Friday, January 11, 2008

Grey's: What God has joined together, let Shonda put asunder

Some brief thoughts on the last "Grey's Anatomy" episode until the strike ends coming up just as soon as I eat some eggs...

Dammit, they went and did it. Shonda and company went and split up the only happily married couple left on the show. Not that it was a shock after all the "Bailey's career is disrupting her marriage" subplots throughout the season, but I actually held out hope that, cheesey as it might have been, Tucker's accident might have brought her and hubbie back together. Can't have that, though, can we? Married people are boring. Obviously.

And yet in spite of that, I quite liked the rest of the episode. Turning the narration over to Bailey certainly helped, as did giving Chandra Wilson so many great scenes to play: running through her morning routine over and over to figure out whether she left the gate open, telling off Hahn (even though I think Hahn was absolutely right to toss her out and Miranda is too consumed with grief and pain to realize that), letting the Chief talk her into bringing in the healer, etc.

The healer storyline itself could have been the sort of cutesie-poo "Grey's" material I hate, but the casting of Glenne Headly and the scenes with Karev gave it enough gravitational pull that I didn't mind when they brought her in to save Tucker. (That scene, with all the characters out in the hall watching, gave the ep enough of a season finale feel that it almost seems okay they're shut down for a while.) And the Mrs. O'Malley story had Callie at by far her most likable (both in the scene where she complains to George about the baby clothes, and in the one where she talks about her brief stint in the family) since the whole quickie marriage thing happened last year. Sure, the latest Mer/Der break-up was a predictable snooze, but in an episode with this much Bailey -- even if part of it has to do with an arc I don't care for -- I can easily tune out those two.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

This seemed like the wrong episode to have Bailey narrating. She seemed so calm and omniscient in the voiceovers, but so understandably upset in the actual show, that it made for a disconnect that was kind of jarring.

I always like Glenne Headley, although her role was kind of similar to the angelic pediatric surgeon she played on her stint on "ER" a few years ago. (Healing touch is actually practiced in some hospitals, but it's pretty controversial -- and the entire field of "energy medicine" is a lot more complicated than the magic trick they made it seem like here.)

Luckily for everyone on the show, there were even fewer patients that needed to be cared for on this particular day than in an episode of "Private Practice." Thus could the entire staff devote all their attention to the only one they cared about, in between dealing with their even more time-consuming personal crises and relationship issues.

Anonymous said...

Married people who can't balance life and work and end up losing their spouse is a HUGE TV cliche...and so is finally realizing I Was Wrong and going crawling back, which I figure is where they're going with this. The alternative (sticking to it and living a lonely divorced professional life Saving Other People But Never Making Time For Me) would clearly be a slightly Edgier way to deal with it, though, so maybe it will go there instead.

So: feh.

Stef said...

I agree that the whole thing was sorta framed in a "season finale" way, with Bailey's hubby moving out, Mer-Der breaking up *again*, George and Lexie talking about getting a new place, etc. At this point, I can't stand whiny, wussy Der just about as much as Mer, so good riddance. I hope. But Shonda is clearly so in love with Der that I'm sure they'll be back at it.... Like last year with the combo of Addison-Bailey-Callie, this year I'm much more interested in what the trio of ADULTS (Callie-Sloan-Hahn) are up to.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds it hard to watch the actor who plays Bailey's husband here after he was so memorable in his short stint as Steve Sisco on Sports Night? Yes, I have seen that series too many times. But back to this one:

Agree a bit about the Bailey narration being a little incongruous with the plotting, but she's so much better at it that Mer, I can deal.

All these Meredith/Derek breakups are so interchangeable. I love you but you can't commit, so I'm moving on (but let's have sex every now and then). Repeat over and over. Snore.

On the other hand, I did like the Callie and Erica buddying. More of that, please? Actual adult issues.

And speaking of issues, how sadly predictable that Bailey's marriage would break up from that old cliche, her job. Actually not even her dedication, just that she actually has to go to her job and leave the house. It's ridiculous and insulting, as well as disappointing that Shonda thinks showing a true working marriage couldn't be more romantic than the endless whinings of the other doctors.

Anonymous said...

