Reviewing the two Thursday medical shows together seems to be working, so spoilers for "Grey's Anatomy" and then "ER" coming up just as soon as I find some unkosher animals to stab...
You know "Grey's Anatomy" is getting it right right these days where they feature an episode where Izzie is freaking out about the health of animals and it doesn't bother me.
Of course, Kevin McKidd getting all stabby with the pigs fit better in a medical context than Izzie playing amateur veterinarian with that deer last season. But beyond that, I think the show's achieving a very nice balance of comedy and pathos, of having characters do and say wacky things without undermining them.
I'm glad to have McKidd back, and to see his conflict with McDreamy and McSteamy get resolved in a shockingly adult manner, not only for this show, but for any medical show. On "ER" (which I'll get to in a minute), it usually takes the hot-headed newbie at least a half a season, if not several seasons, before he starts seeing eye to eye with the longtime regulars; here they came to an understanding by the end of the hour.
And I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying Callie and Erica's girl-on-girl angst. Though it was obviously conceived in order to give those two actresses something to do, it turned out to be something good to do. Everytime I think that story's in danger of taking a stupid turn, we get a moment like Erica's speech about getting glasses (very fine work by Brooke Smith), or McSteamy turning out to be useful for something other than sex, or Erica not flipping out at learning that Callie had been sleeping with McSteamy to calm herself.
And, of course, any episode that gives Chandra Wilson and James Pickens a lot of meaty material, both together and apart, is okay in my book.
As for "ER," not one of the better ones this season in my book. Since I watched very little of the Shane West era, the return of Ray didn't mean a whole lot for me. (Also, I could have done without the constant full-body camera pans down to show his various artificial legs. We get it: modern special effects are really awesome!)
I'm also getting impatient waiting for Dr. Banfield to reveal her deep dark secret and then have her predestined mellowing out. Since she's only going to be on the show for one season (and a slightly abbreviated one, at that), they can't play out her character arc at the same pace they did with, say, Pratt or Dr. Aussie. (Who I totally don't buy as a good guy, all of a sudden. They should have let him stay a bastard, Romano-style.)
Sam becoming the latest "ER" nurse (or hospital show nurse in general) to get frustrated at being treated like a second-class citizen when she knows more than half the doctors was also not very inspired.
Ah, well. I assume a lot of my Banfield problems will be resolved in the much-hyped Dr. Greene flashback episode we're getting in a couple of weeks. But if they decide to kill Mark again in that episode, I am going to lodge a formal complaint.
What did everybody else think?