The Boyfriend of the Week
March 13, 2007
Whew -- sorry for the massive delay between write-ups, everyone! You must've thought I'd been kidnapped by aliens or something! Alas, nothing that dramatic. But I do think my excuses this time are pretty legitimate. Judge for yourself:
February 2-10: I was in California this week, visiting my twin sister, her awesome husband, and their outrageously adorable one-year old son (Hi, Luke!). I had lofty plans to get some Boyfriend writing done that week, but as it turned out, it's really hard to concentrate when there is a super-unbearably-cute one-year old hanging around. Especially when his face lights up every time you enter the room (he'd see me, grin this huge grin, and then start chanting "Da Da Da!" Luckily, his real Da-Da didn't mind sharing the moniker with me for the week -- thanks, Ed!). Who can deny a kid like that 100% of your attention?
So, I thought maybe I'd do some writing while Luke was napping or otherwise occupied. But then, of course, I had to turn my attention towards their dog Rocco, whose face ALSO lit up whenever I entered a room.
So much for productivity. This kind of face-lighting-up reaction is rare when I enter rooms, and thus it's not something to be ignored. When I enter a room at my house, by comparison, the residents (cat, spouse) tend to look at each other, sigh in anticipation of whatever really not-funny-at-all joke I'm about to tell, and then work hard at pretending I'm not actually there. For example, my husband won't even make falafel anymore because he's so sick of me coming into the kitchen and announcing, "I can't go to work, I FALAFEL!" and then laughing hysterically for twenty minutes. It's bad-joke burnout and there is no cure, I'm afraid. Not even good jokes can help at this point. (And even if they could, it would make no difference, as I know no good jokes.)
February 11-15: I had just gotten back from a week of cuteness and room-lighting-up, and though I did start the week with the intention of posting a write-up by Friday, I didn't get very far because suddenly, there were no fewer than FOUR Boyfriends I was completely infatuated with (have mercy!), and I couldn't figure out which one to do first. That's nothing short of intellectual torture, I assure you. So many Boyfriends, so little inability to make up my freakin' mind!
February 16-19: Out of town again. Busy watching bad movies with Mom. Priorities, priorities, priorities!
February 19-March 4: Sick with worst flu I've ever had in my entire life. I couldn't even watch the tube or read for the first four days and I wasn't even bored (which, if you know me at all, tells you everything you need to know about how sick I really was, as on a typical day, I am reading and watching television at the same time to keep from bouncing around the room). The entire second half of February was spent lying down looking pitiable and occasionally begging my husband to go buy me stuff like a new thermometer (one day in there, my temperature suddenly started to register at 96.4 degrees (Fahrenheit), which, according to Crossing Jordan, meant I'd been dead at room temperature for two hours -- I figured it was time to upgrade ye olde thermom to a new one at that point).
It wasn't until about a week ago that I finally started to come out of the fog enough to think about Boyfriends again. And in the interim, the choice had become clear. It would be NONE of the four Boyfriends I'd been toying with mentally for the entire month (sorry, fellas). Instead, it was going to have to be Jeffrey Dean Morgan, if only because after watching that damn three-parter of Grey's Anatomy during sweeps-February (the one show I was managing to stay on top of while sick), I really, really wanted a forum in which to rant about how totally lame it was. I was all set to get this posted last week, but had another bad movie marathon with Mom to attend to first, and so here we are, halfway into March already, and man, you guys must really be bored with Bill Nighy by now!
But back to Grey's Anat's craptacular three-parter (henceforward to be referred to as the "Trilogy of Gak" or "TG" for short), whose only saving grace, of course, was the delightfully surprising return of Denny Duquette (played by the ever-grizzled Jeffrey). Ah, Jeffrey Dean Morgan -- how you and your crinkly brown eyes have been missed!
Okay, so, WHY did I hate the TG so much, you may be asking? My friends, allow me to count the ways. . .
[SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen the TG yet, you may want to skip ahead until so you don't have any of its craptacularness ruined for you.]
1. Meredith Grey is my least favorite character on the show. That said, she also happens to be the TITLE character. So, they why on earth did they pick her as the object of the TG's pseudo-suspenseful "Will she or won't she finally be put out of her (and our, for that matter) misery?" storyline? Did any among us have a single moment where we thought perhaps they might truly kill her off? I sure didn't. What, they were going to rename it McDreamy's Anatomy? We wish! In any case, it was a dumb choice -- why not pick a character that A) we might fear we could really lose; or B) we might truly be sorry to see go? Die, Meredith, die!
2. Also, what was up with that stupid drowning-in-the-bathtub thing? First of all, I think it would be virtually impossible to drown yourself in a bathtub unless you conked yourself on the head with the lid of the toilet first. Which, ow. Second of all, who doesn't submerge their heads in the tub for a few seconds when they take a bath? I know I always do. And if my husband walked in on me during that moment, his first thought upon seeing me nekkid and submerged in a bathtub wouldn't be, "Holy Jehosaphat! Meg's trying to commit suicide!"
At least, I don't THINK we've been married that long . . . That is, I would HOPE his first thought would still be "Hubba hubba! Room for me in there?"
In any case, McDreamy saw Meredith in there with her head underwater and immediately dove in for a rescue? To this I say simply, "My ass."
3. By which I mean, "utterly stupid" -- a phrase I'd also like to apply to the writers having Meredith become suddenly suicidal to begin with. Was it just me, or was that totally "left field"? Poor, poor Meredith -- her life is just so hard. My heart truly bleeds for her. What with her successful career, her amazing fully-paid-for enormous house in Seattle worth millions of dollars (trust me, I live here -- it is), her boyfriend who adores her, and her gaggle of extremely close friends, it's no wonder she wants to off herself in Elliott Bay. Sure, having a distant father and a mom with Alzheimer's would be pretty damn hard. I don't want to make it sound like I think that's no big deal. But honestly, suck it up, you whiner! As my father would say, "It's better than a sharp stick in the eye," though, since it's a medical show, maybe a sharp stick in the eye would've made for some far more interesting drama. I'm pretty sure we haven't seen THAT in the Seattle Grace ER yet. . .
Sticks and eyes aside, let's all hope that now she's been made aware of what her friends have gone through (Christina watching her father bleed to death right in front of her, for example), she'll finally pull her head out of her butt. So to speak.
4. Izzie: Another character who so-to-speakly needs head-out-of-butt-pulling these days. Back when this show first started, Izzie was one of my favorite characters: she was cute, she was feisty, she was smart, she was pals with George, she had a mondo crush on Denny (remember Denny? The reason I'm writing all this to begin with?), she was the gal I aspired to be. Well, okay, I didn't aspire to BE her so much as just to somehow transplant her butt and her boobs onto MY body (in place of my own, of course, because I don't want to end up a freak with two butts and four boobs, even if that would just be "more of me to love").
And then: Calliope Iphegenia O'Malley.
What IS Izzie's problem with Callie? I mean, there Meredith was, lying dead on a table in front of them all, and Izzie's first reaction was to turn to George for the bazillionth time and call him a moron for marrying the most-awesomest girl in the entire hospital? Shut UP, Izzie! Callie O'Malley is my favorite character on the show these days (along with Addison, who is also super cool and may get her own spin-off show with the sexy Taye Diggs soon -- yay) and, what's more, she could kick Izzie's skinny little white-girl butt from here to Tahiti and back again (and lord, how I so wish she would!). But when your friend is dying, it's really NOT the time to attack your other friend for some completely unfathomable hate-filled reason. I've been confused all along as to just what in thee hell Izzie has against Callie, but it was that scene that truly made me wish she'd fall into Puget Sound her own-crazy-self and leave the rest of us, Callie especially, the hell alone.
Die, Izzie, die! (But lemmie have your butt first!)
