Sunday, May 6, 2007

Doing Everything Right and Only Being Unhappy

So I finally got around to watching the Grey's Anatomy spin-off episode. I, of course, read all the review articles the day after it aired and was not looking forward to it much. First, the "I'm going to kiss you...with tongue" line is lame (and even worse when he says it -- the outtakes on that must be priceless) and second, what passes for Meredith's insecurities in GA becomes in PP (tongue, peepee...are they telling us something with all the kindergarten background -- wait, there's even a line about "everything I learned in kindergarten" -- fishy) scary to any feminist/post-feminist/whatever-we-call-ourselves-these-days.

On reflecting on this New York Times article (and even People echoed it by terming the women, "whiney"), I started pondering the differences between fact and fiction. See, Naomi (Merrin Dungey's character -- great to see her back on tv!) regrets doing "everything right" yet still ending up divorced and unhappy, saddled with a career and child she loves but also with no memories of anything else. She makes the obvious (for tv) statement that Addison did the opposite, but she is no better off. It's Naomi's character that struck me more as the NYTimes recently had this article, too. This is the article about all those wonderful girls who do everything yet don't get into Harvard. And they do seem to enjoy themselves, but I wonder at what cost we've made achievement a path that is doing "everything right" and still being unhappy. But what strikes me the most is that we understand that Naomi did something wrong in doing what everyone else told her to do, but we feel cheated that these girls are not "good enough" for Harvard. Where do we miss the connections?

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