The Wife:

We don’t usually do news here, but since I’m trying to decide what shows I can and can’t watch next year (thus, can and can’t cover) because of grad school, I figured I’d help you all out by sharing my handy-dandy season schedules for the major networks here at Children of St. Clare.

I’ve listed everything by hour, as most networks are running hour-long shows these days, so two half-hour shows are listed in the same box with the time the latter show starts in between them. If a show runs longer than one hour, I’ve indicated the length and listed it in the hour in which it starts. Asterisks (*) indicate new shows, and I’ll have some snap judgments on those shows following these graphics:

falllineupMTWRF

And here’s the weekend schedule for the fall, which, as you can see, is largely blank:

FallineupSS

In January, the networks will change to their midseason schedules:

midseasonlineupMTWRF

And here’s the weekend midseason schedule

midseasonlineupSS

Now, on the midseason schedule, you may notice some funny little symbols after the network names. Here are those footnotes:

  • # ABC has not yet announced its midseason lineup. The have, however, three new shows on deck: V, Happy Town and The Deep End, as well as returning shows Lost, Wife Swap, True Beauty, The Bachelor, Better Off Ted and Scrubs. Timeslots all to be determined.
  • + CBS has not yet announced its midseason lineup, but has the following shows for midseason replacements: Miami Trauma*, The Bridge*, Undercover Boss*, Arranged Marriage*, Rules of Engagement, Flashpoint
  • = CW’s midseason debut is Parental Discretion Advised, timeslot to be determined.
  • Additionally, Fox has Hell’s Kitchen scheduled for Summer 2010, and has Kitchen Nightmares on deck to fill holes in the schedule.

Now, for my snap judgments . . .

NBC: While we all know by now how I feel about Jay Leno, I can honestly tell you that the only one of their new shows I will definitely watch is Joel McHale’s comedy pilot Community, joining the NBC Thursday comedy block in 30 Rock‘s spot until it returns at midseason. Community has a good premise (McHale finds his college degree is invalid and must go back to community college to make up the credits), and has both McHale and Chevy Chase, who turned in a good performance as the villain at the end of Chuck season 2. I am overjoyed that Chuck is returning at midseason, as I think a 13-episode run will give us only the most super-concentrated awesomeness Chuck has to offer. I do not need another medical show in my life, so I’m declining Trauma and Michelle Trachtenberg’s nursing show, Mercy. 100 Questions looks so much like Friends that it is entirely out of the question for me. But then there’s Day One, which has a nice pedigree of coming from the people who work on Lost, Heroes and Fringe. It could be awesome, or it could be hokey, but I think it’s the only other promising thing NBC has to offer us.

ABC: I am delighted that ABC has given a permanent slot to Castle, allowing Nathan Fillion to prove he is charming, rakish and shouldn’t be a showkiller! He and Adam Baldwin have broken their own curse! Other than that, though, I am extremely concerned at how unimpressive the new shows debuting for fall seem, compared to the stuff ABC has on deck for midseason. Not a single one of the Wednesday night comedy block shows looks palatable. Hank looks downright abysmal, The Middle looks, well, middling, Modern Family falls flat and Cougar Town is trying way too hard. I might DVR Eastwick because I like Rebecca Romjin and Lindsay Price, but I have no emotional ties to either the previous film or the novel upon which it’s based to grab my immediate attention. I watched a clip from The Forgotten and I can tell you right now that I think it’s going to be the most dour procedural on television, and I certainly don’t need that in my life. I am, however, intrigued by Flash Forward because I like both time travel and Joseph Fiennes. But what sounds really interesting are the midseason shows. The Deep End is about law students and, out of all the ABC clips I watched, it certainly has the most character, pizzazz and joy. It also has Tina Majorino, looking the prettiest she’s ever looked. I will give that a shot when it premeires. I will also give hardcore sci-fi reboot V a shot, as we certainly don’t have any shows on network TV currently dealing with alien invasion, and I’m really jazzed on the trailer for Happy Town, which seems like its going to be a slightly more normal Twin Peaks (in that its a small town mystery), only this time, with Amy Acker!

