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TV Talk: Grey's Anatomy 
26th-Nov-2006 09:55 pm
After this picture was taken, the cast slapped each other around a bit.

TV Talk: Grey's Anatomy

Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight, James Pickens Jr., Patrick Dempsey, Isaiah Washington, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, Eric Dane

Series Creator: Shonda Rhimes

My feelings on this show are mixed: its not my favourite show, I can see that it is a fairly frivolous piece of entertainment, and I'm weary of any show that is the most popular on TV. However, I don't think there's ever been a bad episode of the show, it is often highlighted by some great performances, and what it does, it does really well.

The turning point for this show came near the end of the first season (a nine episode replacement season), when the show shifted from a character-study centred on Ellen Pompeo's waifish Meredith Grey, and became a true ensemble piece focused on all the doctors of Seattle Grace, the interns and their superiors. Sure, Meredith still narrates the show (except for the end of the most recent episode, when Sandra Oh's Cristina Yang closed the episode with commentary, marking a further shift from the Meredith-centric nature of the show), but the creators correctly recognised that she isn't a strong enough character, and Pompeo isn't a strong enough performer, for the show to feature her so strongly. Instead, they made better use of Oh, Isaiah Washington, the delightfully-arrogant Justin Chambers, and added the fantastic Kate Walsh, and the show became markedly better.

The high watermark for the series was the post-Super Bowl two-parter, "It's the End of the World"/"(As We Know It)", which were two of the best episodes of the TV year. The show has been able to capitalise on the attention it got from the Super Bowl episodes to cruise along to strong performances since, using its blend of melodrama and soap opera sexiness to deliver solid entertainment. Understand, this show is not high art, but it's not Melrose Place either. True, another medical drama is hardly ground-breaking entertainment, with the show coming off as a sexed up version of ER, or a dramatic version of Scrubs. But it does have solid characters with actors who know their roles and writers who know how to manipulate the emotions of the viewers to give them the cathartic experience they crave.

It's definitely an emotionally-manipulative show, rare is the episode that goes by that doesn't have my wife reaching for her kleenex. But the emotive nature of the show underlines the heart at the core of the show, and how well the show has been able to connect its characters with its audience, be it Izzie's (Katherine Heigl) foolish love affair with Terminal Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Cristina and Burke's (Washington) eternal battle of wills, Bailey's (Chandra Wilson) struggles with being a working mother in the competitive world of surgery, and, yes, even Meredith and McDreamy's (Patrick Dempsey) on-and-off-and-on-and-off relationship.

My personal favourites on the show are Alex (Chambers), Addison (Walsh, who made a character that was supposed to be a villain into a well-rounded, sympathetic character. Credit goes to her and the writers for that), Bailey, Cristina, and yeah, Meredith and Derek. I'm lukewarm to Izzie, mostly annoyed by George (T.R. Knight), indifferent to the Chief (James Pickens Jr.), and feel that Burke comes off too much like ER's Peter Benton to really get into. But, I think as a whole, the entire ensemble really works, delivering different personalities and different motivations to keep the stories rolling (well, maybe not Eric Dane's McSteamy character, but its too soon to judge how he'll fit in).

Ultimately, Grey's Anatomy is never a show I feel like I HAVE to watch, and is probably not in my top five favourite shows on TV... but it never fails to deliver that which it does well.

Questions? Comments? Disagreement? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

ER: Season Two
Scrubs: Season One
TV Talk: Weeds
27th-Nov-2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
I do love this show. Christina is becoming an actual human being. Meredith is becoming less irritating and even that Torres girl isn't as irritating.
(Deleted comment)
27th-Nov-2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, fer sure. I don't know that I'd be watching it were it not for Kim.
27th-Nov-2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
i. hate. this. show.
27th-Nov-2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
This I know. The whole time I was writing I was all "mustbebunnies88 ain't goin' be happy".

Question: when did you stop watching it? Or did you stop (perhaps your roommates force you to watch or something).
27th-Nov-2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
sarcasm is nobody's friend, andy.

i never watched it steadily. my hatred toward it grew from hearing my friends disect every single episode, every damn time it was on the air. meredith = cunt. and that is a word i almost never use, because i find it vaguely distasteful, but that is what she is. i just want to shake her and say, "you're skinny, you're successful, and according to everyone on the show, you're pretty. stop complaining!" derek is annoying. and not hot. even cristina--who used to the be sole bright spot i could find in this black hole of tv--has become annoyingannoyingannoying.

my roommate watches it religiously, and usually while i keep my back turned and my headphones plugged in while it's on, it still manages to creep in to my consciousness. part of my problem with it is that i just find it so odd--i mean, addison is amazing. and derek wants meredith? and for fuck's sake, if you are going to have sara ramirez on your tv show, LET HER SING.
28th-Nov-2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
I also dont like this show at all. I tried watching a few episodes here and there and it comes off as more of a Scrubs rip off than anything else (strangely enough Scrubs made a mocking comment about this fact in one of their episodes last year). How this show is popular and a show like Veronica Mars struggles through life baffles me to no end.
28th-Nov-2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Scrubs--now there's a show that i love, though i rarely am able to watch it.
29th-Nov-2006 06:40 am (UTC)
On that note, Scrubs is coming back this week.

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