Monday, January 7, 2013

Doc Martin

More like Doc Fartin'



This fucking show. This stupid fucking show.

To anybody out there who watches Doc Martin and enjoys it, I completely understand why you do. It's not bad...well actually okay it is bad but it's not aggressively terrible or anything. It's not Two and a Half Men. But my reasons for not liking this show are twofold:
  1. It's boring, repetitive, smug, repetitive, has an aggressively unlikable mean character who we are supposed to be sympathetic with, and did I mention it's repetitive?
So the main character is named Martin, and he's a doctor. Hence the title. He was a brilliant surgeon from London when suddenly he becomes scared and sick from the sight of blood. He resigns and is forced to move to a small British village where a whole bunch of W-A-C-K-Y locals show him how they do things outside the city! Along the way he meets Louisa Glasson, who proceed to have the most contrived will-they-won't-they romance since Adam and Eve. They laugh and learn and Doc sneers roll credits.

Every episode follows this basic pattern:
  • Doc is grumpy and short with people.
  • Somebody comes in with a medical problem.
  • Everybody is stumped, so Doc acts like an ass to pass the time.
  • At the school, Louisa is with some child or relative or somebody with a minor sickness that allows them to have two scorelines running concurrently with each other.
  • Everybody is stumped, so Doc acts like an ass to pass the time.
  • Escalation as the eccentric local cast of characters act like idiots as Doc gives pithy one liners.
  • At the last minute Doc discovers something seemingly trivial that turns out being the key to the whole thing.
  • At the same time, whoever Louisa is with suddenly gets very sick, and she calls the Doc.
  • Doc explains the usually rare or unlikely sickness that both patients had.
  • Everyone goes home, and Doc acts like an ass to pass the time.
 Essentially it's House except Doc Martin isn't a drug addict.

I don't have anything against procedurals (shows that focus on a case of the week, detective shows, hospital dramas, ect). I like the original Law and Order and early seasons of Scrubs. I'm not standing against this on principal. But good God does this show manage to be a chore to watch. It's the type of show where I could take different scenes from different episodes, mash them all together, and you still would have an episode that wouldn't be that far off the norm. Bland shows, oftentimes, are harder to watch then bad shows. When a show is bad, like say American Horror Story, it can still be pretty entertaining in it's own perverse way. When it's bland it is so much harder to stay interested in whatever the hell is going on. And the Doc is one bland motherfucker.

Not only is he tasteless, but smug. The show has such a smug air to it. Take a show like Frasier, which has a similar premise (cultured fish out of water clashes with working class stiffs) but does it well. The show works because even though the characters are pompous, the show doesn't feel like it's talking down to you. It manages to stay funny and keep the audience on the Crane boys' side, even if they are being ridiculously pretentious. I like Frasier.

Also mentioning Frasier allows me to link to this picture by Brandon Bird.
Doc Martin, on the other hand, never seems to get that point. Oh it tries so hard to, but the fact is I've watched, by proxy, at least 5 seasons of this show and the only thing I've gotten out of it is that Doc is an asshole. The show tries to present it as if he has really grown to be a member of the community and they all accept him and he loves them and blah blah blah, but the fact is they don't follow one of the most important points in storytelling: show, don't tell. It says they all love each other, but doesn't fucking show it. And, pardon me if you think differently, my idea of entertainment is not watching somebody be a dick while being told "Wow that guy is so great!"

But the fact of the matter is, if I had heard of this from somebody on twitter and watched and episode or two and decided it wasn't my thing, I wouldn't be spitting so much venom on this show. No, what really makes this show SO hateful to me is that IT'S PLAYING RIGHT NOW IN FRONT OF ME! My mom has an interesting way of watching shows and movies. Most people, when watching something they like, say "oh, that's a nice show/movie," and file it in their head to watch later. My mother, on the other hand, says "oh, that's a nice show/movie" and NEVER STOPS WATCHING IT FOR WEEKS.

Right now, Doc Martin is that show. And for me it'll never end. He'll always be in the next room, sneering, delivering a baby and having his wedding in the same episode, sticking his finger up pigs' butts, ready to play nonstop for hours every night.

And you want to know what makes it even worse?

They're filming season six this year.

On the incredibly flawed and pointless Wicker Scale, Doc Martin is treating Nicholas Cage for his burns.

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