Friday, October 30, 2009

Grey's Anatomy, "Give Peace a Chance": Eeeny-meeny diaper genie

Fair is still fair. I said last week that I wouldn't be blogging "Grey's Anatomy" regularly so I could focus on the good stuff and not dwell on the parts I don't like, but that I would pop in to talk about episodes I particularly liked, and this is two weeks in a row of that.

I don't know if Ellen Pompeo's quasi-maternity leave and Katherine Heigl's temporary hiatus to film a movie forced Shonda Rhimes and company to focus more on straight-up medical drama and less on romantic angst and light comedy, or if this tonal shift was planned all along, but I really, really like it. While the dating and comedy are what distinguished "Grey's" from other hospital shows, its most reliable element has been when it just deals with the medicine with a minimum of frills, and "Give Peace a Chance" was another good example of that. And I've found Derek a lot more interesting as super-surgeon than I ever did when he was just the object of Meredith's desire.

Plus, the episode gave me an excuse to use that subject line.


Narrim said...

I've never particularly liked Grey's Anatomy. I can watch and enjoy General Hospital for mindless soap or ER for medical drama, but I can't take them combined in Grey's Anatomy.

I was drawn completely into this episode within the first five minutes while other people watched it. I stayed the whole way through and loved every minute of it. It was absolutely riveting.

Angela said...

I haven't seen the previous episode yet but decided to watch this one because of your previous review on last week's episode and everyones posts.
And yup, I was just as surprised at how different it was (in a good way) from the normal episodes, and wonder who is doing the writing and hoping "they" will keep it up! (If that is the reason why?)
I do like romance but it got to be way too much, too often.
I didn't see shades of ER in this one and that was fine too even though I liked ER.
Who would have guessed. Sort of like House's turn around.
I wish I understood more about TV show production. I know it's a group effort but isn't it really the writing that creates such a change? Does the director stay the same or change too, with some episodes?

LA said...

And, it was directed by Dr. Bailey!

I like Grey's Anatomy soo much better without George and Izzy. And the smaller doses of Meredith are working for me, too.


Nikki said...

Faran Tahir as Isaac the MD with the spinal tumor was great. I hope they keep him around, a very grounded character. Although I didn't like his character in Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer. This was definitely one of the best episodes of Grey's since season 2. It was mostly serious but the parts that were more light were really great.

renton said...

Every time Grey's starts to make me wonder if I'm watching the right show, they immediately bring me back to reality with the long Lexie dialogue about how great her diaper is.

It was the kind of speech Bailey would give -- and later Meredith and Cristina -- and now Lexie. It's like it's part of the training at Seattle Grace.
(starts at 1:22)

Less of that, please -- and more of the other stuff it's been doing lately.

Hatfield said...

I never watch this show, actively bash it based on the moments I've seen here and there...and my roommate was watching it and it was awesome.

Oh, and your tweet about Under Siege is making me want to see Gary Busey in drag.

LA said...

renton - Ahhh, the voice of Shonda Rhimes slips in to every episode, no matter what. I've heard the dreadful Izzy give speeches like that a million times. I completely agree with you, it's extremely grating.

Anonymous said...

This show is endlessly irritating. The characters constantly give emphatic, pointed speeches that are supposed to elicit equally blunt responses from the recipients. Cristina Yang is the only one with good dialogue... and I think a lot of her success as a character comes from the fact she doesn't give these idiotic speeches.

Also, what's up with the writers' preoccupation with the idea of "my people" as in, "These are my people"? Ugh.

Not every show needs to be like Mad Men and Friday Night Lights, but I think Desperate Housewives, for instance, is very well written, funny, has a lot of mass appeal, and is really well acted!


erin said...

I thought it was absolutely fantastic and riveting, and I felt like Grey's was on a different level. I've loved the soap opera theatrics of season 1 and 2, but this was more focused and more powerful without losing the things i loved.

Loved Derek's voiceover. And Hunt teaching Cris how to do the surgical thingy. Loved Derek drawing the tumor on the wall, and Meredith being such a great sounding board. LOVED Isaac, and I hope he comes back. I just thought it played to the strengths of the show, and almost none of the weaknesses. I doubt they can keep this up every week, but these eps are so different and well-done that I'm really happy to see them.

Anonymous said...

