Joe Dyton

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“Grey’s Anatomy” recap: “Holidaze”

In Grey's Anatomy on November 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

By Joe Dyton

Last night, we were treated to what looks to be the last new episode of “Grey’s” in 2009. Seven weeks seems like a long time to go without a new episode, but I won’t complain too much since we did get nine weeks in a row of new shows.

As for last night’s show, it looks like this season of “Grey’s” is going to be feast of famine. I’ve applauded the show for weeks now for writing tighter episodes with fewer storylines. Then last night, the show is all over the place again. While I thought it was good, I just felt there was too much going on, especially with three holidays crammed into 60 minutes. I wasn’t a big fan of so much time being shoehorned into one episode; I understand they wanted to get everything in before the hiatus, but if that were the case, this probably should have been a two-hour episode. Several of the storylines were meaty enough to stretch last night’s show another hour.

One of those storylines that could have used some expansion was Mark finding out he had a daughter. This might have been one of the biggest reveals in the show’s history and I don’t feel enough attention was paid to it. Every time one of Mark and Sloan’s (this won’t get confusing at all) scenes came up, it felt like an after thought. Heck, this story could have been a whole episode and that would have suited me just fine. Anyway, I liked this plot twist a lot especially since Lexie isn’t much older than Sloan. The only reason I’m not more upset about the lack of time this storyline received was because it doesn’t look like it’s a one-and-done plot. With Sloan pregnant and having nowhere else to go, it looks like she’ll be bunking with Mark and Lexie for awhile. Good times.

While Mark getting a visit from the stork was underplayed, I thought the Cristina/Owen/Teddy triangle got the right amount of time. It’s a stroke of genius to give Cristina a mentor who has history with her current boyfriend. One of my favorite scenes was when Teddy and Owen finally just put everything out on the table and it concluded with Owen saying he loved Cristina. It was nice to see a character on this show not cave in for a change. I also thought when Cristina confronted Owen about any possible feelings he had for Teddy was good too. I’d say his answer was pretty convincing, no?

Oh, the poor Chief. I disliked him for a better part of last season and going in to this year, and now I just feel sorry for him. It’s funny, for the first few years of the show, I felt Richard was more of a background character, and now that he’s been brought to the forefront, he’s gone from a statistics-obsessed number cruncher to an alcoholic. When this story arc plays out, the writers owe him some happiness. I did enjoy this storyline though; I liked his scenes with Meredith. It was great to see him offer her mentoring, even if it’s more or less an attempt to keep her quiet about his recent fall off the wagon. I am curious to see how much further the Chief is going to fall with his alcoholism, because that’s what it is, not “selected depression,” or whatever he tried to mask it as. It will make for interesting TV the rest of the season. I can’t help but wonder why Joe keeps serving him though; he obviously has a problem and Joe cares about the Chief enough to have paged Meredith. Why not just cut him off after one “club soda”? That’s what baffled me the most. I will say that James Pickens Jr. played a good drunk though. The scene where he was wobbling near the jukebox was funny and depressing all at the same time.

So, Mark’s storyline was the most intriguing, Cristina and Owen’s was the most satisfying and the Chief and Meredith’s had the most potential. But for my money, the strongest as far as writing and performances go was the stuff with Bailey and her dad. I couldn’t believe she didn’t tell her folks she was divorced. My heart broke for Bailey when her dad told her he was ashamed of her for putting her career ahead of keeping her family together. I can’t imagine too many pains worse than having your parent tell you they aren’t proud of you. And the scene of the night had to be Bailey’s “My child is happy and healthy” speech. Not only was it terrific, but it lead to some comically awkward moments for everyone else at the dinner table. This storyline also lead to the most underrated part of the show, the look on Mr. Bailey’s face when Callie told him she was dating women. Classic. And I think I remember reading we’ll get to meet Mrs. Bailey, somewhere down the road, but I have to confirm that. If Mr. Bailey is that tough, I can’t wait to see what Mrs. Bailey is like. I was just happy to see they were able to part on good terms.

As for the medical stuff, I liked the girl who was surviving without heart case (shades of the Wizard of Oz?). I was a little surprised Teddy was willing to take her outside so she could enjoy the snow, but nothing these doctors do should faze me anymore, right? I was glad she was able to get a heart, although it stunk that it came at the expense of someone else. Like Teddy told Cristina, this isn’t a celebration. Talk about a sobering moment. I thought that was interesting because on this show, we usually only see the happy side when they’re able to land an organ for a patient. I guess it’s easy to forget sometimes that someone else had to die for that organ to become available. Maybe we should change Teddy’s name from Dr. Altman to Dr. Killjoy.