FOX: I’m wary of a fall edition of SYTYCD, but I do see the benefit of it giving FOX a consistent schedule so that things don’t get shitfucked when Idol rolls around at midseason. Perhaps, if this is a success, going forward we’ll have to find a new totally awesome summer reality competition . . . maybe one for actors? OR MAYBE WE CAN MAKE A TRIPLE THREAT SHOW BECAUSE I WOULD TOTALLY WATCH THAT????? (Please, FOX?!!!!) Fox is actually my favorite of the networks so far, actually. I’m happy to see they’ve renewed Dollhouse and paired Bones with Fringe, which makes for a really rockin’ Thursday. Also excited to see Sons of Tucson with Tyler Labine as it looks pretty funny from the promo.  Human Target looks pretty fun, too. And you best fucking bet I will be watching Glee. The only thing I think I’d really pass on, here, is Past Life, and that’s just because I’m not really interested in seeing a show that solves crimes using past life regression (although one of my favorite X-Files episodes has exactly that conceit). So, rock on, FOX. You are my winner for next season.

CBS: I will be skipping pretty much every new show on CBS this year as they continue to build their police procedural empire. However, I will give a try to the new Monday comedy Accidentally on Purpose, even though it’s based on the memoirs of a film critic I don’t like very much, the Contra Costa Times‘ Mary F. Pols, who can’t seem to see the good in anything at all. The show is set in San Francisco, though Pols lives somewhere in the Walnut Creek area in reality, I assume, and Jenna Elfman plays the fictional version of Pols’ film critic who accidentally gets pregnant by a younger, one-night stand and decides to keep the baby, and it’s daddy. I generally like Jenna Elfman and, of course, adore Grant Show, who will be playing her boss. I will also give Three Rivers a shot, because it stars Moonlight‘s Alex O’Laughlin and its about organ donation, so there’s a chance I could see him repeat at least part of his horrifying performance in Feed, a film in which he kidnaps obese women and feeds them their own fat until they die. (How he would repeat part of that performance, I don’t know, but I’d like to see CBS try.)

CW: Will I watch a show produced by Ashton Kutcher about teenage models called The Beautiful Life? Yes, I will. Will I watch a show about teenage vampires called The Vampire Diaries? Indeed, I would probably watch something like that, as long as it sucked in a good way and not a bad way. Melrose Place? I have even less of a connection to that show than to 90210, so I’m not inclined to watch the reboot — especially since Ashlee Simpson’s on it. But, hey, I might need some mind-numbing crap to counterbalance all my grad school reading, so perhaps. I’ll give Melrose Place a perhaps, a perhaps perhaps, even, if I choose to continue watching 90210, making my Tuesday nights just like 1992. I am, however, surprised that CW axed the Gossip Girl spin-off, as even though I didn’t like the backdoor pilot, I did think the show had potential. I’m also surprised they axed Jason Dohring and Minka Kelly’s legal show, Body Politic, if only because I was hoping both former Moonlight vampires would have jobs come fall, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for Josef Kostan nee Logan Echolls.

So, as the curtain on this TV season falls, you can look forward to me actually writing about Mad Men this summer, as well as many, many articles on SYTYCD. After that, I’m going to have to see what my fall schedule is like and compare it to the above fall schedules to see what I can really watch and what I can, in turn, cover.

I’ll make you guys a chart of all that later.

The Husband:

Since this isn’t technically a recap site, despite how much my wife writes recaps, that’s more of her personal stylistic choice than an agreed-upon structure. I’m more into critique, and sometimes I feel myself moving away from this stylistic choice in instances where I just have to get an article off the ground in a restricted amount of time (usually at work when I’m super-busy), or when my brain just isn’t working, because as long as you have a good memory, recapping isn’t hard. But since I’ve been way behind on both Shonda Rhimes shows, thanks to a four-day weekend in Arizona as well as me having a month-long coughing fit that has forced me out of the office and into the world of work-from-home, I think I can easily jump back into the showrunner’s world without completely overwriting anything.

