Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grey's Anatomy: You're kidding, right?

"Grey's Anatomy" spoilers comin' right up...

What is it with dramas this week where the last five minutes has to totally go and ruin an episode I was otherwise enjoying? After last week's disjointed, over-expository episode, this felt more like "Grey's" proper: sexy, silly, a little bit poignant and not too heavy-handed. Then came the last coupla scenes and I was back to looking for bricks to throw at the set. (Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse where we're forced to go out and buy a plasma...)

I knew that Shonda was going to contrive to bring Izzy back into the program at some point, but I didn't think it would be this soon or this easy. First, no bleeping way Bailey deserves any blame for what happened. Her whole bit about going soft after having a kid sounded like something written by Archie Bunker or Louie DePalma. "Oh, you can't trust the broads who work for you after they get knocked up! So don't let 'em!" Second, no bleeping way is Izzy allowed back in any kind of medical program, unless it's one where she's a guinea pig for an anti-psychotics drug trial. Blech.

Almost as bad was the show attempting to give the moral high ground back to McDreamy. Dude, whatever happened in New York ceased to count in any kind of grievance tally once you agreed to take Addison back and give things another guy. You're the dick who cheated on her, you're the one who knew that she found the panties, and still you act like her getting back together with Mark justifies what you did? Wow. I didn't think it was possible for me to dislike anyone on this show more than Meredith, but congratulations, big guy.

There was so much good stuff up until then -- Callie getting off on George's jealousy, Alex hooking up with the cancer patient, Cristina battling with Burke's parents (Julia and Shaft, respectively; maybe Burke's mom was the one who wrote Bailey's speech?), Addison getting drunk, the pathologically truthful neuro patient, Callie dancing in her skivvies (and Meredith's description of her to George), etc. -- but that last act really left a bad taste in my mouth.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

I've more or less quit watching this show, because in spite of the brilliant supporting cast, both Meredith and McDempsey repel me so strongly at this point (a combination of the various writing problems and a violent personal dislike for female characters who spend an entire season pining for someone who treats them like crap) I can't handle a full episode. The sad thing is, I glance at the writers' blog occasionally and it never fails to somehow tick me off. Last week Shonda Rhimes actually wrote that "what Addison did to Derek is SO much worse than what he's done to her with Meredith." Which makes me so angry I can't even breathe.

I miss old-school ER, where at least when Doug Ross was a jackass, someone (okay, generally Kerry Weaver) called him a jackass and provided some sort of consequences to his actions. When the writing absolves Meredith and Derek of all their mistakes (not least by forcing the supporting characters into the thankless task of spending half their screentime discussing how great Meredith is), nothing's at stake and the depth of the characters vanishes. You can't pin an angsty backstory on a pretty face and expect me to root for your character when his/her actions are consistently either selfish or self-defeating.

Hence, I think tonight's might be the last episode I watch. The greatness of the small scenes and supporting characters is not enough to compensate for the way the leads make me feel.

Wow, that was a rant.

velvetcannibal said...

I'm not too into this show. I put it on for background. I pretty much agree with you on the annoying Mer/McDreamy plot.

I can't remember much though, because there was a bathroom door opening and a towel falling... everything else is just a faint blur.

What can I say? I'm a weak woman.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit: I read Bailey's speech as a commentary on how Bailey's character was written throughout the horrible, horrible, Izzy storyline (though I am sad Jeffrey Dean Morgan had to die on two shows; I hope he lands somewhere else soon). It would have been consistent with Bailey's character to shut that crap down, but the writers chickened out. So since I read the speech as an apology to the viewers, I was forgiving. Also, per luna's comments, I hope this means Bailey goes back to calling Shepherd a jackass.

As for Izzy getting back into the program -- You know they'll have to do it, and you know it'll be completely ridiculous. You can either live with that or you can't.

Finally, the Meredith/Shepherd thing...The more supporting cast they introduce the less we'll have to deal with it. So here's to more Eric Dane/Mark Sloan! Adele! Joe! Olivia!

And yes, every time they call him Dr. Mark Sloan, I will look for Dick van Dyke. Every damn time.


dark tyler said...

I loved every bit of it, including the final act. Bailey actually has a point, assuming the blame for what Izzie did. She knew what was going on with Denny and still she did nothing to stop it. Interns are supposed to learn from the what-they're-called like Bailey and Burke, so when they bend the rules part of the blame goes to the mentors. Or all of the blame, with someone like Bailey who is highly ethical. I know many people hated Izzie's story arc last year (I loved every part of it) and don't really want to see a beloved character like Miranda dragged into it, but the truth is that she's not wrong, seeing it like this.

