As the blog goes along this year, I’ll be doing episode-by-episode reviews of TV shows gone by, as a sort of DVD companion piece. Whether you’ve just started watching the show yourself, know it well and want to revisit it through someone else’s eyes, or simply want to know what all the fuss is about, these pieces should do the job.
One of the first shows on my list is an immensely popular show, designed mainly for the enjoyment of women, which I have never watched and wanted to see what all the fuss is about. I have a basic knowledge of key plot points thanks to media coverage, but apart from that. I’m going in blind. Guys, let’s see if there’s something here for us too. The show in question is…
EPISODE ONE: THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST
DIRECTED BY PETER HORTON
WRITTEN BY SHONDA RHIMES
So we’re back for the second episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I liked the occasional element of the pilot but found the show to be kind of annoying overall. Let’s see if the second episode – entitled The First Cut is the Deepest - improves my view.
This episode featured the opening credits for the first time and they pretty clearly spell out what this show is about. They’re doctors, but they sleep with each other. Groundbreaking! Also the opening theme, which I had never heard before, sounds awful. Maybe it’s just me but it’s so short and jarring that I’m not looking forward to hearing it again.
(I’m trying to keep these reviews from being too snarky, but this is the Internet. It’s kind of ingrained into the culture. I’ll try and keep the snark fair and balanced.)
I’ll give the early part of this show some credit – it was fast-paced and kept my attention much more than the pilot did, even though the constant reference to a man getting his penis bitten off made me incredibly queasy. That pace continued throughout the episode before dropping away late as the storylines started to infringe on one another.
Overall, this episode was entertaining but way too busy and ultimately unsatisfying. Once again we see a show with plenty of potential fail to live up to it through trying to tell too many stories. We could have lost either the Cristina or the Dr. Burke storyline here and the episode’s other plotlines would have reaped the rewards.
The reason given to Dr. Burke midway through the episode about why he wasn’t the number one candidate for chief of surgery was considerably less interesting than I thought it was going to be. The competition between the two men going for chief or surgery doesn’t have me invested at all and probably could have dropped out of this episode without much trouble. As I said earlier, we could have spent more time on the rape victim storyline - which lost a lot of dramatic heft due to a lack of time.
It’s fun to watch Katherine Heigl continue to break out of the ensemble. She’s really genuine in the role and nice to watch in this episode. Given a good little storyline to play, she nails it. Similarly Patrick Dempsey continues to show why he’s so beloved by fans of the show – he’s the only one at this stage who is really getting the dialogue and delivering it with the panache we look for.
Overall, entertaining but too busy. The show needs to find its focus, but this episode is an improvement on the finale.
Hail of Bullets:
Terrible line of the week: ‘Talk about taking a bite out of crime!” Don’t you have to be Nathan Fillion to get away with a line like that?
First reference to McDreamy pops up here thanks to Christina. I am underwhelmed. I can only assume it pops up again, because surely that line doesn’t deliver such a cultural touchstone as ‘McDreamy’.
In fact overall Sandra Oh’s performance doesn’t impress me – a character like Cristina needs to have some sort of redeeming character quirk and there’s no reason the actor can’t deliver that.
‘Somewhere only we know’ is one of those songs that is really great when used correctly and it’s a half decent use of it here.
When the characters walk away from the hospital at the end of the episode, full of camaraderie and joy, I didn’t feel the pleasure I think the show wanted me to feel. That was kind of a weak, clichéd ending to the episode. Would have been better if they’d all leaped and punched the air.
Every character delivered the word penis like it was written in italics.
Only the barest passing reference to Meredith’s mother pleases me because I wasn’t thrilled with that element of the pilot, but if you did find the end of episode one emotionally affecting, I wouldn’t blame you for feeling cheated.