Friday, September 22, 2006

Grey's Anatomy: Shiva call

If I've been stalling all day on posting my "Grey's Anatomy" review, it's partly because I have two columns to write for Monday's paper, but mostly because I didn't have much of a reaction to it. The storytelling felt a little frayed, even aside from the flashbacks, and if I had any kind of emotional stake in Meredith/Finny/McDreamy, it must have vanished over the summer. Lots of potentially huge moments -- George and McDreamy quarantined by The Plague, Weber's marriage in trouble, Alex rushing that baby out of the ER -- that all fell flat, maybe because they were all crammed into the same hour. Really, other than Addison's scenes, plus Callie expounding Shonda Rhimes' life philosophy to Finn, I was completely unmoved. I felt more worked up by the final shot of "The Office" than I did by this whole hour.

Just me? The audience was huge, edging "CSI" by a few million viewers and whalloping it in the young adult demos. People were so excited to have "Grey's" back that the clip show finished ahead of "Earl" and "The Office" in the Nielsens. I just wonder if they felt as excited by the time 10 o'clock rolled around.

Definitely not excited? ABC execs responsible for "Six Degrees," which shed about 10 million viewers from the end of "Grey's," and another four million at the halfway point, which makes the "Studio 60" half-hour fall-off look respectable in comparison.

14 comments:

Mase said...

I was completely underwhelmed as well. For me, it was close to the worst episode of the series I've seen (with only some of the Izzie shrieking episodes coming in behing this one). No attachment to almost any character (except, surprisingly for me, both Addison and Callie as well) and, for the first time, thought Bailey was just not believeable. Don't know if the Bailey "tough-as-nails-with-a-heart" schtick has just gotten old, or the episode just crammed too much in for me to care about any of it.

As this was one of my 'comfort' shows last year (along with EVERWOOD and SCRUBS), I sincerely hope it improves in the coming weeks.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on Bailey not being believable. I like the "tough-as-nails" personality for her, so it seemed so out of character last night that she was all soft/sad. I feel like there is a back story there... something we'll find out in an episode or two about her. She has some sort of regret that was causing her to react that way. She has to.

But other than that, I was pretty happy w/ the show, but it was a little over-hyped with the million and one ads that ran recently.

I'm just glad a new season has started, I can't get enough of this show. Christina crying at the end got me. They always leave me crying at the end of the episode!

Anonymous said...

This episode sucked! If I hear these characters say Seriously. No Serously I will shoot myself. It was so annoying. The characters are so in love with themselves - who talks about themselves this way "We're Addison and Derek " "I'm the girl who sits in the back of the class and eats her hair." It's like each character has to announce their personality quirks. The Mer/Der/Finn romance is a soggy noodle. And hello but... the PLAGUE? When was the last time anyone caught the Plague? I just felt like it was dull, self involved, and pretentious.

The backlash begins. But this time rightfully so.

Daniel said...

Anonymous,

Cases of the Plague pop up with some regularity in parts of the SouthWest. Apparently when groundhogs and other rodents are involved. It pops up even more regularly, of course, on TV medical shows. House had a case of it last year, I believe.

My problem wasn't that they used The Plague, it's that they didn't have a reason for using it. It came out of nowhere and it's only purpose was to get George and Derrick isolated together. That was a dud because George spent the whole time freaking out about his mortality and McDreamy, considered a medical expert, never thought to casually mention to George that if caught early, the Plague is *completely* curable. It requires anti-biotics. Whee!

I liked the character stuff and the flashbacks. The medical stuff was even worse than usual.

Dan

anon said...

This episode felt like it was reworked very late in the game. The pacing was off, and the number of storylines was excessive, especially with the flashbacks thrown in. Since the flashbacks were really unnecessary, I wonder if the rejiggering was at the network's request ("You're on a new night -- we need more background on these characters for the new audience!").

If I had a Canadian friend, I would ask them how episode two looked. My guess is that the proper premiere is intermixed within those two episodes, and things won't really get going until episode three.

Also, though obviously rare, the plague still does occur in modern cities. While the story absolutely felt tacked on, a plague appearance is about par for the course for "obscure diseases that show up on TV." After all, there was some scurvy on _House_ just a few weeks ago.

Anon

Heather K said...

