Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

By Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen

USA’s TNT has really changed my behavior.  I haven’t watched anything on television since the Democratic presidential debates, but I could not wait to curl up in bed to watch the season premieres of The Closer followed by the awe inspiring Saving Grace.

Someone in the Suit department at this network has a clue that women over 40 do want to watch humans like themselves be the star, be real, be flawed but be capable, be interesting, be determined, but be the ones who know how to kick ass when the crisis hits.

Kyra Sedgwick, 42, is the owner of a Golden Globe for her fascinating portrayal of Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson, a Southern bred woman who breaks all those stereotypes.  She has a fiancé, she is indecisive about relationships, commitment and change, but none of that gets in the way of the focus, the development and follow-up of the “How was this crime committed, that’s where I start, How?”  Last night’s premiere was just what I wanted to see.  My girl, Brenda, always conflicted but determined, nailing the bad guy every episode.

I have become a fan of the Holly Hunter character, Detective Grace Hanadarto, somewhat reluctantly.  I mean, she looks her age, 50, and she was so in my face as the star of Saving Grace that I was initially put off.  It is hard to watch self destruction, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, and impulsivity, risk taking, the inability to sustain an intimate relationship and that nothing left to lose feeling that leaps out of the small screen. I mean flawed is one thing, but Detective Grace Hanadarto is way out of that box,

I almost did not watch the premiere of Saving Grace last night.  I am a doctor and I had just lived through one of those days in my work life where there were too many sad stories.  I wanted Sleepless in Seattle if you want to know my dirty little secret.

  I would have missed what is so often absent from television drama if I had not decided to give this gripping drama another chance. In this start of the season episode we learn that Grace had been sexually molested by Father Murphy beginning at the age of nine along with many other boys and girls in her neighborhood parish.  He had taken her childhood away; he had taken her capacity to trust away, he had left her empty and angry and truly with nothing left to lose. But Grace does have the ability to love those in her new family, her work family and her childhood friends.  When she finds that Father Murphy is retired and living in another state, she tracks him down and brings him back, ultimately to justice and not for personal vengeance.  It was television drama at more than its best. 

So, for this season of The Closer and Saving Grace, I am off duty and out of reach from 9pm to 11pm every Monday night.  Now that millions of women with money to spend on goods and services advertised on these shows are addicted to Monday night Girl Drama, maybe, the Suits on the other networks will get a clue.

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  • Kevin M July 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    A few corrections:
    – The spelling of Grace’s last name is “Hanadarko”
    – Tulsa isn’t in another state. Grace lives & works in Oklahoma City, and Father Murphy was retired in Tulsa, OK.
    – I know this is subjective, but I was shocked when I just learned yesterday that Holly Hunter is 50. On Saving Grace, I thought she was in her late 30s… maybe 40.