First, things that have been on my mind over the last three weeks of Grey’s Anatomy.

Karev

Formerly my least favorite character on the show (and aside from Tommy Walker, perhaps of all the ABC shows I watched), I am amazed to declare that he has, post Elizabeth-Reaser-needs-a-face drama, grown into maybe Seattle Grace’s most emotionally and intellectually interesting. Who knew that banging Izzie would bring out his tender side (when that happens, that character either dies [Denny] or becomes a whiney joke version of his former self [George]), which does wonders balancing out his friendly but professionally stern bedside manner? He has become the resident you want to have next to you, thanks to his major leaps and bounds in his own medical prowess as well as being able to completely control any case that comes his way. His immaturity that completely turned me off to him has been replaced by some residual charm left over when Addison left Seattle Grace right around the time she and Karev shared a couple kisses here and there. He’s the one character who seems to live by my sister’s all-time best words of advice – “just handle it.” He has Sloan’s swagger without his dickishness, and he has Meredith’s heart without her…Meredith-ness.

Derek

So I get the whole what-does-my-life-and-my-job-mean freakout that Derek had after losing Jennifer Westfeldt and being called a murderer by Ben Shenkman, and I get that it’s a terrible thing to stack every single one of his medical cases next to each other and realizing that he has “killed” more people than he has “saved” (kind of a given when you’re a neurosurgeon, though), his mobile home drunken nonsense was just that – nonsense. Killing brain cells and getting all up-in-a-bitch’s-face with Meredith, ending with him ultimately taking the engagement ring he bought for her and smacking it into the forest thanks to a handy nearby baseball bat, was emotional, yes, but it was also completely not-Derek. Way to create some random drama for no real reason, writers. We viewers already declared that we are no longer into a will-they-or-won’t-they with Deredith, so it was just a complete waste of time. And the only thing to get him out of the drunken funk? Izzie having metastatic melanoma in her briz-ain. Which moves us into the next category…

Derek’s Proposal

I seem to be disagreeing with a great deal of people here, but I found Derek’s ultimate solution to proposing to Meredith to be remarkably creepy. What he did was take an elevator at Seattle Grace and put it out of service, and he then lined the walls with C.T. scans that chronicled his case history with Meredith’s services, right from the beginning all the way to their current Izzie-has-melanoma case, and then told her he wasn’t going to “pop the question” so much as just mumble some stuff about destiny and hospitals and junk. A.) the hospital probably needs that elevator because…well…they’re in a hospital; B.) those are scans of dying people, an oddly terrifying display of the morbidity that defines Deredith. But hey, at least they’re engaged now. That ain’t no problem.

Izzie

Just quit whining and accept your treatment. Jesus Christ. First you took all the interns and focused them all entirely on your case, then you complain about how far the melanoma has traveled, even though you basically just should have opened up immediately about her hallucinations months ago, and then you whine some more. People say Meredith is the whiner. No sir. That honor belongs to Isobel Stevens. But at least this story is progressing. And unless we want Derek to completely lose his shit for letting a good friend die, she is going to be fine by season’s end. She may not be capable of being a doctor anymore, which makes it easy to write her out of the show, but she will live. Just like Penny IS NOT DEAD on Lost, because those writers are basically hopeless romantics at heart, Izzie has to live.

Owen & Cristina

No, for the last time, your name is not Dan Vassar!

No, for the last time, your name is not Dan Vassar!

Hey Cristina, did you think you’d be able to actually sleep after getting nightmare-strangled by your PTSD-ing doctor boyfriend? I appreciate the effort to keep y’all together, but sometimes your head does stupid things…like letting the man who almost unintentionally killed you spend another night next to you in bed. I still think they are one of the show’s perfect couples, so now that Owen is actually dealing with his army past, we may be in for some very nice final episodes to this season.

