Grey’s Anatomy

Hit television program Grey’s Anatomy has risen above its soapy backdrop to become a cultural phenomenon. In the six seasons that it has been on the air, the show has kept viewers coming back for more week after week as the tale of interns turned residences at fictional Seattle Grace Hospital go about their busy lives and have more sex in the on-call room than most people in a whole career in the porn industry. It seems that by now, each character has hooked up with each other thus igniting passionate debate among legions of loyal fans.

Relative newcomer Ellen Pompeo, previously seen in Catch Me if you Can, plays Meredith Grey, the title character and protagonist. A dark and twisty off-spring of brilliant surgeon Ellis Grey, her mom had a decade’s long affair with Meredith’s now boss (and chief of surgery) Richard Webber. Their relationship proves testy as Webber tries to act as a father figure to the damaged intern while trying not to cross professional bounds.

The core of the show centers on the love affair between Ms. Grey and neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd, known by his mick-name “McDreamy.” The sexy TV couple has been the benchmark for love on a primetime drama since their debut in the spring of 2005. Viewers were there for each break-up, make-up, and eventual “wedding.”

 By no means revolutionary or any bit forward thinking, Grey’s Anatomy does little to tie current events into the plot-lines. An escapist drama, Anatomy acts more as a mind-numbing hour of television than a gripping ripped from the headlines type of show. And as viewers will attest, they like the show just as it is.

Unfortunately for its own merit, the show adds little to the hospital drama, a tired brand of television that seems in overdrive. When compared to shows such as House, M.D. or John Well’s ER, Anatomy lacks in major depth and feels more like a romantic comedy than a serious medical drama. Targeted at women ages 18-24, the show serves its purpose but would you want those doctors taking care of you? I think not.

Much too how it may appear now, Grey’s Anatomy began as one of the freshest TV shows to come along in quite a while. Paired with ABC’s equally buzz-worthy Desperate Housewives and debuting in the spring of the 2004-2005 TV season, Anatomy more than held its own in the Sunday night 10:00pm time-slot. Season one brought strong interesting plot-lines and the kind of characters David Mamet feels all writers should strive to create. The addition of Kate Walsh, previously seen in Under the Tucson Sun as fellow Grey’s star Sandra Oh’s lover, as Derek’s wife Addison Forbes-Montgomery brought the show the missing dimension it needed and also a touch of irony. While hated upon first arrival, Dr. Montgomery quickly became a fan favorite and garnered a spin-off in 2007 entitled Private Practice.

The sad part of Anatomy is the downward spiral in quality after the first two seasons. Creator Shondra Rhimes took what was once a work of pop-culture art and turned it into a joke. The addition of multiple characters a season has caused Anatomy to have a higher inflation rate than the U.S. Government. With way too many storylines for the writers to keep track of, later seasons suffer from a lack of focus and downright tiredness. When characters George (played by openly gay actor T.R. Knight) and Izzie (ego-maniac Katherine Heigl) began their love-affair (“Gizzie” anyone?) late in season three, it left the fans a little more than outraged. Simply put the story line did not work and brought together two characters in a romantic setting who had, at best, a brother-sister relationship. The writers even acknowledged when the story-line fell apart “under the weight of its own absurdity”.  

In the mist of the fog, bright moments do shine through. Over all six seasons, the most consistent actor has been Oh. Formally seen on Arli$$, the story of a sports agent and his group of associates, which ran on HBO from 1996-2002, Oh has carved her nitch as no-nonsense Christina Yang. She is convincing in the role and so on point in each episode, it is baffling how Ms. Oh has not yet scored an Emmy for her work. In a sea of goldfish, she is the lone shark. Yes, Sandra Oh is that good. She makes it look so damn easy the viewer can easily loose sight of her talent. (Check out the scene in which she must declare her relationship with fellow Doctor Preston Burke, in front of the chief and his wife.)

As season six draws to a close, Ms. Rhimes promises a “game-changing” season finale. In a show known for producing garbage for most of the season and then finishing up with some of the best episodes of network television in years (last May’s finale, in which the lives of George and Izzie lay in the balance, was one of the show’s highlights), this is either going to be worth the wait or a sadly missed opportunity. Buy there in lies the problem. Who cares to wade through the crap even if the promise of a better future awaits?   

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2 Responses to “Grey’s Anatomy”

  1. Weaving My Web » Blog Archive » Quick scan of the net – greys anatomy Says:

    […] https://jonopappalardo.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/greys-anatomy/Hit television program Grey’s Anatomy has risen above its soapy backdrop to become a cultural phenomenon. In the six seasons that it has been on the air, the show has kept viewers coming back buy meat for more week after week as the tale of … Subscribe to RSS Feed […]

  2. Quick Roundup « wandaotto Says:

    […] https://jonopappalardo.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/greys-anatomy/Hit television program Grey’s Anatomy has risen above its soapy backdrop to become a cultural phenomenon. In the six seasons that it has been on the air, the show has kept viewers coming back buy meat for more week after week as the tale of … […]

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