Friday, April 25, 2008

Grey's Anatomy: It's okay. I won a contest.

Quick spoilers for last night's "Grey's Anatomy" coming up just as soon as I pet a cub...

Why am I still watching? Somebody want to tell me that? With Thursday night as packed as its going to be from now through the end of the season, and with "Grey's" giving us episodes like this on a regular basis, what masochistic urge still has me giving up an hour of my life a week for it?

Shonda Rhimes said in several interviews that the strike gave her time to step back and re-assess some things, and has implied at the very least that she realizes she has to put Meredith and McDreamy back together once and for all. But even if "Where the Wild Things Are" started to hint at the latest reconciliation for primetime's mopiest couple, it still bore the hallmarks of a show that Just. Doesn't. Get It.

One of the overwhelming problems of the series was the way each character had drowned in her or his own narcissism, and how each of them gave no thought to how their selfishness hurt the people around them. So what's our first post-strike episode about? The interns having a contest that drives them -- most notably the loathsome Izzy -- to sacrifice their patients' physical and emotional well-being for the sake of a nebulous point system.

Look, I get that the competitive nature of a surgical residency is one of the key components of the series, and in general I like those moments when Cristina or Karev treats the latest case as nothing more than another rung on the ladder. But between Izzy torturing Cheech and Meredith taking out her own romantic hang-ups on her patient and his poor wife (even though she was right), I feel like Shonda took things too far. There's passive disinterest in your patients as human beings and then there's actively causing them harm because of your own neuroses, and the latter just makes me hate these people even more, whether or not they appeared to learn their lesson at the end.

On the plus side -- I think -- was the graphic nature of the bear-mauling injuries. They were gross, but at least when Clea Duvall took her hat off and we saw her brain exposed for all the world to see, it at least took my mind off of how little I can still tolerate the regular characters.

What did everybody else think?


electricia said...

I came to Grey's a little late - It's only been since the strike and there was nothing else to watch that I got around to renting Season 1 and 2 (getting laid off myself right at the start of the strike didn't help the boredom factor)). I was totally into them and watched them straight through over the course of a couple of weeks. The strike gave me the opportunity to catch up with Season 3, since ABC has all of the episode online. I still enjoyed those episodes, too, and was really looking forward to last night's return.

I hated it.

Mostly I hated it for the reasons you enumerated. But also... it was just boring. Nothing really happened. And Meredith is so whiny I constantly want to smack her. Also, somehow I apparently missed McDreamy and Rose becoming a couple (I remember that he kissed her, but I didn't recall what they showed in the "previously on..." clips where Meredith finds out about it), as well as George and Lexi moving in together (also mentioned in "previously on...", which I didn't recognize).

I spent most of the episode trying to figure out if that was or was not Clea Duvall. She gets more attractive as she gets older, I think. I thought she was fairly unattractive as the invisible girl in Season 1 of Buffy (though I guess she was meant to be plain and forgettable), then when I saw her on Heroes, she seemed slightly prettier. Last night I kept thinking, "That looks like Clea Duvall, except a lot prettier." Maybe bear-mauled is a good look for her.

Actually, I think my favorite thing about this show has become trying to identify the guest people. That started in the first season in the train wreck episode with the girl who had a steel bar through her. I finally figured out she was one of the girls from "Undeclared", which I'd just watched on video (thanks again to the strike). I didn't even realize Izzy's torture victim was Cheech.

I think minimizing the characters of McSteamy and Callie hasn't helped, either, and I really really hate the Dr. Hahn character.

I will end my ramble here, but I agree with you, Alan - bleh.

V said...

My enjoyment of this show is irrational (although I almost gave up during the Izzy-George thing, urgh). I guess I'm still hoping for a happy ending for Meredith & McDreamy.

It's really just been a year or so into the residency--you can't expect the hyper-competitive types who go into surgery to begin with to realize & repent their narcissistic ways so soon.

Anonymous said...

Why am I still watching? Somebody want to tell me that?

Same reason I am. You're invested in (at least some of) the characters. I still think Karev and Yang are interesting, and goddamnit, if I don't love me some Mark Sloane. Okay, I admit I'm female, but he always brings a smile to my face if for no other reason than he's the only character who openly embraces his narcissism.

Plus, I gotta see if The Chief and Bailey hook up or not.

Anonymous said...

They're both black and it's network TV. Of course they're going to hook up.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Good point, anon!

Theresa said...

Say what you want about it, but they do know how to do gore over at Grey's Anatomy.

This episode was alternately blah/disgusting for me, although I was excited to see Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies). I'm more excited about the return of Addison next week, though, and seeing if she can whip some of these people into shape.

According to the GA podcast from earlier this week, Derek and Meredith will be together for good by the end of the season. I just hope I can make it that long. Speaking of that, I think I keep watching this show for the same reason that I have trouble dropping terrible players from my fantasy baseball team: I get attached. Even if they're terrible and haven't produced all season, I have a hard time dropping them.

One final thing that irked me: George mentioned (and Shonda and Betsy talked about this in the podcast) the big deal that Izzy cut her hair. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't she get a significant haircut earlier in the season? I'm specifically picturing her "fight" scene with Callie, where her hair was about shoulder-length. Granted, her hair was pulled back this episode so it was hard to tell how long it was, but that really irked me---how unusual.