Guest Stars

This is a complete throwaway section, but I was just happy to see a nice mixture of guest stars in one episode. This was the three siblings whose family had a big history of nearly everybody suffering from cancer, and those three siblings were A.) Heather Mosby from HIMYM, B.) the jailbait-loving English teacher from Swingtown and C.) the woman who voiced both Jane and Quinn on Daria, all together in one room. (So hey, MTV, when are you going to release full seasons of Daria on DVD aside from the occasional special. We’re waiting.)

Now onto Private Practice:

Addison + Men

Man, people online are really turning on Addison. Why? Because she’s interested in a married man. You see, she was scrubbing in at St. Ambrose at the same time that a cute male doctor was scrubbing out, and this became a major back-and-forth bit of flirting. And since it’s Josh Hopkins from Swingtown, and I always forget his character’s name, I refer to him as Dr. Swingtown. At the end of Dr. Swingtown’s first episode, we find out that he is not only married, but he is actually married to Amanda Detmer (from Saving Silverman and What About Brian?), a major patient of Addison’s, being a pregnant woman who keeps losing her pregnancies. Addison has so far resisted Dr. Swingtown’s advances post-discovery, but this dude is really setting her loins on fire, and she really isn’t going to last much longer. Now, the online bloggers and commenters are really getting on Addison’s case for being an adulterer yet again. But here’s the thing: this time she’s not being the adulterer. That would be Dr. Swingtown. She’s just the other woman, and IMO that’s really not on her. She’s not married to Derek and cheating with Sloan, and she’s not dating SWAT guy and banging the dude from Better Off Ted. Call her a homewrecker, and that’s fine, but this is a new Addison, who just happens to have some bad luck in love. But this is not her up to her old tricks, because she’s not. Got it?

(And yes, I realize that Grant Show, who plays Addison’s brother Archer Montgomery, was also on Swingtown playing the über-swinging airline pilot Tom, but Archer Montgomery is too good of a name to deny, and so Josh Hopkins, who played the far more conservative character Roger who by the end of that dearly departed show was heavily lusting after Susan, another redhead, is now labeled with the moniker. Just FYI.)

The Show’s Actual Concept of Psychiatry/Psychology

Okay, I get why Violet had to really get inside Amber Benson’s brain a few episodes ago in order to rejigger her repressed memories about when she was carjacked and beaten to a fucking pulp, because she was using some basic Psychology 101 for that. But during the next episode, I really started to question her actual methods and if any of them work. Amanda Foreman (the goth roommate from Felicity and the bartender wife from What About Brian?) had struggled to get pregnant, and now that she had, she’s unwilling to deal with the actual truth – the fetus inside her is dead, and the longer she keeps it in her, the more susceptible she is to sepsis and all other kinds of ookiness. No matter what Violet told her, Amanda Foreman just simply wouldn’t accept the truth. Until Dell shows up. You see, Dell has been dealing with Baby Mama Drama, which ultimately results in said former drug addict Baby Mama taking their daughter and moving to Missouri. And so Dell, saddened by this news, stares at the wall and mutters something about losing children with Amanda Foreman nearby, and it’s this speech (and not any of Violet’s tactics) that gets her to accept that she needs to get that dead fetus outta her body. Nope. Nothing that Violet did. Just some mumbling from a bleached-out surfer boy midwife. Me? I don’t think that’s how it works. I’ve been in enough therapy to at least reach some opinion on that.

Taye Diggs

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Actually, I’m fine with everything Taye has been doing, and I very much like his interplay with his ex-wife Naomi (Audra McDonald) as they rejoin the dating world. I just bring him up because of something Vanessa L. Williams said to Marc on a recent Ugly Betty:

“What is it with white people and Taye Diggs?”

Good point, Wilhelmina. Good point. I guess it’s his sweet lovin’ marriage to the awesome Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel that attracts us to him. Or it’s just because he’s awesome. (Btw, good job, Shonda, for finally bringing Idina onto Private Practice as a single mother and potential love interest for Pete, who is so over which sperm, his or Sheldon’s, got Violet pregnant.