5. Speaking of Izzie, by the way, anybody else roll your eyes when she was trying to help the guy trapped under the car and kept whining, "But I've just been WATCHING for a month!" A month of "just watching" and suddenly she's forgotten everything she just spent four years in medical school and at least one as an intern learning? In the "suck it up, already" wars, Izzie is slowly starting to edge ahead of Meredith, which is something I never would've thought possible last season. Pass me the damn drill, Blondie, I've been watching ER for years!
6. For crissake, we just call them "FERRIES" up here in Seattle, people. They're not now, nor have they ever been, "FERRY BOATS." Did you guys see the episode a few weeks back when someone on the show actually did call them "ferries" and three characters corrected him (or her, I forget who it was) in unison with "ferry BOATS"? My disgust was audible. It sounded like this: "Mrrrrraughhhhhh!"
All rants aside, however, the three-parter wasn't a complete waste. Why? Because in the final episode, Meredith ended up in Limbo, chillin' out with the awesomely gorgeous Dead Denny Duquette (yay, back to Jeffrey, at long last!), and the equally awesomely gorgeous Dead Explosives Guy (Kyle Chandler). There, they attempted to convince her she had to come to terms with her fake suicidality so she could go back to life and not devastate her pals (I'd argue they're much better off without her, personally, but I did just say "all rants aside," so I'll bite my tongue).
[SPOILERS OFFICIALLY DONE NOW, BY THE WAY]
Frankly, it was worth the entire first two segments just to see Denny again (sorry, that may have been sort of tail-end spoilery, but you'd have to be dumb not to have figured out Jeffrey Dean Morgan was just back on Grey's -- why else would I be writing this?), and it reminded me instantly that I'd meant to feature him as a Boyfriend LAST year and never got around to it.
Part of the reason I hadn't been in a rush back then was because I'd been reading interviews with him in which he was talking about how thrilled he was to be on two successful TV shows last season (the second was another one of my favorites, Supernatural (see the write-up on Jared Padalecki for details on that one)). Jeff kept saying he knew one or the other was going to kill him off, but that he couldn't decide which one he wanted to survive on, since on SupeNatch he got to goof around with the guys, and on Grey's he got to mack with a hottie (Izzie). In any case, it looked like the two shows were fighting over who was going to get to keep him, so I figured, hey, might as well wait to see how that shakes out and then feature him, so as to promote whichever show was smart enough not to kill him off.
And then we all know what happened, right? BOTH shows killed him off, throwing all us JDM fans for a loop and leaving me so bitterly disappointed I had to put him completely out of my mind just to get through the next few weeks. I was fully prepared for Denny's death on Grey's, as there was really no way to keep him around (they could hardly just leave him in the hospital forever, and very little of that show takes place anywhere else -- a fact the short-term veterinarian character played by Chris O'Donnell learned the hard way). But why, why on SupeNatch too? We go from a double-helping of JDM each week straight to cold turkey? Dude, sudden withdrawal from the JDM-smack can actually kill you, and I'm a substance abuse librarian, so I know of what I speak. That's just way, WAY the opposite of cool.
So, that's why I never got Jeffrey up last year. I've been working my way through the five stages of grief, and clearly got stalled somewhere around "Denial." It wasn't until I saw Denny again on Grey's that I was reminded of just how much I utterly adored him (on both shows), though. And I realized this was it -- it was finally time to get the guy on the site, let go, and move on. Stage Five -- Acceptance: How the hell are ya?
After the Grey's Trilogy of Gak, I decided it was time to rent the first couple of disks in season one of Supernatural so I could see him play the Winchester boys' father again and refresh my memory of his likewise-grizzled-awesomeness on that show. He was a wonderful daddy-o to Dean and Sam -- very believable in the role and also just a heck of a lot of fun. That show, incidentally, has only gotten better in its second season, and the last new episode that aired -- the one with the Trickster demon -- was so hilariously funny I could hardly stand it.
