Dear Shonda: The emotions of Grey’s Anatomy


Grey’s Anatomy has never been dull. That’s the problem.

There was a time when tv shows left you hanging in suspense when the main character was in a tragic car accident, or mysteriously got cancer. We held our breath as we waited to learn the fate of our beloved.

But then the audience wised up and figured that the main characters didn’t get killed. So then we had the big switch where main characters could die.

(If you’re curious, here’s a website that has taken the time to list a bunch of people who have died on TV.)

And then there’s Shonda Rimes – creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and her most profound piece of work, Crossroads.

She can’t resist the drama, even at the expense of good writing.

In the season finale of Private Practice — the show I left Grey’s for because it was less stressful — Maya and Dell get into a car accident.  After a tearful goodbye to his daughter (whose mother died earlier in the season) Dell dies on the table.

It was sad, and predictable.  Because that’s Shonda Rhime’s style.

Also in the finale Addison and Sam finally hookup, and Violet and Pete finally reunite.  That sounds great in theory, but unfortunately it was completely obvious 7 episodes ago.  We knew Addison and Pete’s relationship couldn’t last – it was too heavily focussed on the baby, and avoiding the people they truly wanted.  So when things fell into place it was anti-climactic, to say the least.  It was also lazy writing.

And then there’s Grey’s Anatomy.  I unsuccessfully tried to quit the show after last season.  It was always stressful and I couldn’t handle it.  I thought that meant that there was something wrong with me, that I was a wimp.

But when I saw the previews for tonight’s 2-hour season finale, I realized it wasn’t my fault. It was Shonda’s.

There was a shooter in Seattle Grace hospital.  The previews revealed Meredith’s pregnancy – a fact which not only insists that the audience to care 10 times as much, but guarantees that Meredith or Derek would get shot.

Yes, it was very intense, gripping, and totally watchable, but still somehow empty.

It’s disappointing because Rhimes really is a good writer, she just tries too hard and doesn’t know how to create subtle drama.

Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Bailey, said this when asked if someone would die on tonight’s finale: “Of course. It’s Grey’s Anatomy!”

At least I’m not the only one who wasn’t surprised.

Good shows need to be able to keep my attention and Grey’s Anatomy does that.  But it’s a bit like being in a stale relationship: If there’s nothing new, no surprises, and you always know what’s going to happen, why bother?


2 thoughts on “Dear Shonda: The emotions of Grey’s Anatomy

  1. Finally watched it just now.

    I think the writers figured this was the splashiest way to get rid of all the extra people (*cough* Mercy Westers *cough*) on the show.

    It certainly kept us watching. My husband actually paid attention (to the point where he asked me to rewind parts afterward), which is weird cuz Grey’s does nothing for him.

    I gave up on Private Practice after the Violet stabbing stuff. I liked that it was a less stressful show, but when I read more recent recaps, just couldn’t get back into it.

    1. It started as a less stressful show – then they tried to bring the Grey’s back in. Addison because the star and no one could stay happy.

      The likelihood of me successfully quitting is, for now, still slim. I just wish it were better.

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