Raise your hand if you're already hooked.
Shonda, you have just sold me on
Grey's 2.0, or what you are currently planning on calling it:
Private Practice. I can't imagine ABC
not picking the show up for the fall. To make this easier for me to write, but more importantly, to give it a more reader-friendly approach, I'd like to split this in two. I'll get to my comments on the very well-executed
Kate Walsh pilot later. First, let's talk about
I. GREY'S ANATOMY
When I heard that Meredith was going to be experiencing another family death, my initial thought was Thatcher, but then I felt that it would be silly to kill off her father right after her mother. When her step mom Susan (
Mare Winningham) showed up again at Seattle Grace, this time with perpetual hiccups she claimed were due to her acid reflux, I agreed with Meredith and Thatcher. I figured Susan was faking it as an excuse for Thatcher to spend needed quality time with his daughter. As Susan kept returning with worse symptoms, it was apparent she wasn't faking. The last time I mentioned
Ellen Pompeo's awesome acting talent, it was when Meredith suddenly realized that her mother's Alzheimer's disease had kicked back in. Ellen gave another fabulous performance, the best scene being when Meredith had to tell Thatcher that Susan had died.
Jeff Perry - attention Emmy voters - made this scene even more powerful when Thatcher slapped Meredith in a sort of knee-jerk reaction to losing his wife: "You told me she had the hiccups!" The slap was uncalled for, absolutely. But as a viewer, I somehow accepted it - estranged father to daughter under major stress receiving horribly tragic and unbelievably shocking news - and you could tell Meredith somehow accepted it as well.
Comic relief throughout the two hours was certainly Cristina and her sudden new best bud Callie. Funniest moment was perhaps Callie giving Cristina, Izzie and Meredith her rules as a bridesmaid: "I will not be wearing pink or baby blue. I do not do flowers in my hair. And I will never be seen with a bow on my ass, OK?" Sounded exactly like something Cristina would say, so Callie being asked to join Cristina's bridal party turned out to be not as absurd as it first seemed. You knew Izzie wasn't going to be thrilled, even though she showed a rare chipper side earlier, literally cheering about Cristina's wedding.
It was nice to see TV legend
Diahann Carroll back as Burke's mother Jane, as well as
Tsai Chin as Mrs. Yang, but I would've preferred a few more mama scenes like the one when Burke declared to Jane: "'I trust you' is code for 'learn from your mistakes'!" At least "traditional man" Burke was honest with Cristina, confessing to preferring a big wedding over a city hall ceremony.
I am liking where the Ava/Jane Doe story seems to be going. You can tell Alex keeps getting more and more smitten with her. That surgery scene was quite fascinating when Derek kept causing her to speak in multiple languages. Too bad she couldn't remember any of it. Pretty soon she'll figure out the big reason why Alex didn't fall for Addison - he's falling for Ava. Another heads up to Emmy committee members - two words:
The brief kiss between Izzie and "I'm not a cheater" George on the (of course) elevator bothered me, but I was happy it wasn't one of those mad, passionate kisses (I'll get to one of
those a bit later). The "we can't" followed by the "I know" just
had to immediately be followed by the elevator door opening up - poof - there's Callie. Please. But hey - at least she didn't see the kiss. All hell is going to break loose when Callie
does find out, but having her witness Frick and Frack kissing on the elevator would've annoyed me to no end.
I enjoyed the several awkward male bonding scenes involving two pairs of dudes who don't normally bond: Mark and Derek, and then Burke and George. How ironic for Mark to mope to Derek about how much it sucked to have to discover Addison was sleeping with someone else. Derek: "Must've been
so hard for you." I was glad Mark was able to fess up to Derek about lying to Addison regarding breaking their no-sex bet. Then, per Bailey's insistence, Burke asked George for marriage advice. That's like asking Cristina for congeniality advice. Best lines were George: "Is it possible to love two people at the same time?" Burke: "I'm still hoping it's possible just to love one person." Back to Mark Sloan. I was surprised he admitted to Alex that he knew about the Alex/Addison pairing and "whatever you
didn't do" was why Addison took her leave of absence.
II. PRIVATE PRACTICE
Speaking of that leave of absence, let's now discuss the Addison pilot! My roommate, not even half-way through the two hours goes: "I am more excited about seeing
this show then
Grey's this fall!" Although I won't go
that far, I will say that I am equally excited. I cannot recall a time in TV history where an established show devoted an extra hour to the introduction of new characters so effectively. I especially liked how they intertwined the Kate Walsh pilot scenes into a
Grey's episode. Normally, when spin-offs are introduced, the entire hour is devoted to the character leaving the established show and spinning off into a new one. Doing it this way - going back and forth - made me really pay attention to what was happening and I never lost interest in the new characters and happenings.
I've got to point out right away the powerhouse casting job they did! Let's go through each of the cast members:
Taye Diggs: Always been a fan and I wished ABC had aired
all of the
Day Break episodes. I love that there's already a mystery - just why did Sam decide to leave his wife Naomi? Just woke up and decided it was time to leave. No other woman was involved: "It was bad what I did. I have no good reason. I don't know why." Hmm...
