Let’s take a trip in the way-back machine, way back to November 3 when Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes issued a statement after Brooke Smith’s firing that read, in part:
“The impact of the Callie/Erica relationship will be felt and played out in a story for Callie. I believe it belittles the relationship to simply replace Erica with 'another lesbian.' If you'll remember, Cristina mourned the loss of Burke for a full season.”
And then there was Callie's own admission to Erica about her sexuality from this season's premiere when she said:
“I'm not sure I even like kissing girls. I don't, actually, like kissing girls. I just like kissing one girl – you.”
Guess what, NEVER MIND suckers!
Turns out Callie will indeed simply “replace Erica with ‘another lesbian’.” And that lesbian would be played by one Jessica Capshaw. Jessica will join the cast as Dr. Arizona Robbins, a pediatrician who comes in to help Bailey with a case for a three-episode arc in January. And word on the lesbo street is that she shares a kiss, if not more, with Sara Ramirez’s Callie.
Where. To. Start? Let’s start small and let the anger build organically, shall we.
First, um, Arizona ? Did they get her name while playing “I Spy” on a road trip to the Grand Canyon ? “I spy, with my little eye…a Baskin-Robbins! I spy…an Arizona Route-64 sign! Hey, that’d be a great character name…”
Second, didn’t I read that Callie and crazy Sadie were flirting recently? Oh, wait, sorry – that’s right. They are bisexual, so that means they are fast and loose with the fellas and the ladies. Carry on. These ridiculous stereotypes won’t perpetuate themselves.
Third, when exactly did “The L Word” become the farm team for “Grey’s Anatomy?” First Papi (Janina Gavankar has wisely since left her blink-and-you’ll-miss-her role) and now Bette’s cast-off Nadia all stop into Seattle Grace? You remember T&A, err, TA Nadia, right? She thought Bette had boxer’s arms and then they went at it like teenagers on prom night in Bette’s Saab.
Finally fourth, and most infuriatingly, how did this show and its lesbian characters turn into a dramatic recreation of those dumb “Upgrade” commercials? I mean, they didn’t even try to pick an actress who looked significantly different than Brooke. They just went for a younger and (by some mouth-breathing executive’s assessment) hotter model. Jessica is 32, Brooke is 41. The math does not lie, it only makes your blood boil.
I know that television is a medium know for its unrealistic beauty standards. And I know that many people watch television just so they can see beautiful people do beautiful things. Still this kind of obvious “trading up” points at what continues to be an ugly truth in our society. Women and their stories remain largely ornamental. So if we do not fulfill a preconceived notion of what is attractive, we are expendable.
Well fuck that noise, “Grey’s Anatomy.” Sell your bullshit elsewhere, because we’re not buying it anymore (seriously, even your straight stuff stinks: Izzie and Denny and the brain aneurysm, WTF?). We have eyes and short term memories and senses of decency. We are not expendable. We are not interchangeable. We are not stupid. Everyone, come join me on NBC at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays instead. I hear there’s this great show with this smart lady that doesn’t insult your intelligence at every turn. Something about “30” and a “Rock.” Yeah, suck it ABC.