The Husband:

So, here’s what went down: last Thursday, at some point during the work day, our power went out at our home briefly, coming back on some time during the afternoon. Our living room DVR handled the power failure admirably, getting back up to speed with all of our season passes and the TV grid. Our lower model bedroom DVR, however, I suppose needed to be actually turned on again (even though technically it can record when off), so it really screwed the pooch (oh noes! Pooch-screwing!) when it came to all those shows my wife does not watch. This would include Survivor, as well as ABC’s female-driven block of Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. So that’s why these reviews are going to come late, and perhaps in briefer form.

Sigh…the woes of technology.

But what’s been going down at Seattle Grace?

Cristina gets all responsible-like, even going against the wishes of some of her elders, when she learns of a patient that would have been getting out of the hospital just fine had the hospital’s oldest attending surgeon not made a careless mistake. But who is this surgeon? Why, it’s Faye Dunaway. Where the hell has she been all this time? Judging from her appearance, underground amidst the rock creatures in The Descent. Now, I’m not normally the type of person to really call out somebody’s appearance, but oh man has Faye Dunaway fallen, looking like whatever reanimated zombie the world has been trying to pass off as Peter O’Toole for the last decade. Going back into surgery, Cristina mouths off at Faye and gets tossed, but Cristina is able to present the case to the Chief that Faye is just too old-fashioned, unwilling and unable to use the newest medical technology, to continue working at Seattle Grace, and she’s right. A weird guest appearance that at least gave Cristina less whininess and more chutzpah.

Izzie finds out that the newly fired Sadie may have accidentally mixed up Izzie’s medical reports, giving her the anemia diagnosis and a poor woman a death note of cancer. And so the Izzie mystery continues. Until some real news comes through about Katherine Heigl and whether or not she’s actually leaving the show, I’m going to ignore all that hubbub and just say that while this is-Izzie-sick storyline has been going on for a very long time, I don’t consider it boring by any means. What happens when a talented doctor becomes ill herself, and how does it affect her work? This are good questions to ask, and spending a season dealing with the answers is definitely compelling.

Dr. Bailey continues her interest in pediatrics, and so she spends the entire episode obsessing about letters of recommendation, becoming quite pissed that, when pressed for time, the Chief merely gives Dr. Bailey a form letter, describing her as a “fine doctor.”

“I am Dr. Bailey. I am better than ‘fine.'” — Bailey

When she finally goes head-to-head with the Chief, who is already embroiled with both the Faye Dunaway situation and the scalpel Mexican standoff (more on that later), he admonishes her for not going along with his plans for Dr. Bailey to replace him as Chief somewhere down the line, and asking for his help for her to get a job in a field he does not want for her. Every single bit of Bailey’s story is wonderful and wonderfully acted, and it’s still the biggest crime ever that Katherine Heigl has an Emmy over the outstanding Chandra Wilson.

Seriously, yall, wheres my damn Emmy?

Seriously, ya'll, where's my damn Emmy?

Derek and Sloan get into a fistfight about Lexie-banging.

Okay, so the big three-episode story finishes here, as Jennifer Westfeldt went into seizures last we saw her, mixed with mirror syndrome and her unborn baby’s health and all the stuff that was going wrong in her brain. (I’m just going to say this now. I think losing one’s ability to make sense as far as language is concerned may be the most terrifying thing I can think of to happen to a brain. It may not be the worst, but goddamn is it scary for somebody like me who relies on words.) (The Wife seconds this opinion.) As she is to go into surgery once again, her husband Ben Shenkman gives them very specific instructions to save his wife over his baby.

“We can make another baby. We can’t make another her.”

During the surgery, Westfeldt keeps having small strokes, so Derek has to make the harrowing decision to take out her temporal lobe to keep her alive. When this doesn’t work, he decides that he wants to take out the frontal lobe, too, but Addison (yes, she’s still up in Seattle) says that would be creating a monster and not a human, and that she needs to do an emergency C-section and take out the premature baby right now. Doing this surgery, however, would take away the blood in the body needed to power the brain, which would kill Westfeldt. As Addy and Derek both stand over the body holding scalpels and telling each other to stand down, Karev has to bring the Chief in, who of course goes with Addy’s plan. Westfeldt dead, Shenkman takes his grief out on Derek, calling him a murderer for all he had done, and for the entire staff choosing the baby over his wife. At least the baby is alive, douche.

