So, like a good sucker, the prospect of a "Grey's Anatomy" / "Private Practice" cross-over actually got me to watch both shows last night. After the jump, some thoughts on how it worked, and whether it might be enough to get me watching "Private Practice" again on a regular basis (hint: no)...
I was talking with my friend Rich about these episodes, and we each felt it was less a cross-over than a two-hour episode of "Grey's," with a sprinkling of obligatory scenes at Oceanside Wellness in the second half in lieu of Meredith and Cristina angsting about how little they know the men in their lives.
And, frankly, I'm fine with that. Whatever problems I have with "Grey's," it's still a vastly more entertaining show than "Private Practice." The setting is more interesting, the stakes higher, the cast and characters better-drawn and with more compelling relationships, etc. Addison is always a much more dynamic, vibrant character when she's walking the halls of Seattle Grace than she is down on the beach, and a pair of episodes like these just reminded me of how much I want the spin-off to end so she can come back for good.
It was also amusing to me that the "Grey's" regulars featured in the second episode were McDreamy, McSteamy, Bailey, Karev and the Chief, since around the time the backdoor pilot for "Private Practice" aired, I wrote a column saying I had grown to hate so many of the original characters that I wished the spin-off would be about Addison going to work at a new hospital and taking that group (minus McDreamy, who was used well here, away from the usual Meredith dramatics) with her. Now, a number of other "Grey's" characters have been rehabilitated since -- Callie, for instance, had a nice moment last night where she reminded Addison that God would know who she was -- and they've added other good people like Kevin McKidd (who finally got some material to play and knocked it out of the park). But I watched a lot of the scenes in the second hour and felt like I would be satisfied with a show featuring only this group of people (and, yes, that includes Taye Diggs and Audra McDonald, I suppose).
As for the "Grey's"-only hour, I see that Melissa George got written out more definitively than Brooke Smith, and I won't especially miss her. And in addition to the Hunt/Yang story finally getting some room to move, I liked the parts of Izzie's game that didn't actually involve Izzie. Cristina blithely saying she had all the symptoms of testicular cancer was one of the funnier throwaway moments the show's had in a while.
What did everybody else think?