I totally felt the missed on the chief's marriage, Alex and the Baby, and definitely on George and Derrick locked in a room together.

However the flashbacks were killer!!! Derrick and Addison's fight hurt me. I hurt from watching it. I watched it in Friday night drama encore and it was even better in little details--Alex leaving the mixer with Olivia, Izzy wearing the ame dress she wore for her date with Alex, little things that make me happy.

I really liked the episode and was tears streaming down my cheek crying once Christina started because if Christina's crying, I'm crying. Although, I have a huge emotional attatchment to these characters, so it was easier for me to be involved with them even with a summer break.diss

Anonymous said...

Count me in as someone else who was underwhelmed. I think it was about two thirds of the way through I looked at the clock and realized nothing had really happened yet. I'm sure it is just hard to follow the powerful finale but it still seemed off. Did we need to see flashbacks? I didn't feel like they revealed anything new We already knew how Meredith and Derek met, how Derek found out about Addison cheating, etc.

anon said...

I happened to catch _Best Week Ever_ on VH1 tonight, and one of their opening bits involved a stylistic tic by stylistic tic breakdown of _Grey's Anatomy_. Worth catching one of the repeats over the weekend.

Anon

Devin McCullen said...

I think I liked it more than most, although there was definitely some stuff that felt rushed, especially with the Chief and his wife. I actually thought Derek and George trapped in the locker room worked pretty well. And I don't think I cared that much about the Meredith/McDreamy/Finn triangle anyway, so that wasn't a change.

And people are free to complain, but I don't come to Grey's for medical realism. They could do any silly thing and I'll just accept it and move on.

One thing that I hadn't quite realized before now was exactly how much I like Addison. I knew she was one of my favorites, but after watching her awesomeness last night, she's offically at #3 on my TV character rankings, behind Veronica Mars and John Locke. (Kerry Weaver's got an emeritus #1 because she just doesn't get enough screen time anymore.)

Artemisia said...

I have a love/hate relationship with this show; every single character interests me and I love most of them. I'm dying to find out what happens with the Weber's marriage, how Addison addresses the Mer/Der thing.

The complete detachment from medical plausibility is getting to me, though. Stupid things - like, if they really need to identify the mother of the baby (and why did they? that wasn't made clear), all they have to do is palpate an abdomen. Or simply LOOK, for god's sake. And don't even start me on the plague plot line. How hard is it to invite a real doctor to the writers' meeting and say "look, we need an infectious disease that requires instant quarantine so we can lock up these two doctors and give Bailey some great lines"?

The pacing was off, as well. But I loved the flashbacks, it's like looking at an old photo album.

Lindy said...

No strong reaction from me either. My rage at the idiotic turn the Denny/Izzie storyline took abated over the summer, and I'm willing to give Grey's another chance, but the premiere neither thrilled me nor turned me off. I hope they don't overplay Addison as the Woman Scorned; I'm not sure how to feel about her stunt with Meredith's underwear.

manuel said...

as much as a mess the season premiere was, the second episode more than makes up for it, in my opinion. loads of great moments in that one.

Dark Tyler said...

Word is, the upcoming episode was the season premiere Shonda Rhimes had in mind, but then ABC told her to write a sort of transitional episode that turned out to be the actual season 3 opener. And you know what, I think it shows.

For all the good things the premiere had (loved the flashbacks, loved Addison), it simply is but a whimper next to episode 2. And you can really tell that Shonda wanted to begin with it because, you know, things actually happen!

Plus, the forthy tone returns, along with the drama, and the character moments, and the sense of moving forward, etc. Thank you, Canada! ;)

filmcricket said...

I thought the flashbacks were pretty weak. The Derek/Addison fight contradicts a) what McSteamy said happened (that Derek just turned around and walked out) and b) the tough-as-nails bitch Addison was when the character was introduced (whom I miss very much; Addie was a lot more fun when she was evil).

The Burke/Christina meeting I don't buy either. I don't see Christina gushing all over someone no matter how much she admired them. Early on in season one she calls Burke "trouble" and this is after she's already made a big deal about Ellis Grey, so I think if she knew who Burke was she'd have mentioned it.

The flashbacks that did work (George/Meredith, Derek/Meredith) worked because they didn't break continuity, but as someone else pointed out, we didn't learn anything new from them, either.