Do you like TV? If not, what's wrong with you? Or wait, I'm sorry, were you raised on a boat or something? I imagine children raised on boats probably don't watch a lot of television because there's all of that work to do -- the swabbing the deck and the anchoring the sails or whatever. Plus, I imagine salt water damage is something parents worry about when considering whether or not to have a TV aboard.
But anyway, unless you were raised on a boat (or in the Amish country or a cave dwelling of some kind), you essentially have no excuse not to love TV. To know TV is to love TV.
And since you love TV, you'll likely agree with me that something that is especially compelling about it is its capacity for development. Many other storytelling platforms -- books, films, theater -- are all kind of digested in one big gulp. Yes, there are story arcs that advance characters along, but there is something truly unparalleled about the episodic nature of television. Not only does the story change, but so do the storytellers. New writers come in. New wardrobe, new producers, new light techs. Hell, Darrin on Bewitched and Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air literally end up being played by different actors AND SOMEHOW WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO NOTICE THIS!
My husband, Daniel, and I were talking about this recently over pizza -- about how a show's beginning is sometimes a terrible indicator of what it will eventually become. Specifically, we were talking about TV pilots: that first episode of a series used to pitch a show to a network. Even some of my favorite shows -- 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls -- have pilot episodes that feel like totally watered down versions of the show.
But even so, a good pilot, even if it's awkward and the lighting is weirdly low and the lead character's hair looks like it was styled at SuperCuts -- even then, it often provides glimmers of what the series could become. It's a bit like life that way (for example, even though I had a massively oily forehead throughout most of my adolescence, I like to think that you could still tell I was going to become a functional adult). In our pizza-fueled conversation, that's what Daniel and I became fixated on: what a pilot, however bad it may be, has to tell us about the future of a TV series.
And that's when Daniel uttered the dangerous words: "THIS SHOULD BE A PODCAST!"
Friends...Daniel and I have started a podcast!
It's called Pilot Party and it's about -- you guessed it -- TV pilots! Every episode, we'll select a new pilot to review (preferably one that you can access via streaming on Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo, etc.) Sometimes we will have in-depth knowledge about the entire series. Sometimes we will be going in blind. Also, sometimes we will *think* we have in-depth knowledge, but in actuality, we'll just end up talking out of our butts. Hope that's cool with you.
In this first episode (OUR PILOT EPISODE), we are talking about the pilot of Grey's Anatomy, the massively popular medical TV drama created by the incomparable Shonda Rhimes (Scandal, Private Practice, How To Get Away With Murder). This pilot follows Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) on her first day on the job as a resident surgeon at Seattle Grace Hospital. Naturally, in our discussion of this episode, Daniel and I are sharing our "first day of work" stories and endlessly debating the likability of the litany of characters to whom we are introduced.
Just a heads up, this is a series Daniel has watched a considerable amount of and that I've seen only on-occasion. Not only do we share plot points from future seasons (soooo SPOILER ALERT), but we also get some stuff wrong. We want to be upfront about that because we don't want people to throw rotted garbage at us as we pass them on the street.
Here are a few things we got wrong in this first episode:
1. I accuse George O'Malley, played by T.R. Knight, of being a giant baby (because he spends much of the pilot episode drinking out of a juice box and toddling around the hospital). I've since learned that he is basically everyone's favorite character on the show, so in order to avoid alienating our entire audience before we even begin, I retract my statements (sort of).
2. We got the name of hospital where the entire series takes place wrong. Whoops.
3. We mention that a character later dies, but actually, they just get injured (by an icicle). Oopsy doopsy.
So without further adieu, here's our first episode of Pilot Party:
We actually recorded this way back in January and have since recorded two subsequent episodes (you can look forward to our discussions on Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl soon! Not sure why we started out with such intense lady dramas, but trust me, we'll be diversifying eventually). If you have a TV series you are dying to see us cover, feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks a million for joining us on this goofy journey! I know it's a bit of a side step from my usual christyoshoney.com business, but whatever, we're just having fun and we hope we help you have some too.
P.S. If you like TV and what we're doing here, you can subscribe to Pilot Party on iTunes (or your preferred podcatcher). A quick note about this particular episode: the one that is up on our iTunes feed is an older version that has a small glitch in it (basically we accidentally cut out our introduction to Katherine Heigl's character...uh oh...she'd hate that). We have since fixed it, but it won't update until tomorrow. Apologies for this, however, if you listen via this page or on our Soundcloud, the correct version is up. We're learning! We're scrappy! Forgive us!
P.P.P.S. I love you.