The other medical case delivered my favorite moment of the show, when Derek, Mark and Arizona offered to pay for the equipment needed to successfully perform their chronic bleeder’s surgery. It also led to one of the best exchanges of the show: Mark: I have a daughter I might have to put through college. Arizona: Have you met her? It’s amazing how this show can keep things light in the most dire situations. OK a few random thoughts, and

I’m hibernating until January…

*Am I the only one who yelped repeatedly when Lexie cut off part of her finger? That was awful. They could easily had her stop cutting and said, “Ouch” and we would have known what happened. Ugh. One of the best parts about “Grey’s” is it forces me to eat dinner early on Thursday nights.

*To satisfy our “Grey’s” cravings during the winter hiatus, a series of webisodes called “Seattle Grace: On Call.” Here’s a link containing more info: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Greys-Anatomy-Debuts-1012347.aspx

*Lines of the Night”…

-“There could be a gaggle of Sloans.”

-“(Ellis) escalated my drinking too.”

-“When you started dating women, how long did you keep that from your family?”

-“That’s my problem, I’m nobody’s (w)itch.”

 -“New Year’s Eve is a organ-palooza.”

 -“Love me some Hunt.”

-“Mark, your kids are bickering.”

-“Don’t play the race card with me.”

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. I hope you all enjoyed the show. Enjoy the hiatus, have a great day and wonderful weekend!

Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.

 

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“Grey’s Anatomy” recap:”Invest in Love”

In Grey's Anatomy on November 6, 2009 at 7:55 pm

TGIF!!! After a long week of staying up late watching baseball, I’m excited about getting some sleep this weekend and recharging my batteries. Before that happens though, there’s an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” to dissect.

I thought last night’s episode was good. I really like the new one-character centered episode format. I thought Arizona’s case was very interesting and Jessica Capshaw carried the show as well as Patrick Dempsey did last week. I loved Wallace, the kid she had to operate on (he shockingly reminded me of a young Burke with the navy scrubs, lab coat and glasses during his “rounds” scene). Despite that, something felt a little bit “off” about the whole thing to me. It took a while, but then I realized what it was.

I’m just not that emotionally invested in the Arizona character.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the episode, loved Capshaw’s performance and I loved the writing. But during her high-stakes scenes in the OR, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat like I was during Derek’s big operation last week. And I think it’s because Arizona is so new to the show, that I don’t feel any attachment to her. There’s nothing wrong with giving her an episode; it was time that we got to know a little more about her, but for me personally I was rooting for the surgery to succeed for the sake of the kid, rather than Arizona. Last week, I was pulling for Derek and I’m sure I would have felt the same way about any of the other characters that have been there since Day One. That was just my take on it. There was nothing wrong with any of this, I’ve just yet to feel attached to AZ.

Just like last week, I was satisfied with the side stories. My favorite scene was hands-down Cristina’s decision to defy Dr. Hunt in the OR. I don’t know how much I buy her doing that, or Jackson helping her by bringing the screen back up, but it made for great drama. I also enjoyed watching the blow-up that resulted from Cristina’s decision. It was just two good actors going at it and I loved every minute of it. The fact that Cristina and Owen’s fight busted up Callie and Arizona’s fight made it even better. I am really looking forward to see where their relationship goes from here, especially with the other wrenches that have been thrown in the works, Jackson kissing Cristina at Arizona’s party (what was that all about) and one of Dr. Hunt’s (female) fellow military doctors becoming Cristina’s new “cardio god” next week.

I also thought Alex’s storyline was very good again. We got both ends of the emotional spectrum from him. On the dramatic side, it was cool watching him take smuch great care of a baby he assumed to be good as gone. I also couldn’t help feel for him when the Chief handed him Izzie’s $200,000 medical bill. It’s a shame Izzie didn’t save a little bit of her inheritance from Denny for a situation like this. As for the comedy side, it was fun watching Derek and Mark make comments about a shirtless Alex. Poor guy was just trying to save a babies wife and all he got was ridicule. He continues to impress this season.

