Tuesday, November 04, 2008

In which Lisa admits to watching Grey's Anatomy


It was revealed today that actress Brooke Smith has been fired from her job at Grey's Anatomy.

Last spring, lured in by news of a developing relationship between Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Erica Hahn (Smith) on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, I started watching, after having managed to resist the popular hour-long drama for the first four seasons. In addition to the fact that I am always at DalOUT events on Thursday evenings, I was rather resistant to the show because it was so popular, particularly among the girls I lived with in Shirreff Hall. I didn't really need to watch anyway because my friends always spent breakfast on Friday rehashing the previous night's episode, so I was able to glean from their conversation what was going on.

Many lesbians will watch a TV program or a movie purely because it includes a lesbian character or couple. For example, I started watching America's Next Top Model when I found out that Season 4 contestant Kim was gay. I have watched every season of ANTM since then even though there hasn't always been a lesbian contestant. The question now is whether, with the abrupt departure of Erica Hahn, those of us who started watching Grey's just to follow the "Callica" relationship will continue to watch. Will the other storylines have sucked new viewers in enough to keep them interested? Will Callie continue to explore her sexuality? There are elements of the show that I enjoy, particularly the humour. However, some of the storylines are annoying or I haven't got the background to completely appreciate what's happening.

Source: AfterEllen.com

It has been indicated that the decision to fire Brook Smith was related more to the network's dislike for her character than to her character's realization that she's gay. I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of Hahn/Smith. I find Smith's delivery awkward sometimes, and Hahn isn't a likeable person at times (but I'm pretty sure that she was written that way intentionally). The problem I have is that the network would never come out and say, "We're getting rid of Erica because she's too gay." If it wasn't a situation of gay panic at the network, why such an abrupt departure? Why doesn't Smith even know how the character's disappearance is going to be explained?

Frankly, I'm very confused about how ABC feels about the gay community. They made the right move when they fired Isaiah Washington after spouting a gay slur about co-star T.R. Knight on set. Firing Washington sent a message that ABC would not tolerate homophobia among its actors, at least when said homophobia was leaked to the media. Now, I'm wondering if the network didn't fire Smith because they were uncomfortable with how the Callica relationship was developing, specifically that the two women actually had physical contact on camera, which is more than a lot of gay TV couples get. I guess I'll be able to form more of an opinion when we see what the writers take Callie.

As for how Erica's disappearance is going to be addressed, my suspicion is that she'll join a long list of dead TV lesbians as a result of a car accident. Smith says that her last scene is just her driving away in her car, and not much happens in the following episode. The doctors will probably get word of the accident, Hahn will have been taken to Mercy West or some other hospital with a higher ranking than them, and the doctors will have a little ceremony where everyone will reflect on how Hahn was sort of a bitch, but a damn good doctor...or something like that.