How about Cress Williams having to be the distraught father with a broken mariage and a sick child two weeks in a row? Last week he reprised his role on "E.R.," along with Gloria Reuben (the characters are now separated though), to see his adopted son infected with AIDS. Beard this weak, shaven last week, a lot of problems in both weeks.

Jen said...

This is a little out of left field, but I'll add it anyway-- I can't tell you how sick I am of seeing food allergies become jokey subplots on ABC shows (see also Ugly Betty).

As the parent of a son with a peanut and fish allergy, I can't tell you how much misunderstanding and confusion there is in the world about these serious medical conditions.

People think it's a joke, when it's a life-threatening condition. Seeing it turn up repeatedly on ABC shows only trivializes it and makes it harder for people to understand what's at stake.

If my kid would eat a plate of fish, he'd be in an ambulance on the way to the ER. Drives me crazy. (Thanks, Alan, for all of your great work-- keep it up.)

Anonymous said...

Steve Sisco on Sports Night
He actually played Steve Saris, the morose sub anchor who thought his girlfriend was going to dump him. Steve Sisco was Rebecca's not-quite-ex husband whom we never saw. Sorry. Yes, I've seen that show one too many times, as well.

Pamela Jaye said...

>Am I the only one who finds it hard to watch the actor who plays Bailey's husband here after he was so memorable in his short stint as Steve Sisco on Sports Night?

Nope, it's worse. Last week he was playing almost the exact same role on ER. Son in the ER, wife, already split from, cause she spent too much time on her job in the medical field (of course hers was more of a crusade, but still)
(you were watching Sports Night recently? Sometimes I feel Cress is all over the place, even if the last other place I saw him was on Veronica Mars?)

>Like last year with the combo of Addison-Bailey-Callie, this year I'm much more interested in what the trio of ADULTS (Callie-Sloan-Hahn) are up to.

I'll buy that if you remove Sloan. That man is in no way an adult.

I also really liked the fact that they got a little closer to what was up with Alex (still no details, but it was fascinating)
I liked what Alex did with Izzie - and I was interested in Izzie's jealousy of Cristina - mostly because none of those things involved sex, and some of them involved real friendship. I love it when Alex shows he cares for Izzie. And no, I'm not advocating another romantic relationship between them (right now). Everyone needs to get their minds on their careers - except of course for Bailey.

As for being lonely and devoted to saving the world - we already have the Chief for that. Although I've noticed that the Chief tends to wander the hospital looking for interesting cases to just get excited about - look! he fell 12,000 feet and he's still alive! Not that he doesn't save some of them, but he just seems excited to see them.

Aside from the fact that Lexie is just barely an Adult Child of An Alcoholic (give me a break, she *just* became one, she didn't grow up that way, and she was in a happy family all her life till her mom died. Prom queen, valedictorian, and all - someone should check continuity) the Meredith and Lexie interaction was really sweet,

and Lexie and George should be good friends - as long as Izzie can handle it without getting all jealous (sheesh - Izzie was jealous of Callie being with George when Denny was still alive and they were flirting!)

yeah, I know everyone has nothing better to do but... it did look good and supportive.
And Derek's relationship with Bailey has been interesting from the days he had to keep reminding her he was her boss.

Rose was a grown up, Derek... I'm not sure. Mer... needs therapy. I understand it, but she still does.

and I have work.
I loved the ep - except for destroying the last suriving marriage - even if I saw it coming. I'm pissed about it, but the rest of the ep was really good. (though I was never sure why Derek started dating as soon as he said he would wait for Meredith, unless someone "came along" - it's not "coming along" if you go looking for them)

Pamela Jaye said...

>(sticking to it and living a lonely divorced professional life Saving Other People But Never Making Time For Me)

That would be Ellis.

Susan said...

filmcricket, thank you! I was sitting here thinking, "I watched Sports Night, and I can't remember ever meeting Rebecca's ex..."

Last night, the only people who interested me were Callie and Hahn. Oh, and I have to admit that I was moved by Cristina subtly showing that she's not a robot by holding Tuck's hand through the surgery, even when given a chance to participate. Even if she doesn't believe that it will help Tuck, she knows what it means to give her promise to Bailey, and she won't break it.

