Jerrika Hinton, Ellen Pompeo, Camilla Luddington
Oh, Grey's Anatomy, you had me at hello... and you lost me at Bailey's OCD.
I've stuck with the show that made Shonda Rhimes a household name through Izzie's (Katherine Heigl) ghost sex, the Alex/Ava saga, "Intern Fight Club," and even that god-awful musical episode. When people ask me why I'm still watching Grey's, currently limping through its 10th season, my response has always been: "I'm going down with that ship." But Season 10 has me on the verge of jumping overboard. Here are six reasons why I'm ready to give up on Grey's:
1. The plot lines feel inconsistent to the established character histories. The ridiculous emergence of Bailey's (Chandra Wilson) obsessive-compulsive disorder is just the latest unforeseen crisis to pop up, only to be — hopefully, in this case — quashed a couple of episodes later via a half-hearted resolution. (See also: Alex's daddy issues, Calzona's attempt at therapy.) Shondaland is playing narrative Whac-a-Mole, and it's not working. Would it kill them to develop a long-form narrative and stick with it? Grey's Anatomy has never been entirely plausible, but the producers are really scraping the bottom of the plot barrel this season. Webber's (James Pickens Jr.) stubbornness in his hospital bed is a yawn-worthy story line that needs to be put to bed ASAP. Oh, and did I mention that Bailey has OCD? Bailey has OCD.
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2. Those interns — ugh! The biggest elephant-in-the-operating-room is the latest herd of interns — who, yes, are no longer interns, but still deserve to be referred to as such. All of them either fall into the category of "boring," "awful" or "dead." (RIP, Brooks (Tina Majorino), even though no one but Smash from Friday Night Lights Shane (Gaius Charles) really cared when you died.) The relationship between Jo (Camilla Luddington) and Alex (Justin Chambers), which hasn't even gotten off the ground, is already exhausting. The one who's dating Jackson (Jesse Williams) -- I call her "Lasik" -- is such a nonentity that I don't even know her name. And don't even get me started on the — now-defunct, fingers crossed — dalliance between Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and the annoying Leah (Tessa Ferrer). A great way to solve the hospital's budget problem would be to shed these guys' salaries. Another character who should be shown the door? April (Sarah Drew). Her celibacy stance started out as a nice diversion from the hospital staff's game of musical beds, but now it's just kind of lame. And it's really hard to root for her and Matthew (Justin Bruening), knowing that he's just her backup plan after Jackson rejected her advances.
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3. Sandra Oh is already tiptoeing out the door. Cristina Yang's story line this season — the petty arguments with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), the ridiculous flirtation with Smash Shane — is such an obvious, predictable means to telegraph Sandra Oh's upcoming departure that it's almost insulting, to both Oh and the audience. Probable spoiler alert: Yang is going to realize that her relationship with Meredith (fka her person) won't ever be what it once was, and that it's just too difficult to be around Owen (Kevin McKidd) as he's trying to move on, so she's going to bid farewell to Seattle and move on with her life. See what they're doing there? If the story is going to continue this way, it might be best to just get rid of Cristina mid-season, rather than dragging this out to the end.
4. Mer-Der has lost its luster. After nine seasons of whiny voiceovers, I'm thrilled that Meredith has finally found domestic bliss with Derek (Patrick Dempsey). But the show's central couple needs an arc that's more interesting than the classic "new parent sleep deprivation," STAT. (Note to the writers: An "interesting" story line doesn't always have to involve infidelity. Malpractice lawsuits are a great example.) The Mer-Der romance was one of the reasons people fell in love with the show to begin with. Let's give it a little more spice.
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5. Once-enlightening flashbacks are now just cheap, lazy storytelling. The best episode of this insufferable season was the Nov. 14 installment, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." It's fitting that it was a flashback, because such a strong hour clearly feels out of place in Season 10. But... wait a second. Does the Grey's writing staff really expect viewers to buy that Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona decided to have another baby, got pregnant and went through a miscarriage, and none of this was shown when it was actually happening? To quote pre-children Meredith, "Seriously?!" That's just lazy writing. It's almost as if, just as Callie found a piece of important mail behind her bookcase in that episode, Shonda discovered a forgotten Post-It note under her desk that read "A+C MISCARRIAGE" and said, "Oh, shoot. Eh, let's just throw it in anyway."
6. Even the medical stories are off. Forget all the personal drama, though. Even the medical cases, which have consistently been the star of the show, are lackluster this season. (The "zombie bite" comes to mind.) I never thought I would long for the days of the couple who got stuck together while having sex.
Ultimately, maybe a more appropriate question is not how, but whether Grey's should continue. With Pompeo, Dempsey, Chambers, Wilson and Ramirez's contracts up at the end of this season, perhaps the best solution (as is often the case with a terminally ill patient) is just to pull the plug.
Do you think Grey's Anatomy is missing the mark this season? Sound off in the comments!