The Boyfriend of the Week

photo of Knight photo of Knight

October 27, 2005

Here's a little piece of trivia about me. I LOVE stories about doctors. Doctors, hospitals, nurses, surgery, pathology, biochemistry, dead people, tumors, skin rashes, snot, the works. Anything about the various ways in which the human body can break or be disgusting -- I'm all over it. I even almost majored in biochem with a fuzzy plan to hit medical school down the line and go into pathology. And then I broke up with my chem-major boyfriend, spiraled into MADNESS, switched to English, and went to library school instead. Life can be so unpredictable sometimes, can't it?

Before you start feeling sorry for me for blowing a childhood dream just because of some stupid boyfriend catastrophe, I should probably mention that nary a day goes by that I regret the choices I made (especially said boyfriend breakup) because they ultimately led me to medical librarianship, which is just super cool. Is it as cool as Quincy, ME? Maybe not. But I'll tell you this much -- if Quincy had had me on staff, I could've helped him solve those crimes in thirty minutes instead of sixty. Because, yes, Virginia, I AM that good.

However, for all my non-regrets, I will confess that that old dream of becoming a doctor does still manifest itself from time to time. Those of you who read my books page already know one way in which I still entertain that fantasy -- by gobbling up lots of memoirs written by people in the medical profession, as well as a hearty share of books about forensics and pathology and medical examiners. I love this stuff. I really do. I love stories and TV shows about hospitals and doctors and science and blood and guts. I can't get enough of them. There is nothing medical that I will not partake of greedily. Nothing at all.

Oh wait, that last part is not precisely true. And the ramifications of its untrueness, in fact, almost made me miss out on one of the best new medical shows on television today. See, I love certain KINDS of shows about doctors/nurses. To be more specific, I like the science and catastrophe-heavy kinds. "ER," for example. Every year after they dropped that helicopter on Romano I have sworn to myself that I'm DONE -- I am DONE WATCHING THAT STUPID SHOW that dropped a HELICOPTER on ROMANO. And then every year the season premiere airs and my hand -- it's like it becomes possessed by some ER-loving demon from beyond. Suddenly, it's grabbing the clicker and changing it to channel five, and even though my mouth is screaming, "But! But! 'Without a Trace' is on!," my hand, it just will not listen. And yes, I just used an exclamation point followed by a comma in that last sentence which I realize is unlikely to be the correct grammatical move, but honestly, what's more important here? That I get the sentences punctuated correctly or that I get my point across clearly? I vote for the latter, especially when my point is about medical catastrophe. One false move, and we're back to talking about SNOT. And that's definitely no kinda step in the right direction.

I should probably take this opportunity to expound a bit on the whole anti-"ER" sentiment I just expressed above. Here's what's so bad about "ER" -- I mean, aside from the obvious, which is that it's jumped more sharks than the Fonz ever even dared dream of -- it's the MELODRAMA. The relationships between the doctors always follow the exact same path. And the doctors themselves? They sank into maudlin caricatures seasons and seasons ago (for god's sake, somebody put Abby on Prozac before I kill myself!). Enough with the battling of addictions or breaking up of boyfriends or agonizing decisions over whether you should put your punk band or your medical degree first -- somebody crack open somebody else's chest and find flesh-eating bacteria in there, STAT, or I am outta here!

For the record, this is the same reason why I never got into "Chicago Hope," or, as I called it at the time, "Chicago Soap." It's the same reason why I never watch "Strong Medicine" on Lifetime, even though I have a big girl-crush on Maggie O'Connell from "Northern Exposure." And, it's the same reason why I almost didn't watch T.R. Knight's new show, "Grey's Anatomy," when it premiered last spring.

Lucky for you guys, there were two things about "Grey's Anatomy" that intrigued me. First, there was the fact it was set in Seattle, which is, coincidentally, also where I am set. And second, there was what we at the Boyfriend site like to call "The Dempsey Factor." Because once I realized that Patrick Dempsey was not only going to be on the show, but would also be nicknamed "McDreamy," I knew resistance would be futile. Who among us 30 year-olds hasn't been in love with Patrick Dempsey since the 80's? I know I need only say four words on this subject: "Can't Buy Me Love." Wait, make it five and add the word "Yum."