[catching breath] This show has been getting wilder and more complicated by the week (I didn’t even mention much about Lexie, or Callie’s continued lesbo-confusion), but I will agree that this was one of the best episodes in a long time. Previously I’ve complained that the show hasn’t been honest with us about their three-episode arcs, but that does not mean I don’t like them. I’d just prefer to know when they are happening, so I can prepare by brain for them. It’s frustrating when you think you’re at the end of the story, only to have something drastic happen and the episode ending with a “to be continued…” so I can understand people’s problems with these arcs, but I’ll be damned if they weren’t quite good.

Lesson: Never trust Melissa George.

After all that madness, nothing on Private Practice could even come close to something as gripping down at Oceanside Wellness, so let’s just get through them quickly.

  • Sam accidentally calls his new girlfriend Naomi.
  • Archer, now recovered from his brain parasites, goes back to being a complete man-whore and cheats on Naomi, who is technically his girlfriend. Addison finds out and tells Naomi, and it’s sadness abound.
  • Violet and Sheldon decide to co-run a group therapy session of married couples, and in dealing with all the lunacy of the various couples (with varied success), they grow closer while also learning of some of their major differences, information that will be useful when she gives birth to her own child. No word on whose baby it is yet. Or I missed something. I didn’t, did I?
  • Charlotte is still angry about boyfriend Cooper moving in with Violet to help her take her of her unborn child, and Cooper is still right to support his friend. No progress is made.
  • Anyanka from Buffy and Sgt. Scream from Over There give birth to a baby who is genetically both male and female, and although they are informed that in these cases, only 30% of the children affected by this end up identifying as male, Sgt. Scream’s machismo gets in the way, and he is certain that the baby must become his beloved Matthew that he has been dreaming about for so long. Addy and Naomi argue over this, but Addy makes the final decision, in the OR, to not make the baby male, for it would just be wrong to make the decision so early. Sgt. Scream leaves Oceanside Wellness in a huff, not wanting to deal with a “freak baby,” but Naomi, now pissed and on the warpath after hearing that Archer is cheating on her, goes to his workplace (he’s a cook) and chews him out for being so myopic. Sgt. Scream comes back and loves on the baby as much as he can, for he knows that had he not, he would suffer at the hands of the vengeance demon Anyanka. Had they gone with assigning the child to being a male, just fast-forward 13 years and you have this week’s episode of House.
  • Continuing my plea for ABC to be honest with us viewers, I can’t help but point out that this Private Practice episode was not a crossover, but just a regular episode. So we had more like a 2.5-week crossover, and I can’t help but think that people who were watching PP over the last couple weeks may have been very let down by this episode.

Lesson: All babies need love, even if your stupid male pride is telling you otherwise.

The Husband:

Almost the entirety of last week’s Grey’s Anatomy-Private Practice crossover took place at Seattle Grace, so let’s get the miniscule amount of what went down at Oceanside Wellness out of the way:

  • Charlotte is still mad at Cooper for moving in with the pregnant Violet, because the one thing she doesn’t totally have from Cooper is an emotional investment, which Violet is getting in spades.
  • Violet is not being very honest with Pete about her feelings, and that makes Pete sad.
  • The care center is thrown for a loop when a new mother comes in with her nearly drowned baby, and everyone quickly realizes that something may be very off about her. They chalk it up to lack of sleep, but soon discover that the woman is suffering from postpartum psychosis, and that she herself had attempted to half-assedly drown her baby just to make the crying stop for a bit. She stopped herself from going through with it, though, and with some help from Oceanside as well as a supportive husband, gives the whole baby-raising thing another shot.

But now let’s reeeeeeeeewind and get into Seattle Grace. What kind of shenanigans are going down in the good state of Washington?

