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Jeff Rioux

Grey's Anatomy

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Is anyone else watching this show? I think it is very good television. It is the only show I watch every week. Great casting, great writing. As a hosptial drama, it must be so tempting to do crazy medical scenarios that play well on the commercial advertising the show to boost rating. But this show is so much more about how it hurts to be human than about drama in the operating room. And the casting is so so good. The characters are very well developed.

And the music is great. Like my favorite radio station (WXPN in Philly), I find myself going to the show's website to find out what that song was, and who sings it. The creator (Shonda Rhimes) is a big fan of music (each episode is named after a song - not one that is in the episode, but one that captures the episode).

OK, I'd like to give specific praise about certain episodes, but don't want to if no one else is watching this show (or reading this thread). So, am I alone?

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I hate it. I'm not a fan of hospital shows generally, but from the two or three episodes I've seen, this one seems even more banal. Plus, all they do is screw each other.

Don't you think the pregnant man or the woman who burst into fire while being operated on were "crazy medical scenarios?" wink.gif

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all they do is screw each other.

That is a fair critique. Too often the show's attempt to communicate "people need each other/long for connection" ends up being reduced to two people shagging.

Don't you think the pregnant man or the woman who burst into fire while being operated on were "crazy medical scenarios?"

Oh, yes...just after I say I never miss an episode, I have to admit I missed this one, and missed it without guilt thinking that the previews suggested it was doing the very thing I say it doesn't do (rely on crazy medical scenarios). I didn't know he burst into flames - that is bad. All I can say is that my experience with the show is that the writers are not relying on this for ratings. It is a show about relationships. That episode came after a pretty heavey episode where the main character was dumped after a very moving plea "Pick me, choose me, love me," and the writers admitted they were looking for something funny to follow. Maybe they missed, but I contend that they don't miss often.

The Thanksgiving episode was great. George is an intern who is very different from his family - he a doctor, they car-talking, turkey-shooting working class folks. After a painful experience of turkey hunting and talking about favorite cars, he is talking to his father, who is asking George why he just can't pick a car, for the sake of conversation and connection with his brothers. By not doing it, George is communicating that he is better than them. George is partly to blame for the distance he feels from them. Avoiding sentimentality, George's answer is not, "you are right, I'm sorry," but "I saved a guys life last week, I performed open heart surgery by myself in an elevator." Again, he emphasizes the differences between them, but is doing so trying to win approval. His father is impressed, but George has missed the point - they are people to. Very moving scene, and challenging to me.

To me, scenes like that are what the show is about. Not the flaming preganant man.

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Plus, all they do is screw each other.

While I've admitted that this is a fair critique of the show, I have a mild defense for this:

1) They do show the consequences of this behavior: both broken hearts and syphilis have had plenty of screen time on the show.

2) George's rebuke of Meredith's sleeping around on the last episode was honest, heartfelt, and hilarious. I laughed out loud when he said that she was a prime candidate to end up in a hole in someone's basement with a guy yelling "she places the lotion on her skin or else she gets the hose again." One of the best pop culture references I've heard throw into a passionate plea in a long time.

However, I don't want to become that person who keeps insisting that people listen to this band that no one else likes, so I'll stop now. Hearing no other endorsements ("I hate it" and "This show's stupid" don't qualify) I'll consider changing the show's status from "great show" to "guilty pleasure."

But, if a year from now, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon (there's lots of room), I'm not going to say I told you so. I'm way too humble for that.

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Jeff,

I liked the show better at first - it seems to be reaching now. I also do not think that it can/will last. When you compare it to FRIENDS it is light-years beneath it in so many ways. The most recent one is the most embarassing of all.

Denny

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I have been watching this show for both its seasons. I was extremely skeptical at first, but the characters and their relationships grew on me, and I found myself hooked.

This season has had some real high points (a network television character choosing to work on his marriage instead of embrace a fling? be still my heart!), but I started to lose interest recently when it finally dawned on me that the medical scenario at the center of each show is carefully calibrated to reflect exactly Meredith's current relationship crisis. For example, the train crash episode with the two people impaled on a pole was set up on the premise that "both of these patients will not survive--we have to choose who will live and who will die." This during the episode that McDreamy was choosing between Meredith and Addison. I mean, we have Meredith pounding on the blond girl's chest and yelling, "We have to save her! You can't just let her die!" Not only is this shoddy story-telling, it's out-and-out narcissism, similar to the belief many Christians have that God sends cataclysmic events to teach them, individually, some sort of personal lesson.