Theresa said...

Also, I'm going to assume that it's just a coincidence that GA featured a bear attack while Scrubs included a game called "Poke the Bear" on the same night, but it still creeped me out.

Anonymous said...

I was just so happy that they were focusing on work and not on who they were sleeping with.

Well, except for the roaches.
And will someone please get over the idea of Lexie being ACOA? She grew up in happy childhoodland for Pete's sake. That said, I do like her and they seem to be trying to rehabilitate George, which is good, cause I didn't like hating him.
Just please, no more roaches.

I'm invested. I don't like Mark or Hahn, now that you mention it (never did like Mark) but Callie... I could have some compassion for her. (the one time I truly hated Meredith was when she was joining Izzie in being a bitchy petty High School Girl about Callie)

I remember Clea from ER - I have no idea who she played - and intestine guy was on an episode of Enterprise (though, as it turned out, not the one I thought)
And yup - I was sitting there saying "is that Cheech or Chong?" (hey, I heard them in the 70's, I didn't watch them, but Cheech was in a movie that Scott Bakula was in, too.)

I'm still rather stuck on Meredith. Not in a crush way, but in an I can relate way, and on top of that, I just love to watch her. Even if she does walk funny. I also love it when she is smarter than everyone. (happened in the pilot, with Alex, and i'm sure some other times)

same old scrubs spoilers below

(and I love it when JD finds purple pee, even though I swear that disease was mispronounced for the rest of that ep of Scrubs and it drove me nuts. Someone medical around here? Tell me how it's supposed to be pronounced please?)

And, let's see, now Meredith wants to "save lives"?
I swear that phrase is Beat To Death on this show. Drives me nuts. (they also love "hot shot doctor")
She wants to... what? start a study? Okay... theoretically, according to some Dr shows, doctors are scientists... and there is the publish or perish thing i guess. (that bit Mark Greene and Susan Lewis in the ass)

Anonymous said...

As this show seems to revel in the main characters spilling their guts ad nauseam, I must say I cheered when someone dumped their intestines on one of them.
Fair is fair.

After viewing this episode, I now know how it feels to the victim of a mauling.

Anonymous said...

Someone medical around here? Tell me how it's supposed to be pronounced please?)

Not only am I a medical transcriptionist, I know someone with the disease. And they mispronounced it throughout, every last one of 'em.

Porphyria is pronounced por-FEAR-e-ah

Matt said...

The presence of bears in so much television of late simply demonstrates that Stephen Colbert is right--bears are the #1 threat to America.

Anonymous said...

When I saw Derek with Rose and then they had the reaction shot of Meredith, I thought -- I'd much rather watch this show if Lauren Stamile was the star.

Anonymous said...

Re: Scrubs

Ha! I, too, noticed the mispronunciation, and the only reason I knew how to pronounce it is because the disease has been on Scrubs before. Season 4 Episode 13, My Ocardial Infarction, is the one where JD realizes Elliot has become the better doctor, and he struggles with a diagnosis. Which it turns out is Acute Intermittent Porphyria. In that episode, they pronounced it correctly.

The more you know.

P.S. Freaking difficult word verifications, eh?

SJ said...

Shonda has completely destroyed this show hasn't she...I just about loath the regular characters.

Anonymous said...

As a longtime reader of this blog, I can't believe my first comment is going to be regarding a show whose creator is so smug that she doesn't realize the "shocking" developments she teases about are actually fairly predictable. Furthermore, she doesn't seem to realize that the majority of the characters have become so unsympathetic that it's difficult to care about what happens to them, even if it does take us by surprise.

Having said that, I do continue to watch because I enjoy the characters who have always been unapologetically unsympathetic (Yang, Karev, Sloane) and am still holding out hope that Bailey will return to her former demanding, no nonsense, hard ass ways.

As for the shocking kiss that Shonda has promised, my money is on it being between Hahn and another woman. She's been pinging my gaydar (and that of every other lesbian I know who still watches) since she came back. In fact, even if they never have her come out on the show at all, I will still be convinced that she is a gay lady.

Anonymous said...

"As for the shocking kiss that Shonda has promised, my money is on it being between Hahn and another woman. She's been pinging my gaydar (and that of every other lesbian I know who still watches) since she came back. In fact, even if they never have her come out on the show at all, I will still be convinced that she is a gay lady."

Emily... my money's on Hahn and Callie and I'm not even a lesbian.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I was just going to ask you the same thing. You are STILL watching this crap? Seriously? Why must you punish yourself like this?

The only reason I would ever, ever tune back in is just to get a glimpse of Justin Chambers, because the last time I watched his was the only character I didn't wanted to kill. All the other characters are despicable, and I am so glad to be rid of the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

I watched it while I dried my hair. That way I had something to sort of entertain me but I didn't really have to hear what they said because my hair dryer was on.

Anonymous said...

I can't say why Alan still watches it, but I know for a fact why I do. I have a girlfriend who's an addict.

The most interesting part of this episode was the not-too-subtle dig at "House." Having the gang obsessed with 'solving medical mysteries' at the expense of their patients' well-being may have sounded clever in the writers room...but I'd think long and hard before mocking a highly successful show THAT WORKS when your own show is sucking wind.