy's emotional manipulation. He's a caring and compassionate roommate. He gives her sympathy, but he tells it like it is when she needs some criticism (see: men are not all dogs). He's good in a crisis, too (see: open heart surgery in an elevator, helping Bailey through labor complications, etc).

I have my heart set on O'Malley and Meredith finally getting together, after she gets over McDreamy (and herself) and finally grows up a little. But after last week's episode, I'm convinced that this will take awhile. O'Malley finally confesses his feelings to the oblivious object of his affections and instead of turning him down (like a real friend would) she decides to jump his bones just to make herself feel better. Very high ick factor. And of course he doesn't say no, because he's in love and he's horny and he's wanted her for how long? Besides, one gets the sense that he's a little inexperienced with these things and... well, basically I just want to hijack this character, place him in the middle of a romance novel, and make him happy. He deserves happiness.

When will women learn that having a McSweetie is ten times better than having a McDreamy? And if I write romance novels about legitimate McSweeties instead of self-involved langorously gazing jerks, will anyone want to read them? Or are heterosexual women really committed to fantasizing about alpha-ass-as-love-object?


Theresa said...

I don't know, but I love George, too.

Check out my blog today - we made the ProJo.

simplycomplex said...

I am a reader of the GA Blog..saw your site and came to visit!

Anyway I am a self admitted lover of the unhealthy ones. The question you pose is one that I ask myself everyday, and like Meredith did with George, I've forced myself to stay with the "nice guy" knowing I didn't feel it in my core. Sick? Yes. Twisted? Without a doubt. Honest? Yep! See I can continue my self-flogging without hurting anyone but myself as long as I continue to chase unhealthy men. But when I try to flip it, and do the right thing, and stay with the “nice guy” it never works out; and in doing so I hurt someone who sooooo doesn't deserve it. I give the nice guys hundreds of chances!!! But then I turn into the bad guy and they turn into me. It’s not fair and as a result I’ve taken breaks from bad and nice guys and am trying to do some self-evaluation.

You blame Meredith for making googley eyes at McDreamy, well she loved him. It's sooo extremely damn frustratingly painstakingly hard to stop loving someone. Doesn't the matter the situation of which the love ends, wife shows up, cops show up, mutual ending, letting love go is hard. And Meredith (who is similar to me) has found a somewhat functional love for the first time in her life with McDreamy, well at least until the wife showed up and it became dysfunctional. She felt like she had done the right thing, fallen for a nice guy and even better he liked her back!!! She did what was healthy, there was no chase, no longing for love, nothing of the such. But as we learned, things are not always what they seem.

Like I said before it's so easy to sit back and say "When will people stop going for bad boys and go for the nice guys?", it's extremely easy to say...not so easy to implement. And believe me I've tried, repeatedly.

Just my .02.

Jaime said...

OOOH! OOOH! OOOH!! I totally agree (and have been FREAKING OUT that I missed last week's big George moment. How good was it? And why is GA not on iTunes yet?)
Scarily, the GA writer's blog implies to me that the WRITERS think M and M belong together. ARE THEY CRACKHEADS? You cannot write George and not want him to be the protagonist. I'll freakin' do him if Mer won't.
So yes, and yes, and yes.

theflitgirl said...

Yikes, you may have opened more of a debate with your GA post than you intended, Kate!

Let's band together, start a new group: Damned Scribbling Women United For the Proliferation of Nice Guy Heroes In Romance (DSWUFPNGHIR, for short).

I think Peter and Jude are two good footsoldiers to lead the charge.

And now I get why you were so mad at Julia Chesterwood!

Kate D. said...

Ah, I can see my post requires a tempering comment... I actually don't mind Meredith. I was in love with a total bad boy for upwards of five years after it became readily apparent that it was going nowhere fast. I have tons of sympathy for (most) of Meredith's actions.

I don't have sympathy for McDreamy, though. I feel like he's stringing her along... unintentionally or intentionally, it's still wrong.

And I have made bad choices like Meredith, but my best friends (who are very nice guys) were always off limits. I'm just saying. She should have a limit.

You're right--it's not simple. But I just think there are some decency fundamentals in play here.

tagideon said...

I love your name for George - he is a McSweetie alright. Who doesn't love George?

Sam said...

In my online dating travails, I've run into a lot of guys who announce in their profiles that they are Nice Guys. What they invariably mean by this is that they're boring and/or clingy, and bitter because they've been dumped for more interesting/independent (and therefore less nice?) guys. I want a McSweetie who will treat me well, but (as I said to my last McDreamy, who was not quite McSweet enough) a little mystery and doubt are what make a relationship sexy. So call me a member of Damned Scribbling Women United For the Proliferation of Sweet-Yet-Sexy Guy Heroes In Romance. :)

Kate D. said...

Amen, Sam! I'm a believer in genuinely nice guys who are also sexy... I remember certain pathetic classmates in high school whining, "I'm such a nice guy! Why don't girls like me? It's because women are stupid!"

Whereupon I would want to say "Whining isn't sexy or very nice, calling all women stupid indicates that you're a misogynistic jerk, and girls don't like you because you wear the same Red Dwarf T-shirt every day and practically stalk anyone who shows you the smallest bit of decency."

Holly said...

First of all....I love this post. I think you've made an excellent point with the McSweetie/McDreamy thing..I'm watching GA now and waiting to see how things turn out *crosses fingers*.

Second: These comments are cracking me up. I'm lucky enough to have found my McSweetie. He's sweet, adorable and sexy-as-all-get-out. The perfect combination.

Here's wishing all of you the same....

Simone said...

Kate: excellent post. Kate's fans: excellent comments. But here's a perspective missing from the conversation: I dated George. I fell in love with the sweet, soulful, slightly klutzy, friend. I had eyes for only him, smitten by is inner-handsomeness. Until he turned out to be McAsshole. Now granted this may be just me but prepare your self, cause those sweet overlooked guys so perfect as they admire you from afar, when given a shot at getting comfortable in your adoration can take you for granted and string you along just as seriously as any one with a chisled jawline. Frankly its even worse, because you don't see it coming. Good luck, ladies.

Simone said...

ok, feeling a little wrong about posting that comment. I mean, you know, I'm still a fan of romance and everything... i'm just saying, it's worth considering, maybe the nice guys are the most dangerous.

Holly said...


I had a similar thought while watching the last 2 episodes of GA. Because - though I hadn't noticed it before - George seems to whine...a lot.

So it got me thinking...would he really make a good boyfriend? I mean, he constantly complained that Mer didn't notice him and blah, blah, blah, but I saw him doing nothing about it. Yes, he went to her and she handled it very badly, but he seemed to just wuss out.

I'm not sure I liked that aspect of it.

Kate D. said...

I think that George and Meredith just have bad juju. Because yes, if you watch the two of them together it is just point-blank awful. But if you watch him with Bailey, or sniveling hand-on-bomb girl, or that sweet little old lady who didn't want to leave the hospital... he's absolutely charming, totally take-charge, and delightfully dependable.

His chemistry with Izzy is great, too (I don't mean romantically; I mean platonically).

No, I think it's just with Meredith that he's train-wreck-e-rific.

Holly said...

LOL, Kate. I see what you mean, and you're right. He was awesome with Bailey and the hand-on-bomb girl.

So, basically, he has the potential to become an amazing man, but he's just not living up to it with Mer.

Gotcha now.

*sigh* Sorry, I'm a little slow sometimes...ha ha