Monday, March 14, 2011

SHONDALAND GOING STRONG, PART II


PART II – SEATTLE GRACE MERCY WEST MOVES ON

‘Let the healing begin’ was the punchline of GREY’S ANATOMY S7 and in the aftermath of the shootout that ended S6, the doctors of Seattle Grace Mercy West (SGMW) did move on. It was hard for some, like Christina Yang and Lexie Grey, but move on they did. The highlight of the closure that everyone got was the episode in which the doctors of SGMW had to treat victims of a shootout that had taken place in a school in town. That was also the episode when Christina comes back to work, after ambulance sirens remind her of her true calling. Arizona also regains privileges at the hospital, while in the midst of trying to woo back Callie.

A MATURE MEREDITH GREY
In the middle of it all, Meredith finally showed some signs of having been affected by the shootout in the hospital than she had been letting on earlier. The way she had been handling herself from the beginning of the season, I thought, had been indeed admirable, even as I totally understood how she felt responsible about updating the wife of a patient on his status. Meredith Grey’s character, in general, has been seeing quite a healthy evolution, since S5, and in S7, I think she has really come into her own. It might have been the stability of her relationship with Derek that caused this change in her, but now, I can truly say that even though I haven’t liked her for a large part of the series, I do like her now. Her maturity as an older sister, giving advice to Lexie, when their father reveals his much younger girlfriend to them, was baffling, to say the least. And with her managing the ER through a very stressful hour, in a later episode, I could happily say that Meredith Grey has definitely grown up!

THE THREE PARENTS TO BE
Lexie Grey took her time to move on from the shootout, and even gave her relationship to Mark another shot. As happy as I was for Mark to have found out that he was having a baby, I really felt for Lexie, because she’s really got the hard end of the bargain with this turn of events. On the other hand, we are all seeing what Shonda Rhimes meant when she said that she was going to put Callie and Arizona through hell this season. After surviving a major setback in their relationship, Callie’s pregnancy was thrown at them. Fortunately, they decided to make the most of the situation, taking charge as a family, so to speak. It would be convenient for the writers to have Callie lose the baby mid-term, but I think they’re going to relish the opportunity for the drama that this will bring out. I’m sure there will be situations when the three of them have differences in matters regarding the baby, and that’s when each one will be shown their place, by the views of the others on how much of a parent each of them really is.

THE MISUNDERSTOOD PRETTY BOY
While Mark Sloan is getting ready to raise his family with Callie and Arizona, Lexie seems to be getting close with Jackson Avery. That guy has been one misunderstood person. From once having been scolded by Teddy Altman for flirting with her, to being ordered around by Mark to do him personal favors, he’s just not being noticed by anyone. I admired in him the fact that he wanted to believe that he deserved to scrub in on Mark’s surgery, and not because he did some personal favors, and I really think that people should stop seeing him as nothing more than just a pretty boy! Lexie’s slowly noticing him; let’s see where that goes. In the meantime, another ex of Lexie, Alex Karev is slowly getting close to Lucy Fields. After Addison, he’s going for another gynac attending, and I think there’s going to be some excitement there. For some reason, I can already see her as a permanent fixture on the show, maybe because I like her hardcore, no-nonsense persona.

MARRIAGES THAT WORK
On the other hand, another female attending got hitched. Teddy Altman may have only married her patient Henry Burton to help him with his insurance, but I see some real chemistry there, and I see Henry as this genuine guy who’ll really appreciate her. After having to move on from Owen Hunt, I think she really deserves that. Speaking of Owen, he’s another character I’m slowly beginning to like. Maybe it’s his relationship with Christina, or maybe he’s finally learnt to carry the baggage of war that he’s always had, but he’s really become likeable, especially since what he shares with Christina is so sweet.

…So much is happening with GREY’S ANATOMY this season, with all the above relationships, and Miranda Bailey giving ‘love’ another shot. Even in the medicine, things seem to be moving forward, with Derek’s clinical trial and Chief Webber’s clinical trial…there’s certainly a lot to look forward to. With rumors of Alex getting some kind of closure from his failed marriage with Izzie, and news that Adele Webber will take seriously ill, there’s even more coming up. In the meantime, do share your views on the developments so far. TV TALK would love to hear from you…

COMING SOON: ON THE MAP, AND HERE TO STAY!

