I dislike medical dramas.
I’m sorry, let me explain that.
I mean I dislike medical soaps.
Actually, I dislike any kind of soap – the TV product, obv. But my dislike for medical soaps is fuelled by an almost pathological indifference engine.
From Emergency Ward 10 (ask your grand-parents, kids) through to House; all except two are bum-clinchingly awful.
The first is the BBCs sitcom
Casuality. Causality. Casualty.
Casuality Casualty used to be average, and therefore awful, but in the last few years it has become a mediocre shadow of its very worst nightmare.
It has now been relegated to the foot of the table called ‘unwatchable’.
I hate it.
The other exception to the list of medical soaps that I dislike is Grey’s Anatomy.
I love it.
There is, to be fair, a lot of ketchup.
Blood. Bones. And gore.
But there is no, absolutely none at all – snore.
Grey’s Anatomy is the epitome of televisual excellence.
The post-prod is excellent.
The editing – both video and audio – is, frankly, so good that it makes some big budget film productions look anaemic by comparison.
The soundtrack is emotionally manipulative and yet…
The Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack features the calibre of top quality indie artists who will never gather in one place, except on a TV show, obv.
The roll-call includes names like
the postal service
snow patrol, and the almost ever-present
But that’s only the post-prod.
The prod isn’t, you know, too shabby either.
The acting is highly commended, but the way the actors portray their characters; the conviction they all bring to their roles, these qualities are indicative of a higher order: brilliant on-set direction.
The camerwork isn’t, if we’re being truthful, outstanding.
But that’s OK, because the occasional flips and slips add a quality of realism that
Causality Casualty can only dream of.
However the big value is added to the show via the writing team.
The writing is credible, sympathetic, harsh, stark, cold, emotional and, for the most part, joyful to hear.
I love the dialogue.
It is crisp without being wise-cracking, emotional without being drippy and sharp without being (unnecessarily) cutting.
Occasional exchanges of dialogue that briefly throw a shard of light on the deeper motivation of a character; qualities such as this mark distinctive adjuncts in long-term plot developments that lesser writers would weep over.
Touching scenes, laced with a tinge of melodrama, are sometimes played with an oversized funny bone. This adds a combination of sincerity and realism.
Sincerity and realism being qualities that have never been visited upon
Nor Emergency Ward 10.