Here are a few more thoughts about last night’s show…

*To expand on Capshaw’s incredible performance, the highlights for me where when Arizona told the Chief to get out of the OR, when she left it up the Chief and Larry to tell Wallace’s parents that he didn’t survive the surgery and her real and honest reaction to her surprise party. I also thought it was great when she asked his parents if she wanted to see him; talk about heartbreaking scenes.

*I hope I’m in a position one day where I can donate $25 million to a good cause without even thinking about it.

*The only downside of these single-character focused episodes is we don’t get to see a lot our favorite characters. Although I give credit to Bailey, Derek and Mark for making the most of what they’re given.

*Here are a few “Grey’s” related links for your reading pleasure Jesse Williams (Jackson) discusses his kiss with Cristina: (http://www.tvguide.com/News/GreyAnatomy-Jackson-Cristina-1011684.aspx); and Mark and Addison will be crossing over on “Grey’s” and “Private Practice” (http://www.tvguide.com/News/Greys-Anatomy-Private-1011681.aspx); (http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/11/05/addison-and-mark-reunited-in-greys-crossover/).

*I couldn’t let this email go by without mentioning how painful the mushroom-loving straight-A student’s 50 broken bones looked. I loved when Cristina told her dealer to take a hike.

*Honorable mentions for “Line of the Week”

-“No, take off your shirt.”

-“Have you started to lactate yet?

-“(W)itches.”

-“I hate married, happy you.”

-“Is this the room for the calendar shoot? I thought it was downstairs.”

*I also enjoyed Mark’s know-it-all attitude towards surprise parties. Especially when his prediction came true.

I think that’s all I have for now. I hope you all enjoyed the episode. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

“Grey’s Anatomy” recap: “Give Peace a Chance”

In Grey's Anatomy on November 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Last night we got another “Grey’s” episode that featured predominately one storyline. And once again, the show delivered. I can’t think of a better character to center an episode around than McDreamy. Patrick Dempsey was great last night. It was a nice change of pace seeing Derek have a storyline that didn’t directly involve his relationship with Meredith. As a neuro surgeon, there are so many interesting medical cases that can be explored with his character, and I was glad the writers took advantage of that last night.

I honestly can’t think of anything I disliked about the show. Like I mentioned, Derek was great. I loved how he went “rouge” to help a colleague. I loved how excited he was at the prospect of this surgery when he was talking to Meredith; the drawing on the wall was fantastic. I even enjoyed the contest he held to see who would assist him. He was asked to carry the load in this episode, and he delivered. Outside of McDreamy-world, I thought the episode was good. Lexie and her diaper-wearing ways was hilarious. The shot of her and Cristina both wearing diapers under their scrubs was too funny for words.

I also liked how the side-side-side storyline of Alex trying to track down Izzie was handled well. It would have been monotonous to focus the whole 60 minutes on Derek’s case (although I’m sure there are plenty of people who wouldn’t mind a whole episode of Patrick Dempsey J), so a secondary storyline was needed. With McDreamy working such a big surgery, a complementary story had to be something relevant, but not too important that it would get lost in the shadow of the main storyline. The Alex trying to find Izzie plot was perfect. We’ve seen it too many times where episodes have included a really good storyline that got lost in the shuffle with a major plot. It happened just a few weeks ago, when Callie’s dad came to confront her the same day Mercy West invaded Seattle Grace. Anyway, I’m glad they got it right this time.

If I had to nitpick anything, it would have be the believability of Derek openly defying the Chief. I know he wanted to help Issac (who I loved by the way), but in what world someone openly go against what their boss said, especially in a field as serious as medicine? Even worse was that the other attendings were covering for him! Again, this was just a nitpick; when it comes to a show like this we have to expand our believability at times. Heck, I do it every week when I watch “24.” The whole episode, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Chief was going to be tempted to fire Derek. Sure enough he did, although we know that won’t stick, even it that would have been an interesting wrinkle.

So overall, good episode and I can’t wait to see what is in store for next week. This season has been great so far. It’s still too early to say “Grey’s” is back to first and second-season form, but the show is on it’s way.

Here are a couple other random thoughts I had about last night…

*I liked that that the Seattle Grace, Mercy West “us vs. them” stuff was toned down a bit. It was dragging down the show a bit. We got some with Jackson and Lexie vying for Derek’s services and a little with Alex and Reed (who was honestly just trying to be nice), but for the most part it was nice to watch Seattle Grace to work as one.