Monday, March 07, 2011

SHE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN TO ME...


On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I round up eight of my favorite women protagonists on television, as I highlight why I like them…



1. Bree Van de Kamp | DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
My favorite character on my favorite show, Bree had to be on the top of this list. Brought beautifully to life by Marcia Cross, for the last seven years, Bree has been an impeccable personality throughout. A woman who epitomizes the spirit of the show (we all lead lives of quiet desperation); she is a model woman for many. Having been through the loss of a husband, issues with her children, alcoholism, a homicidal mother-in-law, giving away a successful business and then a divorce, she’s always risen from adversity. And while she continues to be one of the most resilient women on television, her characteristic red hair and classic sense of style also make her quite the icon.


2. Nora Walker | BROTHERS & SISTERS
Who hasn’t had a love-hate relationship with their mother! While she can drive you up the wall by finding faults in you and expressing views that you don’t always appreciate, she’s also the woman who can make everything seem alright, and make you feel protected like no one can. Sally Field portrays all that as the typical mom on the show. She can get annoying and interfering, but she always has her kids’ best interests at heart. A character so natural is really hard to not like!





3. Temperance Brennan | BONES
With all her science, facts, statistics, and logic, Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan can be quite unintentionally hilarious. Her obliviousness of certain situations is funny, and her knack for correcting almost everything everyone says has me screaming, ‘Thank YOU!’ all the time! Bones, played by Emily Deschanel, has stayed true to her character for years. Her brilliance as a scientist and her ability to fend for herself and survive always leave me in awe, while her desire to feel regular emotions, after basing her entire life on pure logic is really endearing.


4. Patty Hewes | DAMAGES
Ambitious, shrewd and absolutely ruthless is what Patty Hewes came across as initially. The more we discovered her, and got to know her story, she emerged as a multi-faceted, intriguing woman. Her personality that can intimidate anyone makes me love her character so much. Lonely after being left by a cheating husband and an ungrateful son, she still does all she can to protect the ones she loves. Moreover, the strength, courage and fierceness of the character seem so much more real with Glenn Close’s stellar portrayal of Patty.





5. Addison Montgomery | PRIVATE PRACTICE
She was one of my favorite characters on GREY’S ANATOMY, so when she went on to become the protagonist of her own show, I was thrilled. The class, sophistication and independence of Addison Forbes Montgomery are what I’ve always admired most in her. And even though her character has evolved over the last six years, and become more dependent on people, she still makes for one of the most interesting leading ladies on television, and Kate Walsh has always been consistent while playing her.





6. Meredith Grey | GREY’S ANATOMY
She had a tough life with no father, and an unappreciative mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s, so it came as no surprise that Meredith Grey thrived on self pity, attention-seeking behavior and complaining about her life. However, the evolution that GREY’S leading lady has seen has been rather amazing. Meredith has, today, grown into a woman who can be a shoulder to someone else; someone who can shut up her complaining younger sister; and someone who can truly appreciate all the good things in her life. Ellen Pompeo has definitely done justice to both sides of Meredith Grey.
7. Gabrielle Solis | DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Another character who’s seen a terrific evolution over seven seasons, Gabrielle Solis is definitely one of the spunkiest women ever on television. From being a selfish, materialistic snob, she has grown into a caring mother and a lovely friend, while still retaining the spark that made us love Gaby right from the start of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Her political incorrectness and her impulsiveness make her the exciting woman that she is which made us notice her even when she didn’t have her stylish demeanor that suits her most. And Eva Longoria truly makes Gaby what she is!
8. Lynette Scavo | DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
We watched her raise four kids, survive cancer and then give birth to a fifth, while she got in and out of jobs, one of which was running a pizzeria with her husband. A woman who continues to shock us by her ways of getting things done her way, Lynette Scavo is definitely one of the most fascinating characters on television. One half of a beautifully portrayed marriage, she loves her family and like a lioness would do anything to protect it. Felicity Huffman is sheer and absolute brilliance in her portrayal of Lynette




And who are your favorite leading ladies on television? Please share your views...