Re: the last scene. OK, first of all, when McSteamy came out of the steamy bathroom, I was literally standing and clapping and whistling and making all kinds of sounds. It was just like when Tony Almeida returned guns-a-blazin' in 24's fourth season. So, points for that. But I give you that Derek is an ass. But really, hasn't he always been? He never took responsibility for any of his actions- he even did this with Meredith, blaming her for sleeping with George. He tried to take the moral high ground against her then and there, no? He's a total ass, and they kinda deserve each other (LOL). So yeah, the way he reacted to the Steam was totally the way he would react. Don't like it either, but then again that's Derek.

Now I'm only hoping Addison doesn't get written off the show, leaving with Mark or something. She's perhaps the best thing about it right now, so I hope she sticks around.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Anon, if this was Shonda apologizing, I'm still pissed, because she had to go and drag Bailey being a new mom into it. I know a lot of women who have taken all kinds of unwarranted crap from bosses, both male and female, both before and after their kids were born. It's a dumb, hurtful stereotype, and a theory that never should have escaped the lips of either Miranda Bailey or Chandra Wilson, both of whom have too much brains and backbone to think or say it.

Dark Tyler, yes Derek is an ass. But as Luna points out, the show virtually never calls him on it. So when you have him acting all smug and superior and Addison looking totally guilty and nobody else saying anything, you're left with the impression that the show endorses Derek's point of view. Maybe there'll be a scene next week where Meredith or the chief tells him to get over himself, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, at this point I'm really watching to due insane levels of Callie-lust.

Izzy getting back in is just too much disbelief for me to willingly suspend.

lizfinnarnold said...

Yeah, it bugged me that Bailey blamed the baby for Izzie's killing of a patient. Seemed a bit sexist, coming from probably one of the few showrunners in Hollywood who is a mother herself.

However, like most women in America, as soon as McSteamy walked out of Addison's bathroom I forgot about eveything else in last night's episode. Sudddenly, it was like "who cares about Meredith and Derek or Meredith and Finn?"

Anonymous said...

Why is it that if Mer/Der were going on in real life everyone would scream bloody murder at Mer for even considering a cheater? But because it's TV we're supposed to root for the relationship?

I think this show has gone beyond the point where I can suspend belief and care for the characters. Izzy getting back in so soon is too much, as is Finn willing to fight for Mer. He should say "to hell with this," just like am inclined to do with the show as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Izzy and the guys at the house sure had a ton of muffin pans readilly wish is that Grey's goes the way of Desperate in this full second season . . . .how many other poles, trees, bombs or other protruding objects can they operate around in the oh my god kind of way? First Mer sleeps with almost everyone including poor George and now as the resolution to the big choice; she wants to be like Flavor Flav and the Bachlorette?

--------waithing for the Shield to return!

Chip Chandler said...

I can see the point that Addison's betrayal was worse than Derek's, because she did cheat on him with his best friend. That doesn't excuse Derek's subsequent betrayal, but it is a little bigger, in my eyes.

And I guess I'm not seeing how the other characters are constantly saying how great Meredith is, or that she and Derek are being completely absolved. I see her as an exceedingly unusual lead character -- one who's not always likable, and the writers are OK with that.

Anonymous said...

Chip--I can see that argument, but I feel like Derek manipulated both Meredith and Addison all last season. I never got the feeling he was sincere about trying to repair his marriage--he seemed to just stand around watching Addison try and cope and grovel and strain, and meanwhile asking Meredith if they can be friends, because that's not in any way controlling after you've broken someone's heart. Addison may have hurt him worse than he's hurting her, but he's a worse human being in my book.

As for the whole Meredith-MarySueism, well, people can watch and see different things. The first time it really got to me was back at the beginning of season two, when Addison arrived in town and promptly set about the episode defending Meredith to patients and talking about how great she was, when she had absolutely no reason to feel that way. That's the kind of thing that turns me off a character.

Or maybe I just hate Ellen Pompeo.

And Patrick Dempsey.

I don't think so, though.

Anyway, we can all get together on the awesomeness of Sandra Oh, I suppose.

Toby O'B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toby O'B said...

I gave up on this show back when Meredith shredded George's heart, but I still like to keep up to date on all shows via blogs like this.

It may have done great guns right out of the gate this season, but I'm curious to see how long the audience will stick with it on a night that actually has competition.

Wasn't really interested in any of the other offerings on the major networks, but I am digging 'Murder City' in the same time slot over on BBC-A.

Anonymous said...

With Mischa Barten off the OC - Mer and Der can now take Ryan and Marissa's place as worst most boring most show killing couple on tv.

And Shonda's blog is so self congrulatory and crazy that it may make me never watch this show again. It's really annoying to watch now, so smug and self congratulatory.

David J. Loehr said...

