Mommy Issues – Reality vs Fiction

As a fangirl I often delight in getting the nitty-gritty details of the behind the scenes action of my favorite shows.   There are some shows I’ll never quite get enough of even when it comes to out of character facts and interaction.  Hell, part of my job here is to know that stuff but when is it too much?  When does all that information become more of a hindrance than enticement?

The short answer?  Greys Anatomy.

For years now we have been overloaded with behind the scenes drama from the makers and actors.  Today that addictive douche Ausiello leaked that Katherine Heigl has finally confirmed that she’s leaving the show.  This comes after all that crap with Isaiah Washington, losing TR Knight and a recent report that Meridith’s character had been down played this season so she could be a mommy.  This is also the reason Heigl gives for leaving.

I’m down with wanting a family and doing your thing but lets take a second and look at this.  Ellen Pompeo recently had her first child and Heigl recently adopted.  I’m very happy for both of them and think they deserve the time to focus on the family but lets not forget that last year, McDreamy’s wife had twins and Justin Chambers who plays Karev is a father of 5.  I’m not saying that the roles between mothers and fathers, working in the entertainment industry or full time at all, for that matter, aren’t different but we haven’t seen a change in these characters because of their familial commitments.

This show takes the out of character drama and allows it to affect their characters too much.  Take Gina Bellman on Leverage for example.  The writers made it make sense that the character needed to take some time away from the show, they didn’t just call a reporter and go “oh well she had a baby so that’s why that happened”.  Sure we knew Gina was expecting but it also made sense in the context of the show.   Another direction to go could be like Lilly and Robin on How I Met Your Mother, who were able to use the comedy aspect of their show to make light of an out of character situation instead of fully hiding it or just making the characters pregnant on the show.

Actors have lives.  I’m cool with that.  I even find it entertaining but I can’t help but feel like it’s the responsibility of a show to make me so involved in the story that I care enough about it to suspend my belief of reality and live in the show, at least for that one hour a week.



~ by doublebitch on March 24, 2010.

3 Responses to “Mommy Issues – Reality vs Fiction”

  1. In fairness, it isn’t like Justin Chambers and Patrick Dempsey even get that much screentime anyway. Chambers is supposed to be one of the main characters, but he is clearly suppourting. Dempsey is one of the faces of the show (the only actor on the show with more fame would be Heigl), but he has never really had that much screentime either (rightfully so, since his character is a douche anyway).

    So what if Pompeo is being written light – she is still present on the show (currently about the same amount of screentime as Dempsey and Chambers). She has been a solid presence on the show since the beginning, and deserves a little rest. I’m sure next season she’ll have a better storyline.

    And with Heigl, well…not everyone wants the same things. The show has given her a lot of screentime, and she just wants to spend more time with her family while pursuing a movie career (which means less work, for more money). Oh, and if she doesn’t want to do a film, she won’t have to. Where as, on Grey’s she had to continually act out sex scenes with ghosts.

    I actually do agree with your point though, when an actor’s life meshes with the storyline the show can suffer. Losing Heigl is a big blow for Grey’s, IMO, and the show should just use next season to wrap everything up (and invite KH back for the finale)!. Even season three of Desperate Housewives with Marcia Cross’ maternity leave saw the show suffer. It was doing incredibly well, had its best story arc, and had to end it halfway through the season. After that it was just downhill.

    Sorry for the long post. 🙂

  2. Grey’s has needed to lose Heigl for about 100 episodes now.

  3. Never apologize for having too much to say. I honestly didn’t notice all that much that Ellen was being written light except for that stint where she was out with the liver thing. It’s just that off show things have continually dictated on show things. To some extent that’s unavoidable but this is the third character we’re leaving because they’re unhappy with how the show is run…

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