I swear, it's one of the best shows on television now for fans of witty banter, not to mention for fans of extremely gorgeous young men (watch for a write-up on Dean-player Jenson Ackles soon -- he was one of the four I was working on in February). The CW may seem like a slightly-lame television channel, but with Supe AND Veronica Mars, it's totally got the monopoly on smart-asses, which goes a long way towards making up for it's gazillions of really, really crappy sit-coms.
Anyway, after a few rounds of Supernatural, I decided to check out two flicks Jeffrey's been in, just to see what he's like when he takes on a movie gig. The first was a ridiculous horror movie I'd seen about two years ago, back before I knew who Jeffrey was, called Dead and Breakfast. The first time I saw it, to be honest, I thought it was one of the most inane bad-horror-movies I'd ever seen. The prospect of watching it again, thus, was not all that exciting, but I couldn't remember Jeff in it at all and wanted at least to see if he was a good guy or a bad one.
While I was still down with the flu, I booted this one up (you can watch it on the web for free if you are a Netflix subscriber who has access to the new "Watch Now" service, by the way) and, wonder of wonders, really liked it the second time around. I guess the first time, I hadn't realized it was being stupid on purpose (though in retrospect, it should've been obvious from the hillbilly singing blood-and-guts-related country songs in between each scene). Stupid on purpose is usually a good thing; it's stupid by accident that is typically unbearable.
Dead and Breakfast (or as the Aussies would say, Dead and Brekkie) is about a group of 20-somethings on their way to a wedding, who end up at a small town B&B for the night. During the wee hours, the B&B's French chef is brutally murdered in the kitchen, and the gang ends up forced to stay in town while the murder is investigated (as ordered by the sheriff, played with great goofy gusto by Jeffrey). It's not a brilliant film, but it did make me laugh, and for a goofy splatter-zombie flick, it sure has a nice cast -- in addition to Jeffrey, it also stars Erik Palladino (who I've loved ever since he played Sergeant Scream in the terrific and cancelled-way-too-soon FX series about Iraq, Over There), Portia de Rossi, David and Ever Carradine, the extremely gorgeous Vincent Ventresca, and Jeremy Sisto. Not bad! And Jeffrey is clearly having a lot of fun with this one, and is as scruffily-dashing as ever.
The other Jeffrey Dean Morgan movie I watched was not quite as much fun, alas. It's a made-for-TV drama called In the Blink of an Eye. Based on a true story, it's about a woman named Micki who finds out her best friend from childhood (Sunny) has been serving a fifteen-year prison sentence for abetting her husband (played by a VERY young Jeffrey) in the murder of a police officer. Convinced her friend is innocent, Micki begins visiting her in prison in order to get the full story, and eventually is able to prove her innocence. It wasn't a bad movie, really, but it's definitely a bit on the excessively cheesy side. Oddly enough, Jeffrey, who is ten years younger in this (it's from 1996) and has a terrible mullet hairdo, is just REALLY unattractive. He's clearly one of those guys who gets better looking as his face ages -- now that he's got eye crinkles and some gray mixed into his stubbly facial hair, just one look kind of makes me want to throw myself at his feet and file for divorce from my husband. But younger, he just looked sort of . . . eh. Sure, having a mullet didn't do him any favors, but it was really his face -- smooth and eye-crinkle-free -- that I was eh-ing on.
This only bodes well for those of us who adore him, however, since sans Tuck Everlasting's magical fountain of youth, he's only going to continue getting older, which means he's only going to continue getting more and more hunkazoidal. I'm fairly certain that in another ten years, instead of looking at him and wanting to file for divorce, I'm going to look at him and spontaneously combust.
At least I'll die happy.
