---Alice Abrams

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NBC Sucks

I wanted to say something else in the title but I can't bring myself to do it.

NBC has been promoting a new series, "Mercy," which debuted last night. I was excited to watch it because I really like medical dramas. Half the way through I realized it would be the last time I ever watched it.

True to it's propaganda programming, this series hit a new low, at least for me. One of the story lines was that of an older woman (think - me) who was facing surgery for cancer. It was intimated that she was only going through with the surgery because of her adult children's insistence.

As the wise nurse listens to the poor, dumb, doctor dispense the protocol for the patient's treatment, she adamantly disagrees with him and scorns his idea of subjecting the woman to surgery. She and the doc go a round or two, then they succumb to one another's charms in an examining room. Well, almost. Seems they knew each other while they served in Iraq, and, oh yeah, the nurse has decided to no longer cheat on her poor, dufus spouse, whom she cuckolded while in Iraq.

So, the climax of this wonderful drama is when the nurse attends to the needs of the older patient during the p.m. hours, it's quiet and just the two of them, and she's had time to consider the surgery. She asks the nurse if SHE thinks she should go along with the surgery or.... Can you guess what advice our former Iraq warrior gives her?

You got it! SHE doesn't think the surgery will do any good and she should just wait out her days until the grim reaper comes calling. Well, she's not quite that subtle. (My bad, but I'm great at sarcasm.) She puts it a little nicer and suggests that she forgo any further tests, surgery or treatment options, and tell her children what she's decided.

So, back to NBC, whose parent corp is GE, who has strong bonds to the Obama administration - and - let's not forget - just this week agreed to not send any more crap to Iran to help them with their weaponry.... okay, I digress.

Maybe I'm seeing boogey men in every shadow nowadays, what with all the health care drama, but I viewed this as propaganda, pure and simple. The message is: Let's not waste any medical treatment for someone of advanced age.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions. I just ask that everyone think about the ways we're bombarded with this type of mental massaging. Oh, "Mercy?" Dontcha just love the title?

Thanks for listening...


Traveling Bells said...

NBC lost me as a viewer a L.O.N.G. time ago, beginning with the Today Show. Leno is the only program I now watch on that channel. Sad, cuz it used to have more interesting stuff...unslanted.

Anonymous said...

Didn't see it so can't comment. I don't watch much TV anyway.

Sandee said...

I don't even have television Gracie, so I don't care. This is exactly why we don't have television. Waste of our time. Just saying.

Have a terrific day. Big hug honey. :)

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

yes, nbc sucks! i rarely watch anything on it. sad... and great post gracie!

smiles, bee

Schmoop said...

You've lost your frickin' mind...It's a damn TV show. Cheers!!

Schmoop said...

Hey Gracie...You made it to the front page of my site. You're gonna be a hit, baby!!

RW said...

Thanks for the warning!

Amazing Gracie said...

Sorry, MM, but making it to your front page was not my life's ambition. Thanks, but I'll pass.....

The Gal Herself said...

I came to your blog through HRH Mimi's, and you touched on a family situation I'm living through. My uncle, a Viet Nam veteran, is suffering from Parkinson's. I have always believed that he, and he alone, should make the decisions about how heroic the measures are that he exercises to stay alive. His day-to-day life is fabulously unpleasant (today happens to be his 67th birthday, so pardon me if I don't feel like elaborating) and I wouldn't presume to tell him whether he should choose length of life over quality of life. That is between him and his God. And I felt that way before Barack Obama (who happens to be Commander in Chief) became President. Not everything needs to be viewed through an "us and them" prism. Situations like this call for love and thought and compassion.

I'm sorry. This is your blog and you have every right to believe and post as you wish. It's just that I resist the assumption that those of us who leave these decisions to our relatives and don't push them to do whatever it takes to stay alive somehow love them less, or that we have been brainwashed by NBC, GE or The Administration. Sometimes the merciful thing is to let our loved ones go back to God.

