Saturday, April 26, 2008

Maclean's: 10 Ways To Revive Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is on life support. But here are 10 ways to revive the tired series.

The great thing about Grey's Anatomy is that it never pretends to be anything more than a medical soap opera—the romances are impossibly convoluted, the medical crises are overblown and the actors are impossibly good looking. If I wanted reality, I'd check out a trauma emergency room on a Saturday night. Yet, this season, which re-started April 24, has been a disappointment. Who cares that ABC has picked it up for another season: the writing is flat, the characters are grating and the chemistry that made the first three seasons so much fun is MIA. So here are 10 ways to revive Grey's:

1. Make Izzy a real surgeon. No more tending to animals, no more treating her interns with kid gloves, no more having her character spend $126,000 on tests for a guy with a sprained ankle. Izzy needs to be in the operating room saving lives, not wringing her hands because some poor soul is unhappy.

2. Decide what relationship Meredith and McDreamy are having and stick with it. This whole "Oh I need more time," but "Oh, I'm jealous if you look at someone else" angst was tired in the second season, frustrating in the third and now a total channel changer. The will-they-or-won't-they plot doesn't work because they've already been in and out of that relationship too many times. Meredith is a nag and McDreamy is henpecked—not good descriptors for main characters.
3. Create a good villain. Since Burke left there's been no nasty doctor or administrator. Everyone, even the 'Nazi,' is showing their softer side. And no, Erica Hahn does not qualify. The show needs someone who is truly ruthless.

4. Don't make Lexie Grey a younger version of her half-sister. Meredith's dithering and whining is tolerable in very small doses. Two characters with the same ticks is one too many.
5. Repeat after me "Doctors are not gods." A teeny tiny bit of reality is necessary for every soap and one of the glaring errors on this show is that all the smart people at Seattle Grace have M.D. after their names. Grey's Anatomy needs some nurses and even a manager or two who can stand up to them and say: "Hey you idiots, you're not following the ICU checklist. Now drape that patient properly before putting in a chest tube!"

6. Mix and match characters and outcomes. Meredith shouldn't always be the one to intuitively figure out the guy who provoked a bear attack has a tumour, Christina shouldn't always be the one getting cool surgeries by sucking up and being super-aggressive, Alex can't always be the plucky one who sutures where he's told and Izzy can't always be a ditz who sometimes summons up the courage to overcome her fears.

7. Let Sandra Oh act. She's arguably the show's best actor and yet this season she's been given just two emotive roles: a dumped bride and a thwarted heart surgeon. What a waste.

8. Bring back the interns. Remember how all the residents had newbie interns at their beck and call to use and abuse? It was fun watching them stumble. So where did they go?

9. George must die. He's slept with virtually everyone except the male cast and has been in love with virtually everyone except the male cast. And he's not that great of a doctor. Evolve or die.

10. More sex. This is a SOAP OPERA, people. And yet, this year has seen no chemistry, no fumbles in closets and, sadly, very little of McSteamy's body.

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