There are still things that I like about the show, most of which have already been mentioned by Jeff. I find Cristina very endearing, and I'm interested to see where her relationship with Burke goes now that it seems like less of a sexual fling and more of a serious commitment. The problem is that I like the minor characters and hate the major character, aka Meredith. I'm just not that interested in her love life, especially because she can't seem to pull her head out of her ass long enough to recognize that the world does not, in fact, revolve around said love life.

The soundtrack is excellent, though. smile.gif

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The theme song is the best I've heard in I don't know how many years.

Also, more or less what kebbie said.

Dale

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Curious what Grey's Anatomy watchers thought of the last two weeks' episodes. I found them to be completely inconsistent with the way the show normally operates (no pun intended, har har), but by the end, there were a few very good moments. Most notably those involving George, who continues to be one of the best people represented on television today.

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Curious what Grey's Anatomy watchers thought of the last two weeks' episodes. I found them to be completely inconsistent with the way the show normally operates (no pun intended, har har), but by the end, there were a few very good moments. Most notably those involving George, who continues to be one of the best people represented on television today.

I love this show, most notably because of George.

But I do admit, I don't miss it, and I'm not ashamed.

A side note: EVERYONE I know was talking about this week's conclusion with the live ammo in the chest...

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I agree with you completely, kebbie. Because I've been such a supporter of the show, I was angry at the writers for trying to take advantage of the super bowl exposure by creating what I've called before "crazy medical scenarios." Four of the main characters were within feet of an explosive that could kill them, one of the main characters almost lost her baby and her husband, one of the main characters had an anxiety attack. That's more action than an episode of a soap opera. Not to mention three main characters appeared in the shower together (albeit in the dream of another character), and two main characters who had never had sex, and weren't in a relationship, had sex twice. Several times while watching these episodes I thought they had jumped the shark. And this made no sense to me - is it struggling? I thought they were doing better than Desperate Housewives.

But they did pull some things back in the end, and so I want to hope that they succumbed to temptation and did some things out of character for the show to try to lure new viewers, but that they'll try to keep them by getting back to the show's strengths.

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Several times while watching these episodes I thought they had jumped the shark.

I had the same thought, especially when the

bomb finally exploded

. I was yelling, "This is not why I watch this show!!" at the television. If I want to see minor characters blowing up, I'll watch ER.

There were so many stressful, cheaply exploitive moments in this episode arc that I felt really disoriented, but I think they pulled it off in the end. For example, I was GROANING during George's dream sequence that kicked off the first episode; it was so shallowly MTV Spring Break. But the way they tied that shower scene back in at the end brought tears to my eyes.

I continue to be bored with the Meredith/McDreamy tension, but impressed with his commitment to his marriage. The thing is... I like Addison way better than Meredith. I still can't figure out if the show WANTS us to like Addison, but regardless, I do. I also like how George (and, if I remember correctly, only George) always calls her "Dr. Montgomery-Shepherd" rather than "Dr. Shepherd." It's a tiny detail, but since I'm someone with a hyphenated last name, George's care and respect for personal minutae really stuck out to me. It's one of the things I like best about him.

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Perhaps I'm too enured to weirdness from years of ER slavery, but I don't find the cases on Grey's any weirder than the cases on House. However, I also know that if they were just normal run of the mill GSWs, I wouldn't care much. Hey, I'm being honest. The weirdness makes for good TV.

And for those that don't follow the show closely, I disagree that Izzie and Alex don't have a relationship. No, they weren't currently sleeping together, but they have dated and there is more tension (or was!!) between them than Mere and McD.

As for Addison, I don't like her. She cheated on Derek, and then decided she wanted him back, so she flew off to disrupt his healing and his life. In the previews for next week, it looks like we are going to get more of THAT storyline...

Best lines last night?

"Derek."...."Preston."

and

"that is not the she he was looking for" whispered by the underrated and very good to see again Loretta Devine as the wife of the chief.

