Question: I know you love Grey's Anatomy and don't really like Desperate Housewives, and last season I shared that opinion. This season, though, I feel as though Desperate Housewives is a great show, while Grey's Anatomy began to slump during the Izzie and Denny story line. What made for an exciting finale with Izzie cutting the LVAD (a term I never want to hear again) has now turned into the Grey's Anatomy version of the Moldavian Massacre. It made for great viewing, but I don't think that creator Shonda Rhimes thought ahead to the fallout from this action. Izzie's being allowed back into the program in any form is a "shark-jumping" moment for me. This is not to say that I don't still like the show. I just think that it's going through a downturn. My friends are starting to leave it, especially after viewing the amazing season premiere of The O.C. I think that an audience backlash is the one thing that seemed to shake up Housewives. I kind of hope Grey's goes through one, so Shonda and company won't rest on their laurels.
Answer: Slump? Are you nuts? One traumatic story line does not this show make. It's still on fire, and more fun than we should have any right to expect it to be. And wishing for a slump on one of the few shows that is incontestably appointment TV for millions is an attitude I can't abide or encourage. I never would have wished for the Housewives creative doldrums to have happened. And while I have been critical (as is my job) of Housewives this season, I've also acknowledged that it's much improved from a year ago. Some things are working this season, some aren't. But the season high point to date just occurred this weekend, with the supermarket hostage-crisis episode that was, to me, the best episode since the heights of Season 1. (I give credit here to Joe Keenan, the brilliant comic writer from Frasier, who joined the staff this season and wrote this episode. Laurie Metcalf and Felicity Huffman were also astonishing in their climactic showdown.) But the idea that Grey's is on a downward cycle similar to Housewives' second season is just wishful thinking, especially if you're comparing it to the played-out fossil that is The O.C. To think that Grey's is resting on its laurels this soon in its life is an incredible insult to a show that is working overtime to sustain that incredibly difficult balance of humor, drama, romance and medical suspense. Few have ever done it better, or with more sex appeal.