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The unrealistic Greys Anatomy effect
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Let me start by warning you, there are a few spoilers in here in case you DVR'd "Grey's Anatomy" this season and haven't watched the episode from a few weeks ago yet.

Now that you've had a spoiler alert, let me tell you: McDreamy has been killed off.

I know. I am heartbroken, angry at Shonda Rimes, and wondering how Meredith will go on, too.

I am also wondering if they are going to pay Patrick Dempsey for the remainder of his contract-I think he had two years left.

I just started watching it on Netflix a few weeks ago, thinking it would be good background noise in the evening.

Normally, I don't like hospital shows. But, my Netflix flavor profile is not exactly one of discerning tastes.

If anything, I am sure Netflix thinks I am a 14-year-old girl with my list ranging from anything with Sandra Bullock to the original "Star Trek."

So there I was, thinking I wouldn't get sucked in to "Grey's."

Boy, was I wrong.

I was all in and sitting in my chair, sobbing.

And McDreamy was still alive and adorable in these episodes.

"Why do you watch something you know is gonna make you do that?" Lamar asked, watching me as I wiped my nose on my sleeve.

A guy friend posed a similar question to me recently on Facebook.

Why do women bring that drama in their lives each week with a T.V. show?

We say we don't want drama, then we grab a glass or two of wine and watch a show that delivers a solid hour of it.

And it's usually something husbands have zero interest in watching because of the drama.

"It's the Grey's Anatomy effect," my friend called it.

It's completely unrealistic.

I mean, come on - even I admit that some things are a tad bit unrealistic.

The plane crash, for one. If that much stuff happened to the same staff after a while, I think people would go work at another hospital and someone would condemn the hospital for bad juju.

We see doctors marrying, divorcing, having affairs, having babies, being in car wrecks, and, then, when you think the season is safe- someone dies.

A character we love and think the show can't go on without dies in a big blaze of dramatic glory.

"This is too sad," Lamar commented after two minutes.

I sniffled and shushed him.

"Why do you watch this?"


Maybe there is something about seeing situations being resolved in a 60 minute program, where everything works out OK in the end.

Perhaps we like to see someone do something terrible to their arch nemesis and get away with it (I can think of a few I would like revenge on, but am scared it would backfire on me in real life).

Or maybe it is seeing people look pretty, even after they cried off their makeup; they still have on lipstick and look cute.

It's neat, and nice and wrapped up around commercial breaks. And our own lives are not so neat and pretty sometimes.

Life is messy.

Real life drama can drag on for what feels like an eternity, and usually doesn't have the happy outcomes television can offer. We know no matter how bleak it may look during May sweeps, something better will happen.

T.V. is scripted, so everyone says the right thing, to the right person, at the right time. There's no fumbling for an appropriate comeback that displays the magnitude of your anger; it's perfectly delivered, with no stuttering or spitting.

In real life, we are sitting there coming up with the wittiest reply only after a few days have passed.

In T.V. they may deal with crazy stuff, but you never see them waiting for someone to come fix the satellite; romance just happens and is spontaneous and well, romantic.

In real life, we don't want the personal drama because who has time for it?

We have families, jobs, housework, pets that are more demanding than toddlers - who has time to deal with such silly stuff?

We tell folks we really don't want to hear any gossip because we have too many of our own problems to deal with.

It does show us that everyone has problems - they may be different than our own, but they have them.

How they deal with them depends on the character; how it's written, and how it's played.

That part is a lot like real life. How we deal with our problems all boils down to our character and how we play our roles.

We really don't want drama in our lives. It's just nice to have a little escapism every now and then.

And looking at McDreamy didn't hurt, either.

Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the e-published novel, "The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery."