It’s TV premiere week, and although I don’t have a lot of shows that I’m committed to, I have to admit, I’m excited.
And nervous and anxious and feeling pretty unprepared.
There are two premieres weighing on my mind right now. The first, the Grey’s Anatomy premiere, I’m not even sure if I should be allowed to watch: I still haven’t seen the season finale that aired back in May, although it’s been sitting in my DVR list since then, waiting for me.
I know what happens in that episode, and that’s largely what’s kept me from watching it. The premise is this: the husband of a patient who was declared brain dead and taken off life support comes in to the hospital and starts shooting all the surgeons he can find. My friends have told me it’s pretty intense and traumatizing. But I’m more concerned about the side-plot, because at the beginning of the episode, the main character, Meredith, finds out she is pregnant. Then later, as she’s assisting in a surgery to try to save her friend’s life, she learns that her husband has also been shot, she starts bleeding, and when someone asks her if she’s alright, she says:
“I’m fine. I’m just having a miscarriage.”
I have many, many reservations about this. First, I know that being put under stress while you are pregnant is not healthy for the baby, but I was unaware that extreme stress – like getting horrible news – could immediately cause a miscarriage. The idea that stress can directly cause miscarriage at all doesn’t sit well with me, because it makes me start to wonder about my own situation, and the line between “there was never a baby” and “I caused there to be no baby” blurs rapidly.
Also, while I know that the writers didn’t mean to be glib about the physical and emotional severity of a miscarriage, the line, “I’m just having a miscarriage,” sure makes it sound like it’s no big deal. And yes, Meredith was probably just trying to reassure her friends that she hadn’t been shot as well, but speaking from personal experience, having a miscarriage is kind of like being shot in the vagina. And the heart.*
I really hope – but somehow doubt – that the show will redeem itself by exploring this story line further, by giving Meredith some real and legitimate feelings about what happened to her personally, after the shock of the mass shooting wears off. So I’m interested to see what happens next, but almost feel guilty about not having seen what happened already. (I got all my spoilers from friends and the online synopsis of the episode.) I’m going to have to make a final decision soon: do I watch last season’s finale before I let myself continue? Or do I delete it, telling myself once and for all that it’s for my own good?
The other premiere coming up is The Biggest Loser. This is my favorite, favorite mindless reality show, and I will not hear a bad word said against it. But I’m a little nervous about this one too.
Since Doug and I began watching BL, coincidentally right around the time I was recovering from my miscarriage, I have consistently cried during every single episode. Doug thinks it’s funny. He’ll peer into my face during what he feels are emotional moments on the show, waiting for me to turn on the waterworks.
Most of the time, I’ll laugh through my tears and tell him not to make fun of me, to which he answers that he thinks it’s cute. But there have been a few times, especially in those early days, when I’ve let myself break down, using my TV tears for real catharsis.
“It’s not fair,” I say. “Someone’s coming in and changing their whole life. Why can’t we have that? Why can’t someone come fix my life?!”
Granted, I am nowhere near overweight. But the show doesn’t just provide diet and exercise regimens for its contestants; they also get counseling. And makeovers. And cash prizes and cars and new kitchens and other really cool stuff to help them turn their lives around. And ever since my divorce and my miscarriage and my crashing descent from a perceived paradise back to reality, all I’ve wanted is for some angel (or TV exec, I’m not picky) to come swooping in and turn my whole life around like that.
I wonder now, now that I’ve taken on this project of being my own angel, whether I’ll still cry at every BL episode. I mean, of course I’ll cry; it’s one of those shows full of emotional and inspirational moments whose very purpose are to make people cry. But I wonder whether I’ll still be crying the same bitter, envious, desperate tears. Actually, I worry that I will be; I worry that my commitment to help myself will never seem as worthwhile or effective as the idea of someone else coming and fixing everything for me.
At least I have the Glee premiere, which promises to be pure entertainment with no emotional strings attached.
*My personal experience applies to miscarriage only. I’ve never been shot, in the vagina or elsewhere, so the comparison is only speculation.