Friday, November 6, 2009

Hot Doctors: An Unfortunate Unreality

Since it has always been difficult for me to draw a line between reality and fantasy, I always had this completely incorrect notion that being a doctor came hand-in-hand with being handsome. I don't think I am the only one. A smart, handsome doctor is to a late twenty-something as a Disney prince is to a seven year old.

Imagine my surprise when a while back I asked a friend in the medical profession if she had any cute doctor friends and she said no. Apparently, the hot doctor is mostly a myth, and when he does come around, he has a huge ego, and therefore by the law of personality trumps face, he gets uglier every second you get to know him. My hopes of meeting/dating/marrying a hot doctor were dashed.

I wondered what caused me to believe doctors were handsome and nice and amazing and wonderful in the first place? I realized it could all be explained by my Gradual Change Equals Normal theorem.

Gradual Change Equals Normal (GCEN) is something I came up with back when I first got glasses. Like many sixth graders, I had no idea I needed them and was content to squint at the chalkboard (remember those?) confusing 5s for 6s for the rest of my life. It wasn't until I put my brand new spectacles on for the first time when I realized what I had been missing out on. I could see so many details! Leaves on trees. The menu at McDonald's. The word "STOP" on the stop sign. Because my vision had been gradually deteriorating for the previous 11 years, I had no idea it wasn't normal to struggle to recognize your friends' faces in the hallways.

In order to apply the GCEN theorem to my inaccurate belief that all doctors are hot, I have to blame TV. Right after I graduated from Disney channel movies,I hopped onto the couch in front of shows like E.R. I think we can all agree that the first few seasons of E.R. were the best. Also, if you think back, the ratio of good-looking to not-so-good-looking was almost normal. Sure you had the dreamy pediatrician and the cute intern, but then there was the bald guy with glasses and the crippled Attending.

As the show continued and the cast started changing, the doctors and nurses got better and better looking, and younger and younger. The change was so gradual, I bet most viewers didn't notice (myself included) which led to us believing that it was still just as realistic as it started out, and that all doctors and nurses are above average in their physical appearances.

Right around the time E.R. started tanking, everyone turned to Grey's Anatomy to get their medical TV drama fix. Grey's didn't even try to include ugly people in their cast (although now there is a token geek resident who appears every once in a while to have a panic attack about something or another but no one really cares). In fact, they use cute nicknames (McDreamy and McSteamy) to pretend as though it was a realistic and funny coincidence that their top notch neuro- and plastic surgeons were so good looking. By this point, the viewers didn't care or even think twice about it. We had already been brainwashed by the Gradual Change in E.R.; we thought that if Emergency Room doctors could look like that show, this MUST be what surgeons and future surgeons looked like.

As much as I am always thrilled to live in a fantasy world, I was happy when Mercy came along. Watching Mercy is like putting on your glasses for the first time- you realize nothing you saw before was even remotely accurate. But you don't mind, because in some ways, it's better.

This is how I segue into my review of the new TV show on NBC- Mercy. If Grey's is the borderline blindness of 6th grade, Mercy is my first time putting on glasses. At first I was annoyed that there was a new show about people in the medical profession. I thought it was a cop-out that the focus was on nurses to make it seem like it would be a different show than the other hundreds that are out there. Come on. Can we be any less creative?

But now that I have started watching it, I've jumped on the Mercy bandwagon. It's not all hot nurses and doctors; it's a show of average-in-a-good-way people. They didn't have to add a token nerd in, because everyone on the show has a little bit of a token nerd in them. It reminds me of how E.R. used to be, before it got tainted by the Young and the Beautiful. My only hope for this show is that it doesn't go down the path of Grey's, what with its ghosts and 'dark twisty moments' and missing wives.

You might have thought this post was some sort of a rant about how TV has ruined my life by making me think I'd marry a neurosurgeon that everyone called McDreamy, but it's actually to get you to watch Mercy. It's good, I promise. And if you have watched it and you don't like it, well then we are not friends. So go away.


C said...

The "hot" doctors on ER are a myth too. There were only semi-attractive male doctors, and no dr. hotties of the female persuasion. It's just a matter of relativity...Kind of like the girl on Big Bang Theory, or better, Danica Patrick. She's average in real life, but because she's surrounded by male race car drivers, her attractiveness grows exponentially. Seriously...because there was always a Dr. Green or Eriq LaSalle's Jeri-Curl or even an older Uncle Jesse, one can over look Noah Wyle's bad hair and large schnoz, Clooney's graying temples, or even a guy who can't speak English, to the point where women could even convince themselves that those guys are remotely attractive. Factor in that they seem intelligent because of the excellent writing, and BAMMO! It can even make you think that the kid from A Walk to Remember can actually be a doctor, despite there only being a 2 year period between him playing a high school senior and a first year resident Dr. on ER.

Now, then there is Grey's...which recycled a guy who's always been sort of weird looking and had bad hair into "McDreamy," but actually has attractive males in Eric Dane, and even Alex (who was once an Italian dork with an old Vespa, looking to marry J-Lo in the Wedding Planner). The women on the show are all carefully chosen, because the majority are attractive...even this new, elf looking girl...the one that was on Gilmore and Everwood (not just the girl who was on Everwood, and they got rid of in her 2nd episode). Or can make Sara Ramirez seem gorgeous, which S doesn't get. Plus, when they take the female cast out of scrubs and put them into normal clothes, that exponential attractiveness thing gets into full effect. And when they do that with the guys, they don't seem like regular guys at all...they seem like what abrecrombie ads will be like after aging 20-30 years.

That was exhausting. I probably shouldn't have thought that hard about it.

This is why I like the amazing race. Everyone is at their worst, and you can get a good judge of them all.

Anita said...

Holy long comment. I think the most concerning thing in your response was that you knew the year a Walk To Remember was made.... or at least how long it had been until he appeared in E.R. I hope you also remember that in A Walk To Remember, he actually ends up going to med school. So, it all works out. Kind of.