Justin Chambers and Elizabeth Reaser by Ron Tom/ABC
How great did it feel to have
back on with new episodes this week? Such a scrumptious double feature of feel-good TV. I'm especially keen on
these days, this colorful and vibrantly funny new geek on the block. As others have said, it's the perfect appetizer to the main course of
, with its usually irresistible blend of suds, scrubs and heartache.
Best move both shows made this week: Ditching subplots that were going nowhere. On
, that meant saying goodbye to Ignacio's case worker (who really wasn't), the crazily smitten Constance (Octavia Spencer). On
, that meant saying goodbye to the arrogant Dr. Marlow, played by a miscast Roger Rees, a fine actor who came off more like a creepy Dracula than an intimidating Dr. McBrilliant. Of all the misbegotten love matches we've been forced to consider on this show, asking us to believe Cristina ever had a thing for this ghoul was almost as ewww-inspiring as Bradford Meade's foot fetish over on
Am I crazy to want to see an entire episode of
constructed around Amanda?
Best parts of
: the Izzie-Bailey and Izzie-George scenes, and Alex's emotional seesaw where Jane Doe/not-really-Shannon is concerned. Elizabeth Reaser should be a front-runner for the guest-actress Emmy this year for the way she conveys so many mood swings from her hospital bed: the raw need for some sense of identity, her dependence on Alex and her rejection of him when her heart is broken yet again. This has been my favorite storyline of the season. Bringing Chandra Wilson back to the forefront was also a joy to behold. Not just in the scenes where Bailey held Izzie's hand through her personal crisis, but in the climactic scene in which she tried to give McDreamy a reality check as he weighed his ambition to be Chief over his relationship with Meredith. "All of this means nothing if you're alone." That could pretty much be the motto of
, come to think of it.
Also very good Thursday night:
, as usual, especially as Tracy ran in fear of the "Black Crusaders" cabal, led by Dr. Bill Cosby. (Please, please, let this man have enough of a sense of humor about himself to consent to a cameo next season.)
, with a hilarious parody of Hollywood and horror movies, as Dean (a true aficionado of B-movies and craft services, and "one hell of a P.A.") and Sam investigate mayhem on a haunted soundstage. A great gag aboard a studio-tour tram as Jared Padalecki reacts in alarm to news that they're approaching the Stars Hollow set of
. Also loved his in-joke gripe that the L.A. weather was "practically Canadian." Inspired guest stars: Gary Cole and Don Stark (Donna's dad from
That '70s Show
) as demon bait. Hilarious McG jokes (he's an executive producer). All in all, a great hour. Why again am I not watching this show? Oh, I know. It's on Thursdays! (I saw this courtesy of an advance screener from Warner Bros TV.)
was strong, with all kinds of twists revolving around who had the hidden idol and who was going to use it. The hilarious Dreamz stole the show, leaking information to both sides though somehow still falling out of the loop when it came to the ultimate vote. I love that when the idol was used for the first time in
history, the opposing alliance was already one step ahead of the game and it came to naught. I still don't much care who's in or out- it's looking more and more like Yau-Man is the one to beat- but for at least this week,
was a wild ride.