Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Guiltiest Pleasure In Town

Thursdays, 9 p.m., ABC

Returns: Thursday

What you need to know: Season five is about new beginnings — Alex and Izzie reboot their relationship, Derek moves into Meredith's home, Christina renews her connection with Owen (Seattle Grace's new head of trauma), and George passes his intern exams and becomes a "real" doctor. It is also about struggle, as Izzie continues to deal with Denny's death. She even begins to see him and is unable to reconcile whether he is actually there or she is hallucinating. Lexie, Meredith's half-sister and a Seattle Grace intern, continues to harbor feelings for George, and is hurt when he does not request her to be part of his intern team. Though they reconcile, she is closed off toward him.

Why you should watch: Despite the hype over the big kiss and romance between Erica and Callie this year, the show's real strength is still in the day-to-day lives of Seattle Grace's doctors and their patients. The show places considerable weight on its guest stars, who generally rise to the challenge and become important aspects of the show even if they only appear in a few episodes. Grey's is a show that spreads the wealth and can bring moving performances out of the smallest roles.

Who to watch for: If you're not hooked on Meredith and Derek's witty banter, check out the connection between Callie and Sloan for the laughs and Christina and Owen for the sizzling sexual tension the show has always been good at delivering. Sandra Oh particularly shines as Christina in her portrayal of the ambitious and emotionally closed-off doctor learning to find love after a devastating breakup.

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