Guess what happened, though. While I still would be able to pound out an extremely drooly write-up on Dempsey, the truth is, he's fallen completely off my Boyfriend radar. And this is something that should really come as very little surprise to you guys, knowing how far I will go for the token geeky underdog. Because in terms of my taste, there isn't anybody on that show who would make a better Boyfriend of the Week than George (note for those of you who know naught of George: he's played by the pouty guy in the photos above). George is totally the greatest geeky underdog I have experienced since. . . since. . . well, since Patrick Dempsey in "Can't Buy Me Love," now that we're reminiscing. There is nothing I don't love about George, and that includes his terrible haircut. I love his squishy little face. I love his tiny bit of a belly. I love his lack of fashion sense. I love the fact that he's a total champ when he needs to be, and a total chump a lot of the rest of the time. I love the fact he's a great friend. I love the fact he caught syphilis from Alex. I love the fact that this week, he opened some guy's chest for the first time and was all goofy and giddy about it afterwards.

I love it when George gets giddy. It just makes me want to take him home and give him a cute nickname like "Bubbles."

And, surprisingly enough, this show, which I fully expected to hate because of all the MELODRAMA (I like using all caps for this word -- it's apt), has become one of my favorites. Sure, everybody's sleeping with everybody else, and there was, in the beginning, a very high risk that it was going to go in the direction of "General Hospital." But instead, it's become a pretty intelligent, funny, and endearing little show. The storylines are original (for the most part) and entertaining, and the characters -- they're like real people, not like the fakey cartoons the characters on "ER" have become. It's one of only a handful of shows I actually sit down and watch this season (the others are, by the way, "Over There" on FX, "Alias," "Lost," and "Invasion," the latter of which is the only one of the three new alien shows that I think is any good (and damn you, Peter Dinklage, for picking the wrong one to be in!)). I'm watching a gazillion other things as well, of course, but this is one of the rare ones that makes me want to sit still and focus. Smart and funny -- it's easy entertainment.

Of course, no show is perfect, and this one has a couple of serious flaws I feel it's my duty to bring to light. The worst, in my opinion, is the utterly unbearable theme song coupled with quite possibly the stupidest opening credits I've ever seen. I realize that makes two weeks in a row when I've busted on somebody's theme song, but I can listen to the "Firefly" song without pain -- the opener to "Grey's," on the other hand, kind of make me want to grab a rifle and climb a water tower. I mean, bad song aside, what is with those opening credits? They would have you believe that this show actually IS "General Hospital." That all it's about is canoodling interns. Who wear. . . red pumps on rounds? Wha. . .?? Who spend all their spare moments lying around in hospital beds rubbing their feet together? Huh? To be honest, they seem like the credits of a completely different program -- and they kind of cheapen the show in a way as well, making it look far less intelligent than it actually is. Besides, none of the characters are having sex in hospital beds. They're all doin' it in far more interesting places, like the supply closet, the front seat of McDreamy's car, and the living room floor. C'mon!

Likewise obnoxious, though, is the fact they've set the show in Seattle and, apparently, hired writers who have never lived here -- and ohhh, is this ever one of my biggest pet peeves. At first, I was actually excited about all the various things they were doing RIGHT -- like, not opening every episode with a panoramic shot of the Space Needle or Pike Place Market, but instead including things that are less famous and more provincial, like Metro buses and the Dead Baby bike race. And then, then they had to go and screw it up. It's the terminology! It's driving me nuts! The two worst offenses I've encountered so far (and I'm sure there are others -- email me with them, Seattlites!) are "mocha latte" and "ferry boat." Every time one of the characters says one or the other of those two wholly redundant phrases, I do a shot of vodka. And let me tell you, I'm totally trashed by the end of an episode (just kidding, Mom!). But for pity's sake, if you're going to set something in a town famous for it's coffee and ferry system, you should at least make an effort to be realistic about it. Nobody but NOBODY calls them "ferry boats" out here, any more than we call what I had for dinner last night a "salmon fish." And "mocha latte"? What the hell is a mocha latte? You either have a mocha, or you have a latte. If you want both, bring two travel mugs and insert a conjunction.

Lucky for us, George has yet to refer to coffee beverages or boats -- another reason to love the boy. It's really only the chicks who keep going for "mocha lattes" and "water H2O" while wearing their "jacket coats" to avoid the "rain precipitation" falling in the "outdoor exterior." George, instead, stays behind, looking disheveled and cute, working hard, and waiting for the right girl to come along. And it's this latter element that I am particularly fond of when it comes to my boy. Hopeless, hapless little dorkus that he is. And it's also why, earlier this morning, I sent a head shot and resume to ABC, along with an essay entitled, "Why You Should Cast Me as George's Girlfriend on 'Grey's Anatomy'."