People keep telling me and my wife to try this show, and we just don't get it. My wife loves medical stories, and we both appreciate good writing. But. Even if the plotting were better than insipid, even if the medical stuff were portrayed more accurately, neither of us can get past the character names straight out of Harlequin romances.

And Dr. Mark Sloan? Is that a shout-out to Dick Van Dyke, and if so, why? Are they going to shift to names from old medical shows now? (Not that Diagnosis Murder was exactly a medical show, but still...) How long till we hear about a Dr. Joe Gannon?

As far as we're concerned, the show exists for this line from Scrubs last season, "Oh I do love that show, it's like they've been watching our lives and just put it on TV!" If only.

Anonymous said...

Alan said:

"I know a lot of women who have taken all kinds of unwarranted crap from bosses, both male and female, both before and after their kids were born. It's a dumb, hurtful stereotype, and a theory that never should have escaped the lips of either Miranda Bailey or Chandra Wilson, both of whom have too much brains and backbone to think or say it."

I can see your point. On the other hand, last season I was bothered because I felt Bailey's character was being written in a way that fulfilled that exact stereotype. I guess I read Bailey's speech this episode (along with Christina's "The Nazi's back" comment) as a sign that those character developments are being both acknowledged and forgotten, and Bailey can go back to being a tough, forthright character. To reiterate my comment from above, I believe she is the only character to pretty much call Shepherd a jackass, and I agree with everyone else that the show could use some more of that. (It also seems like Karev the jerk might be back to fulfill that role.) I guess I'll have to see where the next few episodes lead.

Apropos of nothing in particular, it's really interesting that the "unlikable character" comments focus on the affair and not on the terrible thing that Meredith did to George last season. While I suppose the argument could certainly be made that forgiveness came too easy for Meredith, I felt it was made pretty clear to everyone (inside and outside the fictional universe of the show) that what she did was despicable and that she is, in many ways, a horrible person. I respected the writers for being willing to do that with their lead. The problem now seems to be not that Meredith is a horrible person, but that that's all she is. Pairing her with Shepherd, who is also a horrible person, isn't really going to change the situation.

So like I said, here's to more supporting characters! More Brooke Smith! Make Diahann Carroll and Richard Roundtree regulars! Whatever happened to that smarmy Indian intern? Let's give him another shot!


Anonymous said...

I agree that the final two scenes left a sour taste in my mouth after an otherwise really enjoyable episode. When McDreamy saw Mark walking out of that shower and acted as if that made him the victim, I wanted to scream. Both Derek and Addison screwed up their marriage; the blame should be shared, and Derek's refusal to get that is really unappealing. (That having been said ... you go, Addison Montgomery! Way to rebound from your whiny, indecisive, soon-to-be-ex-husband.)

And no way should Izzie ever be allowed back in scrubs. Ever. I want to like Izzie, Katherine Heigl is such a lovely and likeable actress (and has great chemistry with Alex), but the Denny storyline ruined her character for me.

Unknown said...

I am way late to the game on this one, but I believe I read somewhere that Shonda told Jeffrey Dean Morgan she was writing a role just for him in her new pilot.

On Izzie coming back, while yes, it is ridiculous, I thought the show set that up at the end of last season, when the interns all had their "I am Spartacus" letting the adminstrators know that even if they "knew" it was Izzie, they could never prove it legally.

Anonymous said...

I'm clearly in the minority here, but I wasn't at all bothered by the Addison-McDreamy-McSteamy scene. I agree that Derek is irritatingly arrogant (but sexy!, as TumorBoy said), and that Meredith is just plain irritating, BUT...
Addison cheated on Derek with his best friend, in their home, back when they were "Addison and Derek" (which suggests to me that they weren't having any major marital problems at the time).
Derek moves to Seattle under the impression that his marriage is over, and starts his relationship with Mer. Addison shows up more or less unannounced (I wasn't a regular viewer back then, so forgive me if there was lead-up of which I'm unaware), and Derek takes the extremely unusual position for a television character in this situation and decides to try to make the marriage work, out of respect for the idea and institution of marriage for its own sake. It's one thing to say the words, and it's quite another to actually treat them as VOWS.
That said, some things really just are unforgivable, and it seems to me that a) Derek really did fall in love with Meredith (as much as someone as self-centered as he is can love someone else), and b) Addison's betrayal of him was something that he was never going to overcome.
All of which brings me to the scene with Mark -- Derek went to the hotel to break it off with Addison, regardless of what was or wasn't going to happen with Meredith, because he realized he couldn't be married to her anymore. Seeing Mark in the towel (yum!!!) definitely made him feel better -- it reminded him that Addison started the betrayal ball rolling. And maybe I'm just immature about these sorts of things, but I don't think Addison gets to claim aggreived-party status when she a) cheated first, b) with her husband's best friend, and c) flew him cross-country for some consolation booty.