As someone who spends half her life trying to teach structure and symbolism to students, I love the way this show ebbs and flows and comes full circle. The shower scene is just one example.

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As for Addison, I don't like her. She cheated on Derek, and then decided she wanted him back, so she flew off to disrupt his healing and his life.

I suspect that we were initially supposed to hate Addison for those very reasons. But she's really grown on me as a smart, funny, competent, well-rounded character. She clearly regrets her infidelity and has asked Derek's forgiveness; he has given it and agreed to work on their marriage, but more and more it seems his heart's not in it. I'll be honest, at this point the only person I feel bad for is Addison, because she's the one who's ultimately going to get screwed over since the show's narrative dictates that Meredith and McDreamy Must Be Together. I alternate between thinking that's too bad, and thinking that those two deserve each other. :)

"that is not the she he was looking for" whispered by the underrated and very good to see again Loretta Devine as the wife of the chief.

I thought there was a very interesting, subtle undertone to that line--a sense of knowing that only comes from experience--given the chief's own track record.

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Just to add one more thing about how the two shower scenes work together, I've been reading Shonda Rimes' blog, Grey Matter, and she had this to say:

In the first episode, [George] is fantasizing about what it would be like to see three women in the shower. In the second episode, he sees what three women in a shower is like in reality. Because, guys, women don’t just climb in a shower and start soaping each other up for no reason. Hello!? Life isn’t porn. Life is Meredith, bloody and battered, being gently cleaned off (chunks of Dylan) by her best friends. And so he leaves. Because what he is seeing is too intimate.

This was exactly my interpretation of these scenes, and it's always nice to be validated in that by a show's creator. :)

[edited because I spelled poor Shonda's name wrong ... twice]

Edited by kebbie

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Love the insights on this thread.

I agree that when I saw the shower scene right after the superbowl - I was saddened - and repeat what I said earlier in the thread - that they are starting to reach.

THEN - the tie-in with the true shower scene - and all that you all have already noted.

It communicated.

And yes, I'm one of those who like Addison - I recognize that she cheated - and I guess next week's plot will be on that and we'll find out more of the details - but as a counselor I support those who cheat trying to make their marriage work - with all the humility and growth required in that.

Denny

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My wife watches this show and I alternate between leaving the room (sometimes out of disgust and sometimes out of boredom) and sticking with it out of curiosity at what the writer(s) may come up with next. We wathced the pilot and I just could not get past the fact that the whole series begins with Meredith getting hammered the night before her first day working at a hospital and waking up in bed with a stranger who turns out to be her boss. This would be fine if the show didn't seem to have a wink-wink attitude towards that kind of behavior. I apparently didn't see the one where George calls her on it and makes the Silence of the Lambs reference. That kind of balance would have been much appreciated. As others have mentioned, George seems to be the only honorable character. My only gripe with him is that he's sometimes burdened with the "Nice Guy" problem. (See the thread on "No More Christian Nice Guy" in the Literature section.) Derek's supposed committement to his wife just seems like another plot twist to keep people guessing. Does anyone really believe that Derek and Meredith won't continue to be on again, off again? The last two episodes had plenty of suspense but it just wasn't at all believable. When Alex tells Izzie that he has no chance with her you know she's going to end up sleeping with him. She is sitting there with George, decides to "be a doer", and basicaly orders Izzie (who she knows gave George's girlfriend syphilis) to have sex with her. Huh? By comparison, I'm riveted by Lost because I know the writers of that show aren't sitting around thinking up excuses for the characters to have sex in a broom closet, get pregnant, then not pregnant, then never mention it again.

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By comparison, I'm riveted by Lost because I know the writers of that show aren't sitting around thinking up excuses for the characters to have sex in a broom closet, get pregnant, then not pregnant, then never mention it again.

You are right...instead they are thinking up ways to hide heroin, incestous relationships, anti-Christ-like creatures, and out of wedlock babies...

:D ::w00t::

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As others have mentioned, George seems to be the only honorable character. My only gripe with him is that he's sometimes burdened with the "Nice Guy" problem.