I left out the part where I called them all stupid for saying "ferry boat," but did include the following p.s. because, well, honestly, somebody needed to say it, and it might as well be me:

PS I've noticed on your show that you've featured thunderstorms in Seattle roughly four thousand times since the pilot aired. You may be interested to know that we only get thunderstorms up here about once every two years. Most of the time, it just kind of drips on us steadily, without much flash or excitement. In the interest of realism, why not try laying off the lightning machine and instead start diagnosing all your characters with S.A.D. and styling them with flat, lifeless humidity-hair. At least during the winter. And also the fall, spring, and 2/3rds of the summer. Well, pretty much every day of the year except for the 5th of July. Just a friendly suggestion!! And hey, love them ferry boats! Keep 'em comin'!

I'll let you know if they get back to me. (Um, but don't hold your breath or nuthin'.)

Now is probably a good time for me to explain to T.R. Knight, who I'm sure is reading this, exactly why it is that I keep referring to him as "George" instead of "T.R.," something I'm sure is one of the most annoying things a fan can do to an actor. I'm really and truly sorry for that, George, but the problem is you simply don't look like a T.R. to me. Nor do you look like a Theodore Raymond, which what the T.R. stands for. I even tried shortening that last one to something decidedly more cute and squishy, like "Teddy Ray," but still -- no dice. On the other hand, I've never seen a George who looked quite so perfectly GEORGEY. And besides, when asked what the T.R. stood for in the interview I cited in the Boyfriend Links below, you should've answered "Totally Rockin'" not "Theodore Raymond." If you'd held up the devil's horns gesture and yelled "Totally Rockin'!" in response, I would have been all over calling you "T.R." from there on out. Dude, come on! You totally blew that one.

Anyway, I love you, I think you're ridiculously cute and extraordinarily talented. But I'm afraid that George it is, and George it ever shall be. At least until you land a role where your name is "Bubbles," in which case I will gladly switch to that. Please forgive me -- this simply cannot be helped.

Okay, let's bio this bebé and get the heck out of here. George was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota (birthday is March 26, 1973 -- a very good year for cute people, I must say). During his last two years as a Minneapolis resident (or "Minnie," as I like to call them), he was a member of the acting company at Guthrie Theater, performing in a number of stage presentations there. But, after having been a Minnie since birth, George began to itch for a life of more excitement and opportunity. So, he packed his bags with sweaters and socks, with mittens and scarlet leaves and gold. And he moved to a pond. He liked his pond.

Oh wait, I just segued into "We Were Tired of Living in a House." Sorry about that.

George actually packed his bags with sweaters and socks, with underwear and personal hygiene products and Spam (well, maybe not Spam). And he moved to New York. He liked New York. And, apparently, New York liked him too, as he fairly quickly ended up on Broadway. Twice. His first big role was as Tim Allgood in "Noises Off" (the movie version of which I adore), and after that, he played Damis in "Tartuffe." He also, of course, was in a number of off-Broadway plays as well. Indeed, up until about 2002, George spent most of his time on stages instead of sets. But in 2002, he landed a role in a movie called "Garmento," and the year after that, he was cast as one of the four co-stars of a short-lived television series called "Charlie Lawrence," featuring Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf.

The show burned out pretty quickly -- it's my opinion that Nathan Lane, while being very good at what he does, just doesn't have the range required for TV -- but during 2004, George landed some guest spots on a few television shows like "CSI" and "Law & Order." Those roles kept him visible enough to casting directors and in 2005, of course, the role of his lifetime (so far, anyway) came along when George landed the juicy part of . . . George. That "Grey's Anatomy" was a huge success sort of took everybody by surprise. It certainly took ME by surprise, anyway. But, thankfully, ABC knew a hit when they had one, and season two gets better with every new episode. Sunday nights have never been so Georgifically delicious, so let's just keep our fingers crossed that those ABC execs like my headshot and give me a call as soon as they read my brilliant manifesto. All I want is ONE SMOOCH WITH GEORGE. After that, I'm perfectly happy to give him syphilis and disappear for the rest of the series like his other girlfriend did. I have no qualms whatsoever about that. Or, even better, let's swap a little flesh-eating bacteria while we're at it. Oh, the MELODRAMA!

photo of Knight

MacGyver Factor Score: 93.456% Points off because holy BATMAN is it impossible to find a photograph anywhere on the web that features George with a smile on his face. Look at the three pictures of him on this page -- not even a teensy little smirk! George, cheer up! They can treat that stuff with antibiotics now! You're gonna be FINE!

Boyfriend-Related Links

ABC's Grey's Anatomy site
T.R.'s IMDb page
T.R. Fan Listing
Interview with T.R. (when he was on Broadway)

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