Saturday, March 05, 2011

SHONDALAND GOING STRONG


After the previous season of PRIVATE PRACTICE, which brought the show into its own, the show’s fourth season has had some seriously good storylines and has been dealing with a serious issue as well. And while GREY’S ANATOMY’s seventh season does not disappoint in the least, OFF THE MAP has had a terrific first season, with really memorable episodes even. Here, TV TALK discusses some the developments so far in the Shondaland shows…

PART I – THE PRACTICES UNITE

It seemed like an inevitable turn when Oceanside Wellness and Pacific Wellcare merged in S4 of PRIVATE PRACTICE. With Naomi and Pete moving to Pacific, and Charlotte moving to Oceanside last season, they all seemed to be sharing patients and working on common cases anyway. I suppose the storyline of competing clinics had run its course. That, however, has been a rather small part of the season so far. As was mentioned in PREMIERE SEASON 2010, Part I, this season of the show didn’t get off to a great start, but with the developments over the episodes that followed, I’d have to say that the premiere was no indication whatsoever of how S4 would be.

To begin with, with the additions in the cast (Brian Benben and Caterina Scorsone), we now have another shrink and a neurosurgeon in the team. Given how they work on their cases, a lot of the times, even the non-shrinks have to play shrink with their patients, so I guess it made sense to have an extra hand in the psych department for consults to make it seem a little more real. On the other hand, with Amelia Shepherd’s presence, they have more opportunities for surgeries, and that always makes for more drama. While on surgeries, I was rather impressed with the angle of Sam being morally conflicted about performing surgeries, since, earlier in his career, he had not considered it right to save patients who had committed crimes or had done wrong. That came to the fore in a gripping manner, when he was confronted with having to save the life of a rapist, which was handled really well, with everyone’s points of view, and beliefs making an impression on us. That was one of the best episodes on the show yet. The rapist in question was, of course, none other than the man who had raped Charlotte King.

Charlotte, who has emerged as my favorite character on the show, has been given a lot of prominence this season. I’ve liked her because of how dignified she is, and because of her no-nonsense attitude, her independence and strength. The attack on her brought out a sense of vulnerability in her that she tried to fight in every way possible, but eventually gave in to, striving to achieve some closure, finally accepting that that was the only way to move on. I found that the development of the events that followed the attack seemed brilliantly real, especially with how her they show her vulnerability without changing what Charlotte King has been about. The entire chapter was thought-provokingly amazing, to say the least, and KaDee Strickland’s portrayal of Charlotte has been absolutely riveting.

Moving on, this season has explored the three couples that have emerged from the team. While Cooper and Charlotte have had their share of difficulties, Violet and Pete have had a fairly successful marriage so far, despite revelations from Pete’s past. Both couples do seem to be quite solid, which makes me wonder, where they’ll go from here. Especially with Sam and Addison’s relationship turning serious, I have to wonder how they’ll explore more romantic angles between these six characters. If they to cause a rifts in any of their relationships for that purpose, it would require some really good writing, especially in the case of the former two couples.

With that said, I think that Addison’s character development has been quite disappointing this season. The Addison we knew in Seattle was so different from what she is now. Besides the relationship insecurities she has always had and still does, there’s very little that reminds me of her in Seattle. She started out fine in LA, but since the previous season, she seems to have become more of a whiny, dependent person, which I do not like. Even though I liked Kate Walsh’s performance when Addison loses her mother, I’d like to see Addison as being stronger and more independent as she used to be. On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed watching Amelia Shepherd growing on the show. I love her straightforward attitude, which makes her say things that no one dares to; I like her levelheadedness that doesn’t allow her emotions to cloud her judgments while dealing with patients; and I like how she’s been a real friend to people like Addison and Charlotte. Despite the skeletons in her closet, she maintains a strong persona, which is truly admirable.




COMING SOON: PART II SEATTLE GRACE MERCY WEST MOVES ON