started its fifth season with a bang last night. So far, I'm down with the addition of Kevin McKidd as Major McHottie to the cast. He's a welcome relief from all those milquetoast male types that Shonda Rhimes likes to write, but I'm a little bit nervous that she might steer him too far toward the other end of the male macho continuum and make him too stereotypically manly.
Each of the men on Grey's Anatomy
seems to fulfill a single stereotype emanating from Shonda's brain, which leads me to wonder: does Shonda Rhimes even know
The way Major McHottie was presented last night made him look like the kind of caricature that a woman might think
a “real man” is like. He doesn't talk much, except to curtly say, “So?” He apparently doesn't feel any pain and can drive multiple staples into his own flesh without so much as a wince. He thrives in adrenaline-fueled war zones. And, he easily gives in to lust. This guy can't be for real! Way to perpetuate stereotypes, Shonda!
I suppose I am asking too much. After all, Grey's Anatomy
doesn't have a great track record of producing interesting, complex male characters, so I shouldn't expect it to start now. Look at Derek (Patrick Dempsey
). He's a soft, wishy-washy sort of man who can't make up his mind, and all he has going for him is that lustful look in his eyes when he's sniffing your hair. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane
) is the quintessential lady's man (another of Shonda's favorite tropes) who doesn't suffer the inconvenience of having a soul. Poor George (T.R. Knight
) is everybody's lap dog. He's content to just chug along, while other people like Lexie (Chyler Leigh
) have to stand up for him.
Real men, just like everybody else, have periods of self-doubt like George has, bouts of indecision like Derek and moments of taciturn macho-ness like Major McHottie. I think if you combined the personalities of all of these men, only then would you get a closer approximation of what a real man is like. I'm hoping that, as the season progresses, we'll uncover more layers to Major McHottie's personality, and he'll become more of a three-dimensional character.
All that said, however, I do think that Grey's Anatomy
season 5 is off to a great start. Back in the beginning of August, I presented you with the "Five Things I Want for Grey's Anatomy Season 5."
They were: (1) more success for Cristina, (2) better mental health for Meredith, (3) more backstory about Alex, (4) more subdural hematomas, and (5) more fluff, less angst. Well, we got three out of five last night: there was a subdural hematoma within the first 30 minutes of the episode, Cristina started her comeback and Meredith continued her journey toward mental health. All that is left, then, is to explore Alex's character some more and to have more light, comedic scenes, and I'm confident that we'll be getting both of these and more as the year goes on.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)