But seriously, did we have to see Meredith and Derek go through the same cycle they've been through a few times before, all in one episode? "I love you! Let's commit! Let's try to take commitment way too far before you're ready! Oh, there's a hazy incident where you kinda cheated but not really? Okay, let's break up."

Nicole said...

I'm hijacking this thread, but did anyone catch the Leno Kimmel crossover?

As for Grey's Anatomy, it should be cancelled. It has been recycled garbage for a while, and the storylines are not any different than General Hospital... okay so there is no gangster there... yet. I know people are desperate for scripted drama at the moment, but will anyone really miss this show specifically?

Shonda started off with something good, but it lost all credibility last year.. I would rather she start something new, because I don't think Grey's will have the longevity of ER, which had several stellar years before the eventual decline.

Anonymous said...

For me, Cress Williams will always be D'Shawn the basketball player on 90210.

Anonymous said...

Argh, yes of course Sarris not Sisco, thanks for the correction, filmcricket. Damn that Sorkin and his similar names...perhaps it's time to watch the series again!

SJ said...

Who plays that cute nurse Derek is falling for? She is cute, witty and mature...3 things Meredith is not at all. Her, Bailey and the Chief are the only characters I like...this show has certainly fallen a lot in terms of quality.

Pamela Jaye said...

>But seriously, did we have to see Meredith and Derek go through the same cycle they've been through a few times before, all in one episode? "I love you! Let's commit! Let's try to take commitment way too far before you're ready! Oh, there's a hazy incident where you kinda cheated but not really? Okay, let's break up."

I love the description, though!

Rose - I think it's Lauren Stamile or Stabile - cause i'm too lazy to look it up again. She was on Scrubs the first week she was on Grey's I think.

Will anyone miss Grey's if it goes? Yup. I will. I wouldn't have missed ER but this is... it's Ally McBeal in a hospital. (yeah, Ally got boring when she got over Billy, however she did that, and then came RDJ and then came drugs again and then came firing (all of which I predicted when he was hired))

Glenne Headley was lovely too (though, was it makeup or was it the 10 years? it seemed like more than 10 years, on her face)
Remember when she and Carter were having sex in her office? (and you think it just happens on Grey's. On Grey's no department head even *has* an office! Maybe they should go on strike to get offices to have sex in...)

I'm pathetic. It was on again tonight. Of course I'm watching it again. It's 2am (but I was doing tons of irrelevant laundry)

Dani In NC said...

According to Wikipedia, Glenne Headley is 52. It wouldn't be unreasonable for her to show a little age on her face.

I cried during the scene where Bailey was going over her morning routine. I was also touched by George's mom and how upset she was about his marriage ending.

I agree with Pamela Jaye that the best parts of GA right now are when the plot lines DON'T revolve around sex or romantic relationships. To me, switching all the couples around is just a cheap way out. It takes a lot more work to make a story interesting without the sex.

Pamela Jaye said...

I just discovered that the season 3 DVD - which I never got thru - have Kate Burton and Ellen doing commentary on Wishin and Hopin (the Mom is Lucid episode).

I'm hoping that Ellen will say something soon. Kate's interesting at least. She says it's weird to watch now, when people are talking about what to do with her ashes.

jcpbmg said...

Cress Williams (aka Steve Saris) also played Lester during S7 of West Wing. I'm shocked that on this of all sites his TWW role wasn't mentioned.

Pamela Jaye said...

Darn, I can't even remember season 7. Who was Lester?
(think I should try to track down my tape of the last howevermany eps of Studio 60 and watch it? I have 3 eps of What About Brian... but even I was bored with that by then)

Jeremy said...

Every melodrama has an episode where it looks like the writers room said "ok, our storylines are stale, lets explode everything and see where the pieces land". Usually it happens around an elaborate set piece, thankfully this one was contained within the usual trappings.

Meredith is now officially unredeemable (what I can't decide is if its a credit to the acting/writing or if they really can't see it). Did you see the look on EP's face during the pre-breakup speech that basically said "lucky you, you're going to be the one to fix me!". I hope they stretch Derek's relationship with the nurse out a good long time.