Again, I apologize if I offended you on your home turf. That was not my intention.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I did not see the pilot - as I do not watch the television that much - except for PBS, the Weather Channel, and Gardening programs (pretty edgy, huh?). I do not think that the repugnant perspective of this program is isolated to a particular network, corporation, or administration. I do think that the message of this program is dangerous because our society is becoming progressively swayed by sound bites and exhortations of instant gratification. I believe this program is a symptom of an unfortunate growing lack of respect for the inherent goodness and value of life. From a Judaeo-Christian perspecitve, at the end of each day of creation, God looked upon his creation and found it good. Pretty simple. So, as stewards, what are we doing to honor and further cultivate this goodness. Lest I be labelled a Bible-thumper, from a humanist perspective - many aspects of society de-value human beings and advocate/favor human doings. When we are not able to contribute to a level that some other group arbitrarily sets, we are cast aside as not being of value. In all, the integrity and value of life are a seamless garment from conception to death. Shame on those who denigrate this goodness, and many thanks and encouragement to those who stand for the life-giving and life-valuing message (hmm, almost counter cultural these days). Thank you for your post. Sorry, if I rambled and/or railed too much. This kind of hit a nerve - my wife died a couple of years ago due to recurrent cancer. Also, coming from a large family - we have taken care of various relatives. Though it is difficult many times, we always tried to find and cling to God's presence - the grace being strength and consolation.

Jeni said...

Like you, I too had looked forward to viewing this show as I thought it sounded like it would be interesting. I wasn't all that impressed with the program the other night but not for the same reasons as you had. Strangely enough -although I felt the nurse-to-patient conversation a bit hard to swallow as I couldn't quite see this as ever actually taking place in real life, I did like the perspective the conversation gave to the patient -that it was okay for HER to make the choices on how to live out the rest of her days.
I lost my mother to cancer 30 years ago this fall and I recall the night before her death, after watching her decline extremely rapidly that week, and she finally lapsed into a coma. I remember distinctly talking with our minister on the telephone, discussing the situation and offering prayers for her. My older daughter overheard bits and pieces of my end of the conversation and decided that our minister and I were praying for Grandma to die. But she didn't understand the full picture there. Yes, we were in essence praying for her death -for her to be reclaimed, to be freed from the horrible and agonizing pain she was in -pain that the nurses told me was not quelled by the highest doses of morphine they could administer nor was it ceasing with her descent into the coma. That pain followed her like glue. And it was about 3 years later that I learned my daughter had harbored anger at me, at our pastor for those prayers. I then had to explain to her that Grandma was beyond healing and would she have wanted her to actually lay there in that amount of pain for who knows how long? I do believe doctors should be up front, honest and tell patients ALL of what can be expected with treatments, odds of how much help a treatment may or may not give too. And if the patient decides of his/her own free will to choose not to take the treatment, those wishes should be followed then too. Occasionally, perhaps if the patient does stand a snowball's chance in Hell to recover but doesn't want to choose that path, the family can present their thoughts but the choice should still be left to patient and doctor.
What I really DIDN'T like about this show was how it gives the impression that there is always an affair of some sort lurking around every corner or curtain in a hospital room. That all doctors and nurses discuss procedures openly with each other and that nurses opinions are given such a high amount of recognition in the general scheme of things. Not to put down nurses and their knowledge or their work, but I just can't imagine having the audacity to challenge a doctor the way these shows often show things. And if there is all that sex -and alcohol and free-wheeling partying going on all the time -hmmm -is that real life?
And I don't think that NBC or GE or the current administration is this big bogey man, trying to kill off all the eldery of the US either.
My apoloiges too to you for not voicing an opinion that puts me in lockstep with your theories but that's what I liked -and didn't like too -about this new show. I will probably watch a couple more episodes from time to time but it won't hold a "must see" slot in my tv viewing for the season.