Friday, May 04, 2007

"Let's never McAnything": Grey's Anatomy

Wow. So that was like, half terrific, half really boring. Guess which half I liked? Yeah, Addison's spinoff got off to a really great start here with its backdoor pilot. The episode was literally only hampered by the fact that it kept cross-cutting to a really, really dreary ep of Grey's Anatomy. If anything, "The Other Side of This Life" really illuminated how tiresome Grey's has become recently.

I'll get Grey's out of the way first, shall I? Okay, point number one: WHY DID THEY KILL POOR MARE WINNINGHAM!? I mean, it was obvious that her little hiccups case was going to go wrong right from her introduction in the episode, and I'd heard spoiler rumors confirming as much, but still? Why? Why? So cruel! Winningham's character seemed like something really useful for the show, someone for Meredith to actually talk to who isn't some level of insane. Also, Winningham was terrific in the role. But no, boosh, gotta kill someone around sweeps time, right? I'll give Pompeo and Jeff Perry credit: they pulled off their final scene together, but ugh. Also: why would McDreamy be considering dumping Meredith right now? Is he like, heartless? Her mother AND surrogate mother die, and she almost drowns, and Shepherd thinks this is the right time to leave her hanging? Geez! David is not happy. Anyway, this better mean they don't kill Jane Doe too.

Cause Jane Doe is awesome! She didn't do much this week except reveal that in her past life, she was a polyglot (as she spoke multiple languages when Shepherd poked her brain in surgery). Which means my dream of her real identity being Dr. Jane Doe, kickass surgeon, is growing even less plausible. But still - Doctors Without Borders, right? Am I right? No?

Only other thing in this ep was Cristina's impending marriage, and her being all whatever about it. And Burke's mom shopping for wedding dresses with her. Coulda been funny, I guess, but didn't really get breathing room to do much of anything. Also, George and Izzie made out again, but five seconds later he was back walking Callie home. I get that he can screw up once (although really, the whole Gizzie thing is getting less and less plausible by the second), but really, he's just being a complete tool now. Sort it out, O'Malley.

OK! So, on to Addison's adventures in LA, aka PRIVATE PRACTICE! Maybe it's the new-show smell, but everything about what we saw there was just so much lighter and less labored, it really felt like there was a lot of promise there. Key asset #1: the cast. None of the extremely impressive cast worked too hard here, but they all seemed pretty settled into their characters.

I'm a Paul Adelstein man, and I certainly found him the most amusing of the Wellness Center's cast of oddballs, but nobody seemed too tiresome or hyperactive to me. Tim Daly was nicely smoldering, but not as full-on as, say, Patrick Dempsey. Taye Diggs is a very relaxed actor, and he was great with any of his scene partners--he's just great at forming instant chemistry. Really believed him and Addison were old buds. Merrin Dungey gave off a similar vibe too (not a watcher of Alias, so I'm less versed on her work). Chris Lowell has a role I love in almost any TV show (the stoner receptionist), but he didn't get to do much except parade around shirtless, so, whatever, but he'll hopefully be a lot of fun. Amy Breneman - as a secret Judging Amy fan, I've been wondering when she'd return to the fold, and she struck a nice neurotic tone without being too annoying. Am I missing anyone? ADELSTEIN! Did anyone else get a George Clooney vibe from his character? Okay, not really, cause he like, cried over his trashed car in the episode, and he's way more schlubby, but still, hello, supercool pediatrician with commitment issues? Sign me up.

I liked that the whole thing wasn't too rushed (aka that Addison didn't take a job right away), because wrapping up everything really quickly would have been harsh to the main characters of Grey's Anatomy - I definitely would like a final goodbye to Addison from Mark, even from Derek, and the Chief. Also, what else did I like? Yeah. Kate Walsh. Good lord! She had about four big Emmy clips in this episode alone! And she totally knocked them out of the park! Walsh is terrific in that while Addison is in some ways as neurotic as Meredith, she just takes things on the chin so much better (P.S., I'm not even going to touch Meredith getting slapped in this episode). For Meredith, it's like, oh, x happened, I think I'll be miserable for A WHOLE SEASON. Addison fell down and got up again half a dozen times in this episode, and it was terrific to watch.

I sound lame and fanboy-ish in this rave, but, well, I was impressed. Sort of. Private Practice isn't suddenly my #1 most anticipated fall 2007 TV show (hellooo, Jezebel James!), but I'm definitely a little psyched. Am I allowed to be psyched? I know everyone didn't flip for it like I did, but I def. think there's major promise here.


Libby said...

I dug the spin-off but was constantly disoriented by the fact that I watch too much tv.


Grace from "Joan of Arcadia" slept with Sark from "Alias" the same week she was implanted with Nina from "Everwood"s embryo. She gets her medical care from a place where Kevin Hill from "Kevin Hill", his ex-wife Francie from "Alias", Amy from "Judging Amy", Joe from "Wings", and Secret Service Special Agent Paul Kellerman from "Prison Break" all are employed. When they aren't busy doctoring, the female employees all lust after Piz from "Veronica Mars" whom answers the phone.


Todd VanDerWerff said...

That's "who," not "whom," honey.

I see a lot of critics dogging on the Private Practice pilot, but I think the real reason it didn't work was because it was awkwardly smooshed together with a Grey's episode that didn't work at all. Plus, it just seemed like Rhimes had embraced all of her own worst tendencies and sent them to the max. At least the elevator wasn't a jive-talking robot! And I hope they never show Tilly and it's the world's most elaborate Rhoda homage.

But, hey, Marti Noxon will be running this show next year. That could be great or awful.

Anyway, I like Addison, and I like Paul Adelstein's character, so I'll give it the customary three episodes in the fall.

Carrie said...

Hee, libby, I felt the same way. Every five seconds I was like, "Ooo....SARK! Ooo...GRACE! Ooooooooo....NINA! I freaked my roommate right the hell out.

I'm digging the spin-off so far. I wish they could ship Alex there as well so I could be done with GA forever.

David Sims said...

I heard about Marti Noxon. And I can only assume they would never show Tilly?

Anyway, Private Practice=amazing. All can die. The rest of the ep sucked, as I said.

Libby said...

Carrie -

I went from zero to over in about 5.3 seconds with regards with Grey's. I'm just so over all of it. Blecch. Bring on the summer.

Anonymous said...

OMG Loved The episode.
it rocked..
Does anyone know the quote from when Addi and the Hot one were in the elevator and she had just said the elevator talks to her and he's like "hello Tilly" I really want to know what they said so just post it PLEASE!!
Oh and I love the spin off can't wait till iot starts in the Fall
It's gonna ROCK!
It was really weird watchin it because I knew like ALL the characters In the Private Practice. I was like OMG I know that one and That one..REALLY freaking out my mother, I love it when I know the actors cause then I can know what to expect from their acting..and judgeing from the actors It should be GREAT!!