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Karma in the ER

posted by ellen leventry

Karma visited the ER last night on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Or at least television’s version of karma – the idea that what comes around, goes around. Outside of Hollywood Hinduism*, karma can best be defined as action or duty. But as usual, Hollywood’s got its own definition of this ancient concept.

Sweet, beleaguered surgical resident George O’Malley narrated last night’s episode, which contained several storylines using the oft misappropriated concept as the connective tissue between them. And, just in case the theme didn’t jump out at you, George’s languid voice-over was there to repeat the word every few minutes: “What I’m saying is, we reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. It’s karma and anyway you slice it, karma sucks.”

Storyline #1 involved George finally getting his crush, Meredith, into bed, only to have her start crying–because, as it turns out, she realized she didn’t really want to be sleeping with him. Dang! Poor George thought that always being the nice guy, always helping the helpless, always being there for his Meredith when she needed him was finally paying off. But he was wrong.

The second storyline centered around Denny, a good-as-gold guy in need of a heart transplant. He wins the romantic attention of resident Izzie, not only because he is so gosh darn good, but also because Izzie’s current beau created some bad karma for himself, sleeping with another nurse. A double whammy!

Meanwhile, Addison is feeling the rash of God, as it were. After being smitten with a nasty case of poison oak below the beltline, she is convinced the affliction happened because she slept with Mark, the best friend of her husband, Derek Shepherd, a.k.a. Dr. McDreamy. Calamine stat!

So while karma may have more to do with carnality than courage at Seattle Grace Hospital, things do work out for the best in the end for nice-guy George. Trying to escape the other residents’ probing questions about his liason with Meredith, he falls down the stairs and dislocates his shoulder, only to have it popped back in by a very attractive doctor who later slips him her digits. That’s good karma by any definition.

* Yes, yes. We know it’s a Buddhist concept too, but this is a blog entry, not a thesis.



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