TV: Grey’s Anatomy Spring Premiere Review (***1/2)

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Reviews, Television
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Grey’s Anatomy is far from its heyday of the first few years, when it clocked in 15-20 million viewers a week…frequently popping up in entertainment news and water cooler conversations. But even as the cast changes and creator Shonda Rhimes ups the ante on the shows ridiculousness season after season, there is no denying that the show’s voice is clear, its writing is impeccable, and its knack for suspense on network television is unrivaled. When it comes to primetime soap operas, Grey’s is on a class of its own. The only difference between then and now is that it’s no longer cool to like Grey’s.

In the spring premiere, “Suddenly”, Grey’s literally picks up where it left off in the heart-throbbing fall finale. Christina was unable to save Henry’s life, but no one informed Teddy so she could finish her surgery. Stuck in a torrential downpour, Meredith and Alex were involved in a horrendous car accident that left a family battered and injured. The writers did not push reset on the tension and the suspense like so many other shows do coming off of a holiday season hiatus.

Instead, “Suddenly” never missed a beat…as Christina’s overwhelming guilt stood toe-to-toe with Teddy’s innocence to her reality. The most poignant moment of the episode came in Christina’s reveal to Teddy, a confrontation of two strong female characters. Would they fight or justify, cry or delusionally laugh it off? No. They went about their business, with a momentarily gasp that accompanied a single tear. The beauty of this show is that despite the absurdity of its storylines in one hospital, the creators are never far off from the doctor’s personality and character built upon itself for the better part of the decade. Grey’s is masterful in its tightrope walk between introspective strength and inevitable breakdowns, rarely giving way to the melodramatic even though the situations lend themselves for it.

Without a major death (see: O’Malley) or unnecessary character additions (see: interns), Grey’s may for the first time be hitting its stride in a collection of hospital staff we fully trust and are not completely annoyed with. Make no mistake about it. Everyone still talks in the ranting off-the-wall type way alongside indie acoustic lullabies, but they’re each injected with a sense of individuality and trust its taken years for the viewer to build. With the ratings continuing to dip, I’m not sure how many more years Grey’s has left. But if this spring premiere is any sign for things to come, I’ll welcome a prolonged stay.


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