Merrin Dungey: I live for her. Plain and simple. I kept waiting for fertility specialist Naomi to turn around and morph into Francie, or even better, the anti-Francie - Allison - from
Alias and try to kick Sydney's, I mean Addison's ass. She and Taye make a super couple, even though Naomi and Sam are divorced and have a beautiful daughter Maya (Shavon Kirksey). How about Naomi's reaction to Addison's utilizing the terms "post-McSteamy" and "post-McDreamy"? Naomi: "McWhat?" Naomi's already my favorite new character.
Tim Daly: I was never a
Wings fan, but I did watch both
The Nine while they were on and he was one of the best parts of both short-lived shows. His character Pete plays really well opposite Addison and he was the just the thing she needed after Naomi told her she
couldn't have children. Poor Addison. Back to Pete: can we talk about that kiss? I nominate that for TV's Hottest Kissing Scene 2007 if there's a contest. Shonda, you dirty bird: "I'm gonna kiss you. I'm gonna kiss you with tongue. I'm gonna kiss you so you feel it. OK?" Addison: "OK." Then, after the kiss, Addison: "Why did you do that?" Pete: "To remind you that you're not dried up. If you need me to remind you again, let me know." Addison: "OK." Later, when he gave her acupuncture, the close-up shot of Addison complaining that it wasn't working, followed by it kicking in was brilliant. That was Kate Walsh's best scene, especially Addison crying out: "I hate L.A.!" Since it was revealed that Pete's wife died eight years ago, and, according to Sam, this makes it difficult for Pete to connect with women, Pete should be a challenging conquest for Addison.
Amy Brenneman: I never saw an episode of
Judging Amy, but judging
this Amy, I've become an instant admirer. She is a phenomenal actress and I already know Violet the therapist will be my second favorite new character. What a terrific acting moment when Violet, shopping at Whole Foods, saw her ex-boyfriend Allan (
D.W. Moffett), who never wanted to get married, with his new wife Cami (Parisa Fitz-Henley).
Paul Adelstein: Now here is a sign of a really good actor. He plays (or depending on whether Kellerman indeed is dead,
played) a hateful character on
Prison Break. But he's so lovable on this show as unlucky-in-love Cooper from pediatrics. His crying scene was fantastic after Cooper found the car that the "Internet hooker" stole. I related to Cooper during the moment when he went to kiss Violet at the bar. Violet: "But I'm your friend." Sorry to admit that I've been there, done that with several of my (now) friends throughout the years. My answer (always): "I have enough friends."
Chris Lowell: Speaking of sorry, I regret to inform you that I've never seen an episode of
Veronica Mars (much to the dismay of my pal
Chana) so I was not familiar with this actor. How oh-so-L.A. for them to have a surfer boy be the receptionist? How
Sex & the City of them when Violet and Naomi (as observed by Addison) timed it so they'd be sitting in the lobby when Stud Boy was leaving on his lunch break in nothing but a swimsuit, surfboard and a smile. One of my other favorite scenes was Naomi having to break the news that she wasn't going to kiss him: "You're a fetus. You can be
my fetus. Never gonna happen."
Shonda really knew how to introduce the above characters and successfully made it so Addison would fit right in. Of course Oceanside Wellness Group needs a neonatal surgeon. Shonda also expertly started out with a very unique slew of patients/clients. Never thought I'd see a surrogate mother situation quite like this one: Carol (
Stephanie Niznik) was married to Rick (
Cameron Watson), but is now married to Doug (
Gary Hershberger). Rick is now married to Keith (Garon Grigsby). The surrogate Lisa (
Becky Wahlstrom) had sex with three men around the same time: Rick, Doug and her own husband (
David Anders - having a bit of a Sark/Allison
Alias reunion with Merrin Dungey). So her baby ended up being her own, not from the one that was supposed to be produced via Carol's egg and Rick's sperm. How much did we love Addison when she gave all of them crap for asking who the father was after Lisa risked her life giving birth?
Meanwhile, there was the husband (
Raphael Sbarge) who didn't want to have sex with his wife Kathy (
Bellamy Young). Luckily for Kathy's sanity, it was due to a hormonal imbalance that led to a tumor on his kidney. Boy, did
she feel bad for being a complainer and then sleeping with that stranger.
One thing that temporarily bothered me was Addison hearing the voice on the elevator. I said to my roommate: "There had better be a logical explanation." Yes! The voice ended up being Tillie (
Mary Joy), the elevator security guard whose voice was coming through a hidden speaker. Oh, Shonda...too funny.
So I look forward to ABC picking this show up. Do you agree with me that it's a keeper? Or are you not-too-fond-uh Shonda's latest creation? If it gets picked up, where do you think ABC will air it? We shall see...
Will you be watching? Vote now in our poll.
Raise your hand if you're already hooked. Shonda, you have just sold me on Grey's 2.0, or what you are currently planning on calling it: Private Practice. I can't imagine ABC not picking the show up for the fall. To make this easier for me to write, but more importantly, to give it a more reader-friendly approach, I'd like to split this in two. I'll get to my comments on the very well-executed Kate Walsh pilot later. First, let's talk about Grey's...I. GREY'S ANATOMYWhen I heard that Meredith was going to be experiencing another family death, my initial thought was Thatcher, but then I felt that it would be silly to kill off her father right after her mother. When her step mom Susan (Mare Winningham) showed up again at Seattle Grace, this time with perpetual hiccups she claimed were due to her acid reflux, I agreed with Meredith and Thatcher. I figured Susan was faking it as an excuse for Thatcher to spend needed quality time with his daughter. As Susan kept returning with worse sym...