Well, I should clarify that I don't think George is the ONLY honorable character. Dr. Bailey is certainly a moral, tough-love center for the show; she, too, calls Meredith on her whiny crap, but also takes care of her--remember the banana bag episode? But I suppose it also depends how you're defining "honorable." I think part of the show's point is that even the most messed up folks are capable of kindness and compassion (look at the friendship between Meredith and Cristina, Izzie helping Alex to study "because that's what Jesus would frickin' do").

As for the nice guy thing, sure, George falls prey to that. But he almost ALWAYS snaps into gear by the end of every 42 minutes, and is totally capable of stepping up to a challenge. Virtually every episode features the triumph of George over circumstances that other people can't or won't handle--the surgery in the elevator is a perfect example. Alex, the prototypical "jerk," is revealed to be a scared little baby when it comes down to it (something that, I'd argue, is being redeemed in the show now as he learns to show actual kindness), while pasty ol' George is the one who pulls it out when it really counts. Same with Bailey's labor this past weekend. If that's being a "nice guy," I wish there were more of them!

I know these types are notorious for never getting the girl--and I don't think George is going to end up with neurotic Meredith, THANK GOD--but George clearly has a sex drive and women certainly find his kindness appealing. It's just a matter of finding the right girl. (EMT Hannah?)

Derek's supposed committement to his wife just seems like another plot twist to keep people guessing. Does anyone really believe that Derek and Meredith won't continue to be on again, off again?

Nope. Even Shonda Rimes is telling the show's fans to "keep the Mer/Der hope alive." Gag.

By comparison, I'm riveted by Lost because I know the writers of that show aren't sitting around thinking up excuses for the characters to have sex in a broom closet, get pregnant, then not pregnant, then never mention it again.

Ha! I'm with Robinflamingo on this one. Lost's producers are just "sitting around thinking up excuses" for a whole host of other morally dubious activities. Instead of hot coeds in an ER, it's hot coeds on a deserted island. Just as salacious!

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I remember back when LA Law was on (anyone remember that show?) I was very annoyed at the idea that all these lawyers were spending about half their time sleeping with each other.

Then I worked at a law firm (third largest law firm in the south) and realized that LA Law was an understated documentary as far as that was concerned.

Based on some things I've heard from people who work in hospitals, it's pretty much the same thing. So all the sex on the show? Doesn't particularly phase me. And a lot of the humor involved in those things is hilarious. For example, the much-hated-in-this-thread first shower scene made me laugh out loud when I realized it was George's dream... because it made perfect sense to me! He's going to have to have *some* kind of outlet for his frustrations, after all... and the tie in with the second shower scene was pretty brilliant (though not particularly funny).

Anyway, I think it's a great show, and if I watched TV, movies and read books that only reflected my values I reckon I'd be watching and reading less.

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Wow. Did anyone watch last night?

Meredith Grey is pure evil.

Seriously, I went to bed SO UPSET (why yes, I do get a little too involved in fictional television programs, why do you ask?) because I can not believe she would be so selfish and short-sighted. Well, actually, I can believe it. But this incident truly takes the cake for Mere's narcissism. Sure, everybody makes mistakes. Some people make lots. But

HOW SELF-INVOLVED DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO SLEEP WITH GEORGE WHEN HE'S CLEARLY IN LOVE WITH YOU AND YOU'RE NOT IN LOVE WITH HIM?

I was so proud of George that he sucked it up and told her exactly how he felt. (And didn't he look good in that half-light? Ladies? Am I right?) And then Meredith had to go and shit all over it. And it really, really takes a special person to shit on George

. Congratulations, Meredith, you are a soul-sucking harpy!

Edited by kebbie

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She is definately the absolute most self-involved and narcissistic character on the show. I mean, Christina is pretty self-involved, but she at least displays some self-awareness of that fact.

What *I* think is interesting is

how I think this will tie into her mother's relationship with her father. It seems to me -- from this end of it, based on the link already made between George and her father -- that "back in the day" it was a similar relationship that her mother similarly abused. So perhaps this arc is going to give Meredith a little more empathy towards her father by putting her in her mother's role...

Just thinkin' out loud.

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Huh, that is interesting speculation, BDR.

Too bad George has to get hurt in the process, though.

...I guess my problem is that I love George too much. :)

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