Emily f-ing Owens M.D. – An(other) ode to empathy

Emily Owens M.D is a show about Emily Owens. It’s also a hospital show.
I know there are lots of ’em out there, and frankly, I am pretty sick of them
myself… But this one, I absolutely love. And I love it for so many different
reasons. But today I just want to tell you about one aspect of the show that I
appreciate: Emily Owens is f-ing compassionate.

Yes, the f-ing is necessary. Because she’s really, really compasionate.
She’s got empathy and compassion coming out of her ass. Real compassion.
Not the kind that’s actually more like bravery or even foolishness, like when
you risk your life to save or help others. Don’t get me wrong, that’s cool too.
But what I really miss in a lot of shows on TV these days is the kind of very
human (at least that’s what I believe), deep, almost incapacitating compassion.
The kind that hurts. And that isn’t necessarily related to your own personal
relationship with the person you’re empathizing with, or what you think of them.
The kind where you can hate someone (although I have my issues with this hate
thing, and the word itself, and…) and still feel bad about hurting them. Not just
because “it’s wrong”, but because their sadness makes you sad. And then their
meanness makes you mad. And then you feel bad for them. And so on.

It’s an interesting struggle, trying to show compassion – even if someone treats
you like shit – or not being able to stop yourself – even when someone treats
you like shit and you kind of want to/should tell them to just f off. And I don’t
think it’s a very rare struggle either, for us humans. Emily may be extraordinary
in her ability to feel compassion for others, but even normal people (like me) go
through these things. So it seems very strange to me, that so few shows focus
on this struggle. That most of them stop at “oh hey he/she was human after all”,
and don’t explore empathy and compassion for people who are in fact ass-holes.
That they often depict this kind of struggle as a couple-of-times-in-your-life
kind of thing, instead of the often pretty mundane, tiresome everyday struggle it
can be.

…Though, like I said, Emily is special. I identify with her a lot, but I know I’m far
from her when it comes to empathy. Mine has more boundaries – even if they’re
constantly moving – and is more easily affected by my mood or current needs
and wants. Plus it’s hard seeing people as people when you don’t understand
them. In this area, Emily has super powers. Image

Yep. She’s a super hero. And I do love my blonde heroines. I like having
someone to look up to, be inspired by and like – because they’re likeable.
Imagine if instead of watching people walk all over each other (and then kiss
and fall in love, and then let each other down and…) you would only watch
people who did things they way you wish you would. People who make
mistakes, but in the end, they tend to do the right thing. Imagine actually being
inspired by a character. Imagine that. Or just watch Emily Owens M.D and
be inspired. That’s what I’m gonna do.

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4 Comments

Filed under TV

4 responses to “Emily f-ing Owens M.D. – An(other) ode to empathy

  1. Never heard of this show, but I will look it up. Can’t wait to see how they make compassion and empathy worthy topics of drama. Thanks for sharing. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  2. The difficult struggle that you describe is so true. We all want to be like Emily but our feelings can get in the way. I have to catch this show sometime, thanks!

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