I swore I would never watch GA, but I recently started watching GA on Lifetime (3 a day) and if you fast forward alot, they are very watchable. I probably won't be able to see the new ones until the rerun due to Tivo overcrowding on Thursdays.

Anonymous said...

I liked GA when it was on Sunday nights. The move to whatever night is on now changed it for me.
It is very much like The X FIles. When that show was on Friday night it was great. When it moved to Sunday it got full of itself and slowly jumped the shark.

Pamela Jaye said...

Is it the writing? Of course it's the writing. Do you imply that Shonda's pulled a Joss and gone off to fawn over Angel and Firefly leaving Marti (um.. Krista) to write things that Shonda would never allow if she were present? No, I don't think so.

Loved the ep, love the writing on the wall and the use of Meredith (um, is propping your *arms* on pillows a pregnancy thing?)

interrupted by phone call

anyway, my one big deal with Grey's lately seems to be - why is the Chief such an idiot?
(it seems the writers have started to notice that he is one, too)

Would it be a spoiler to mention whether any of the actors have returned to work yet?

Ariadne said...

Parts of it were quite good, Derek's dilemma whether to operate, Isaac was great, Hunt finally stepping up to being a decent boyfriend.

But it was spoiled for me by Lexie, the Mary Sue, who has no surgical skills but was in the surgery when Cristina and Alex weren't, and by the childish Arizona. I don't know why Shonda Rhimes favors these childish women with the baby voices over stronger female characters like Cristina or Callie. Back to the fifties.

brigid said...

I think less Meredith has forced the writers to leave the box that they usually write in and the show is better for it. Most of the time I hate Derek (he's an asshole even though Patrick Dempsey is quite charming and tries to make it work) but he worked in this episode. Even while still showing some of his less pleasant characteristics.

Izzie can just stay away. The only reason her story is tolerable at all is because Alex is in it and he is much better without her.

Anonymous said...

I've regularly referred to Grey's Anatomy as "the most unintentionally funny show on TV."

Largely, it's the meta-joke of people with the emotional stability (and ethical judgment) of teenagers pretending to be doctors, people babbling on about nothing being touted as "gripping, tense drama," and the occasional "that's odd" moment of genuine funny.

I used to love this cast. There were big egos (usually backed with miracle worker skills), raw neuroses and genuine fears crippling promising careers. The senior players often countered the wildness of the junior cast, giving advice and perspective when they thought "no one's been where I've been" (last seen when the Chief spoke to Derek about alcoholism) or the junior cast giving inspiration and motivation to beleaguered seniors. That was Grey's and it was great.

Ever since "ghost lover" it's been a downhill spiral.

The plot of this week's episode had great potential, and much love for Faran Tahir as the Patient of the Week, but a lot of the steam was lost amidst the continuing bad plot of the Mercy West Merger.

All the competition for surgeries is leading to mistakes and chaotic treatment. That might be some giant metaphor for the state of health care in the U.S., but it's horribly mangled in this context. Where's Chandra Wilson to come in and say, "get your heads outta your asses and act as a single hospital!" They're certainly taking their time if they're working up to it.

Also, this week was rife with the dreaded "music cues" of the past, often discordant with the level of the scene. The pounding soundtrack to make a moment in Derek's surgery even MORE painfully obvious, it was like a piece of new information being revealed and someone in the cast screaming, "DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUNNNN!!!" Stop that, Sound Department X(

I will say, last week's Rashomon ep was far better than I expected, but most of the doctors were still royal jackasses at their "intern" levels, rather than where they should be at this point in their careers.

Pamela Jaye said...

Where's Chandra Wilson to come in and say, "get your heads outta your asses and act as a single hospital!"

She was directing. But yeah, I miss Bailey being around to play grownup. I remember specifically - at some point - her saying she was no longer Chief resident (and they'd hard to figure it out for themseles). Too bad someone else isn't. These residents need a Chief and so does the ER. (Maybe they could bring Mark Greene back from the dead next.)

Grey's downward spiral didn't start as recently as you kindly placed it. I would have said some time in season 3 (if you don't count the LVAD wire, which was season 2) And I'm a fan.

I'm just happy the Meredith is currently having her emotional "issues" with someone other than Derek.

Unknown said...

It's a show I became embarrassed to watch, but it's had two great episodes in a row. Really. really good writing and directing. Bravo!