Sunday, October 16, 2011

GREY’S ANATOMY CONTINUES WITH THE FUTURE UNCERTAIN

As the TV season 2011-12 progresses, TV TALK analyzes how GREY'S ANATOMY is doing so far



Shonda Rhimes said that the eighth season of GREY’S ANATOMY would focus on the stories of the original cast, whatever’s left of it, that is. Out of the nine actors that the show began with in 2005, only six are left, and with their contracts expiring at the end of this season, there is little certainty as to who will return to the show in its ninth season, especially with the lead actors Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey having hinted at leaving the show, there was probably a sudden need to focus entirely on the original five. And what foundation for that could be better than Meredith and Christina starting out all dark and twisty! With Christina’s pregnancy, Meredith’s marriage in trouble, and Alex being hated by many, there was plenty of room to develop the season around three of the five original interns. Additionally, with Webber’s career on the line, Derek’s complicated marriage situation and Bailey seeing her original interns in their fifth year of residency, there was even more.

I liked how the season began, with the road cave-in and turmoil in the lives of Meredith and Christina. It was interesting to see the twisted sisters bonding again as they even shared a room. I thought that Christina might have kept the baby since she already lost one with Burke, but thankfully, the writers stayed consistent with her character and made her have the abortion. The way Owen comes through for her and holds her hand while she goes through the procedure was very well handled. Meredith’s role in the situation was crucial and seemed like the only way out of it. At the same time, it was heart wrenching to see Meredith and Derek losing their new daughter to social services, and to see Alex getting flak from every corner. I was especially touched when Christina goes to pull him out of his hospital bed so they can help Meredith out of a situation with the adoption person, and Alex begs for forgiveness for what he did wrong. What made it special was that he showed emotion, without getting sappy about it, staying true to who we know Alex to be. Of the other fifth-year residents, I was happy to see Avery getting some recognition for his abilities as a surgeon. Misunderstood pretty-boy turned out to be ‘the gunther’ in the OR! On the other hand, April’s role as Chief Resident is making for an interesting storyline, even though it was a quite a bad choice on Owen Hunt’s part to pick her just because she’s organized.

Moving on, the next two episodes had their own surprises. Each of them was significantly important, what with the fifth-year residents taking on surgeries in the lead, and then seeing all the men of Seattle Grace Mercy West (SGMW) bonding over all that they felt was wrong in their lives. Richard Webber having himself fired from the Chief’s position and putting Hunt in his office wasn’t handled all that well, I thought. I mean Webber went around acting like an unsure resident, which didn’t make too much sense, because all that had changed was that he didn’t have to do a Chief’s job; he was still an attending. Moreover, he had briefly been a regular attending back when Derek was Chief too. Besides that, it was funny to see how the residents handled their surgeries, and how almost all of them failed to take care of entire procedures. The residents bonding in April’s office, which has already become like the fifth-years’ lounge, was also fun.

The first few episodes also saw a very powerful Meredith and Derek moment, when Derek expresses his despair over how the unfortunate situation they were in. It was strange yet refreshing to see Derek admitting such things, as Patrick Dempsey performed the part so well. Moreover, with the breakthrough they made, by pinpointing their real problem was constructively good and I was impressed by the way it was carried out. The SGMW men episode was like a breath of fresh air. It was nice to see the six men, and Dr Ben being focused on, with the women on the show almost always getting the prominence. Scenes like Mark fighting with Derek over Avery were hilarious. At the same time, Owen watching baby Sofia made me sure that there would be more for him and Christina to deal with soon.

So there you have it—GREY’S ANATOMY S8 sees a refreshing start, and shows a lot of promise for our original six characters, with the exception of Bailey, who still seems to be in the background as she has been for quite a while now. Nevertheless, I look forward to the rest of the season!


What are your thoughts on how GREY'S ANATOMY S8 began. Share your views here, on TV TALK

Saturday, October 01, 2011

THE 'RINGER' PILOT


Having just seen the pilot of RINGER so far, I’m putting down my thoughts on what I liked, didn't like and what this series might turn into


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Sarah Michelle Gellar’s back on the small screen, and with quite a bang, I must say. Having read only a few good reviews of the beginning of this show, I was not expecting all that much, despite the promos, which looked really promising. However, I found that the pilot was quite interesting, and almost lived up to the promo. In fact, the promo very aptly summarized the pilot, which added the necessary details, and gave us a little more about the obviously mysterious lives of the twins Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin would progress.


WHAT I LIKED
The basic premise of the show is gripping, definitely, and makes us want to know what Bridget has stepped into, having assumed her twin sister Siobhan’s identity. I think there’s going to be a lot at Siobhan’s end as well, as she seems to have escaped from whatever Bridget will now have to deal with. I like the mystery and the level of intrigue brought about by twists like Siobhan running away to Paris, Bridget shooting a man who was looking for Siobhan and also finding out about Siobhan’s pregnancy. In all of that, I enjoyed watching Sarah Michelle Gellar again, even though I expected a little more from her performance. However, her part in the pilot at least wasn’t all that demanding, so I am hoping for more intensity as the show progresses. The casting of the show is quite impressive. Besides the leading lady, Ioan Gruffudd and Nestor Carbonell make for a strong, known acting presence in the series. Other elements like the background score, the costumes, the art direction, as well as the general packaging, by way of the opening and closing title/credits, also seem to be in the right direction, and that’s important, as these elements form a solid background for any series.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The way the premise was set was a little too abrupt. I believe the series prologue should have been done in a little more detail, even if it had to take an entire episode to reach the point where Bridget becomes Siobhan. The editing in this regard was less than impressive, with exceptions of scenes like the one in which Bridget is on the phone with Malcolm, telling him how she’s assumed Siobhan’s identity, with the interspersed clips of her in The Hamptons house after Siobhan’s disappearance. As for other developments in the pilot, since the writers decided to squeeze so much into it, I thought that maybe a stronger foundation should have been set for the supporting characters and the side storylines. Another detail that should have been dealt with a little better was how Bridget eases into Siobhan’s life. I think that details of people and social engagements in Siobhan’s life seemed to be discovered by Bridget rather conveniently. I think there should’ve been more of a challenge. Moreover, there should have been more of Bridget learning Siobhan’s mannerisms and behavior, etc. They may be twins and may have grown up together, but as we know, for the last six years, they lived apart and lived very different lives. Maybe we’ll see such factors becoming more of a challenge later.


So there it is. To sum it up, there were some negatives and some positives about the pilot. I am very much looking forward to watching the next couple of episodes, to discover more about the mystery and to hopefully see the writers and actors exploring the potential they have to turn this into a fantastic mystery drama.  


What have you thought of RINGER so far? Is it a keeper for you? Share your views here on TV TALK...

COMING SOON: MODERN FAMILY & GREY'S ANATOMY