*As much as I questioned how realistic it was earlier, I did like Derek’s bravado in this episode. He was doing that surgery and he didn’t care about anything else. I loved when the Chief fired him and he used Issac’s line from earlier, “Go home, sleep on it and we’ll talk more tomorrow.” Classic! I also liked that Derek got to do the voiceover. I always enjoy it when someone takes the reigns from Meredith.
*I loved the surgery scene itself. It was edge-of-your-seat intense. The music was great and I loved that Cristina was giving Meredith play-by-play updated via her cel phone. I’d say it was a successful directorial debut for Chandra Wilson (Bailey). Hopefully she’ll get to direct more episodes in the future. Normally, I complain when there’s not enough Bailey, but it was understandable last night. I did love her scene when she warned Derek that the Chief would be across the hall.

*I also enjoyed Justin Chambers’ performance. He’s done an amazing job making the Alex character evolve. My heart broke for him at the end of the episode when Izzie didn’t show up for her appointment. Which raises an interesting question; where was Izzie? Did she honestly blow off her appointment? Did she go to another hospital to avoid seeing Alex?

*I can’t wait for the writers to pull the Chief to other side of this dark tunnel he’s been in for the last season and half. They’ve ruined this character for me. Even Derek mentioned that he’s changed.

*Lines of the Night:

“Be inspired.” 

“Your wife is dead. As soon as her liver grows back, she’s dead.”

“She may be a crappy wife, but she’s not stupid.”

“Screw the shark, let’s operate on that.”

“Way to go, 2.”

“Since when did Richard become your BFF?”

“Get your rogue on.”

“Lexie gets to (go) in a diaper, and I don’t.”

“Deal with it, diaper genie.”

Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.

 

2009 World Series Game Five recap

In MLB on November 4, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I have to be honest, heading into Game Five I didn’t give much thought to the A.J. Burnett-Chad Gaudin debate, so I can’t second-guess Joe Girardi’s decision too much. But when I was listening to Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN and he said he thought it was a mistake to pitch Burnett prior to the game it began to dawn on me that Girardi was taking a big chance. Look at the red flags:

a)      Burnett would be pitching on three-day’s rest.

b)      Burnett would be pitching on the road, where he’s not as effective.

c)      Because Burnett and Posada refuse to kiss and make up, Molina would be doing the catching. In the NL park, the lineup is already weakened without a DH, now the light-hitting Molina’s in the mix and Gardner (in for the injured Melky) can’t hit; throw in the ice-cold Cano and Swisher and the Yankees’ lineup is essentially four players deep.

As it turned out, Francesa and the other first-guessers were right; the game was a disaster. I wasn’t too upset the Yankees lost; I was expecting it. The Phillies are great at home, it would be a tall order to beat them there three games in a row; especially with Lee pitching Game Five against a watered-down lineup.

What did upset me was the position Girardi put the Yanks in the rest of the series. If he had put Gaudin in he probably wouldn’t have been any worse than Burnett was. Then he’d have Burnett on full rest at home in Game Six and if there was a Game Seven, he’d have the choice between Pettitte on full rest or Sabathia on three-day’s rest. That’s not a bad situation. Instead, we get Andy on short rest tonight and if needed, Sabathia on short rest tomorrow. That is not an ideal situation. I hope Andy can pull a rabbit out of his hat tonight; I want no part of a Game Seven.

As for the rest of the Game Five, there’s not much else to say. Burnett was awful, which wasn’t a surprise. It wouldn’t have been a surprise if he pitched seven scoreless innings either. You just never know what you’re going to get from the guy. I get a little sad when I remember the Yanks have to deal with the rollercoaster that is Burnett for four more seasons.

I will give credit to the Yankees for making a game out of it though in the late innings. When they got back to the top of the order with first and third and no one out, I honestly thought they were going to at least tie the game. Unfortunately, Jeter hit into that DP and that was all she wrote. It’s too bad Coke gave up those tack-on homers.

So, Game Five wasn’t to be. I’m hoping the Yanks can close it out tonight, but I’m a little uneasy about it. I think it’ll be up to the offense to bring this one home. Pettitte on short rest worries me, but I feel the Yanks’ attack can get to Pedro. (At least I’m hoping they can).

Here’s to Number 27!

Joe Dyton is a marketing copywriter in Washington, DC. He is a former assistant editor for The Dealmakers real estate magazine in Hamilton, NJ and a former sports writer and copy editor for The Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at thedytonian@yahoo.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dyton99.