This is a pretty mediocre show. Usually I watch Off the Map while I eat breakfast, but sometimes as it plays, I’ll play children’s flash games on the internet. So today was probably the first day I attempted to give this Grey’s Anatomy-in-the-jungle rip-off my undivided attention.
The Grey’s Anatomy connections are unsurprising, since Grey’s executive producer Shonda Rimes had a significant role in the development of Off the Map. She’s even credited as its executive producer for the first four episodes. I just watched episode 5, and there don’t seem to be any notable changes. Off the Map has well and truly been touched by the monologue-heavy, sexy-doctors at the ready hand of Rimes.
Off the Map‘s ethnically diverse cast is smaller than Grey’s, but the narrative scenarios they find themselves in are much the same. Sure, crazy things happen in the South American jungle (AKA the wilds of Hawaii), like this:
But when we see an encounter between the limbless girl and her hot young doctor, Grey’s immediately comes to mind. Dr. Tommy Fuller (Seriously? Who calls himself Tommy after the age of 15? Oh wait, is this where I was supposed to note the genetically-blessed actor who plays him?) counsels the girl about her stumpy leg and their conversation goes something like this:
Dr. Fuller: It sucks having only one leg. Here are some examples of things that suck for you. Now here are some examples of things that suck for me (See, they’re interrelated because even though the stuff that happened to us is completely different, it still SUCKS for both of us)
Dr. Fuller: Here’s an elaboration of why my sucky thing sucks.
Patient: Oh, I see. I have just had my leg removed (underwater, I might add), but your story about your sucky parents is really interesting and I am captivated by your ravishing good looks. Please continue.
Dr. Fuller: Thanks, I will. Here are some of my deepest personal thoughts on parenting and why it is hard. Now I will wrap it up with a brief explanation of how my situation tangentially relates to yours. Again, sorry about your leg. That really sucks.
When I analyze this particular conversation, I immediately recall similar dialogue from Grey’s. Apparently pretty pseudo-doctors are only capable of understanding their patients through the lens of themselves. Every patient crisis must somehow make sense to you in the context of a great personal tragedy. Maybe your parents don’t like you because you’re a smarmy underachiever who drank your way through med school, or maybe you have problems because your fiancé went to the grocery store to pick something up for you and he was on a bike and NOW HE’S DEAD, but one thing is certain: if you are the “Ice Queen” Dr. Mina Minard (who is in charge of coming up with names here?), you will have great difficult sympathizing with your patients, since you are incapable of feeling anything. There’s always one of those, and it’s always a woman, but that is a digression I’ll save for another episode. As well as my thoughts on interpersonal relationships between heterosexual male and female doctors. Boy howdy, I have a lot of thoughts on those. Stay tuned!