The good news is that, while Jeff's unlikely to show up on Grey's again any time soon, there have been rumors he might resurface on SupeNatch at some point (he was killed by a demon, after all, and if Buffy can survive that a bazillion times, why not John Winchester?). And, in the meantime, he's got five, count 'em FIVE, movies in the works. The first, and only "completed" picture, is a comedy called Kabluey, featuring Lisa Kudrow, Teri Garr, and Christine Taylor (three very funny women!) and about an inept guy who moves in with his sister-in-law when her husband (his brother) is sent to fight in Iraq. After that will come Live!, a "mockumentary" about an ambitious TV network executive who wants to produce a reality show in which the contestants play Russian Roulette. It stars Jeffrey along with Eva Mendes, David Krumholtz (AKA "Mr. Universe" from Serenity), and Eric Lively.
Next is The Adventures of Beatle Boyin, which will reunite Jeffrey with his Dead and Breakfast costar Ever Carradine, and toss in Orlando Jones and Michele Hicks for good measure. It's a dark comedy about a female assassin who has to team up with a suicidal woman in order to stop a demented killer. (Sounds HILARIOUS! Wait. . . what??)
Then comes the one I really want to see: P.S. I Love You, based on the novel of the same name (which I read years ago and loved). This is a drama (with a touch of funny in places) costarring a whole host of great people. In addition to Jeffrey, we've got Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, James Marsters (yay!), Lisa Kudrow again, Kathy Bates, and Harry Connick Jr. It's like an ex-Boyfriend reunion -- all we need is a cameo from Colin Firth and I'll truly be in heaven! This one is about a young widow who discovers that her late husband has left her ten messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life. If you haven't read the novel (by Cecelia Ahern), I highly recommend it, though have a box of Kleenex nearby if you're a weeper like me.
And, speak of the extremely-sexy-in-wet-shirts devil, after P.S. comes a movie in which Jeffrey costars with, yep, you guessed it, the aforementioned Colin Firth (as well as Uma Thurman and Sam Shepard -- nice!). This one is called The Accidental Husband, and it's a romantic comedy about a talk radio host (Uma) who advises one of her listeners to break up with her boyfriend (played by Jeffrey), only to become the target of his plot for revenge. Sounds fun!
Annnnnnd, finally, Jeffrey will be getting back to his roots by returning to the horror genre for a thriller called Among the Shadows, about a woman who seeks refuge in a secluded vacation house that ends up "holding a deadly secret." Sounds hokey, stars no one I know, is probably low-budget and stupid -- CAN'T WAIT!
So, there you have it. I suspect that after 2007 is over, Grey's and Supernatural are going to rue the day they gave the gorgeous, talented, and crinkly-eyed Jeffrey Dean Morgan the boot, as he's clearly about to explode into SUPER STARDOM. You heard it here first.
Grey's Anatomy returns with new episodes on April 12th and, in the meantime, you can rewatch the Trilogy of Gak on the ABC web site for free (not that you'd want to, of course). Let's hope that by April, Meredith will have finally gotten a clue, Izzie will have finally gotten smacked-down by Callie, and McSteamy (who I think is much cuter than McDreamy, personally, even though he's a bastard) will have developed a rare neuromuscular condition that leaves him unable to bear the feeling of clothing on his skin for a few episodes. Now THERE'S a suspenseful three-parter I'd definitely tune in for! Mrrrrrrowl!
MacGyver Factor Score: 99.268%. Points off for cockiness, as I'm pretty sure he didn't knock on wood back when he was giving those interviews about being killed off on one show or another, and that that is why he was then killed off on BOTH of them. Jeffrey! Be more careful in the future, would you? I really didn't need that boot to the gut at the end of the TV season last year!
Points BACK, though, for starring in two movies in 2007 that are jam-packed with ex-Boyfriends. I couldn't possibly be happier than I am right now, just thinking about Jeffrey teamed up with Colin Firth, Sam Shepard, and James Marsters in his various upcoming projects. Yep, it's going to be an extremely drool-filled annum for us all, I think. Better stock up on fluids before your knees start to go all woozy and you find yourself swooning left and right like Kate Winslet in Sense & Sensibility. Yeah, baby, YEAH!
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