  • Dr. Owen Hunt comes face-to-face with his past when terminal cancer patient (Sam Anderson of Angel and Lost, perhaps suffering from a combination of death-by-vampire-massacre and the time-travel sickness) turns out to be the father of his former fiancée, who is also at the hospital. Much to Cristina’s dismay, she learns that they Owen and this other woman were way into each other, until one day he shot the woman a two-line e-mail (which I don’t believe was ever spoken to us) breaking up with her and disappearing for good. But he hasn’t been honest with her since then either, because she has still been worried sick about his time in Iraq, not realizing he’s back in the states and working, nursing some PTSD, and has found another woman. C’est triste.
  • Izzie doesn’t want to think about whatever it is that’s going on in her brain to make her see ghosts that are telling her she’s gonna die, and she’s not happy about the interns being all dumb and impulsive, so she sets up a day-long race with them involving fake bodies, how to set up surgeries, diagnoses, etc., with the winner (Lexie, no surprise there) getting to scrub in on some very cool surgeries. Unfortunately, this test exposes Sadie for what she is – street-smart but not very book-smart, stubborn, and a danger to her patients. After a terrifying fight with her old friend Meredith, Sadie realizes that she is simply not right for Seattle Grace, and leaves to that fabled parking lot, never to return. (I assume, that is.)

    This whole brain worms thing worked out a lot better on Futurama.

    This whole brain worms thing worked out a lot better on Futurama.

  • A good chunk of Oceanside Wellness is now at Seattle Grace tending to Archer Montgomery’s brain parasites (more on that later), so we get some sweet Addison, Naomi and Sam disrupting the natural order of SG with their own relationship problems. Addison is amused to find that Sloan was also sucked into dating another Grey (just as Derek left Addison for Meredith) and isn’t the lame lothario he once was, and that Archer’s reign of emotional destruction knows no boundaries. Sam does have a terrible asthma attack at SG, but it turns out to merely be a misunderstanding with Dr. Bailey with his newly refilled inhaler, with Bailey not knowing that he was allergic to corn-based inhalers. His joyful reaction to this news (and that his illness was not related to a continued emotional connection to Naomi) was the best thing about the episode.
  • Derek tends to a pregnant Jennifer Westfeldt and her accidentally run-over-with-a-car husband Ben Shenkman, who has had to wait for the operation on her brain (aneurysms = bad) because Derek has had to tend to the parasites in Archer’s brain. Finally, though, she gets her surgery (although the questions involving whether or not to put a pregnant woman under anesthesia for surgery seems to have been glossed over if I’m not mistaken) but when she tries to speak post-surgery, the words aren’t coming out quite right (or aren’t the right words at all) and goes into a seizure. To be continued.

    But I cant die! I have Jon Hamm to live for!

    But I can't die! I have Jon Hamm to live for!

Okay, now, Archer gets by okay as Derek, despite hating his ex-brother-in-law with a fervent passion (which is to say, a passionate passion) and despising his snarky neurologist ways, get all dem bugs out of his brain. While Derek finally tends to Jon Hamm’s John Hamm, Archer takes a look at his CT scan and tells all the Oceanside Wellness people that there are still some problems left, and that he could die at any minute. He then tells Sloan of having slept with several of his girlfriends in the past and also having wrecked his car, just so he could get all of these items off his chest before he dies, until Derek comes in, looks at the files, and says that Archer is perfectly fine and is simply being an ass.

[Tries to catch breath] So yeah, that’s part 2 of the cross-over. A whole lot of crazy is going down, and we have yet another week of cross-over next week. While I dig the stories, I wish they had told us up front that the GA-PP event would be over three weeks (at least, I assume it’ll stop at week 3) so my mind could have been better prepared. Besides, much of the emotional issues involved with the marriage of both shows have been dealt with, so I’m not sure how much they have left for next week. But hey, I’m not a television writer (well, not yet), and I’m sure there’s something kick-ass in store for next week. At least the three-episode-arc patient story is being done by some sweet character actors much beloved by me, so that’s not too shabby.

The Husband:

Far more likely by coincidence than by design, Thursday night’s two-hour block of Shonda Rhimes messing with your emotions dealt with the same issues for its entire running time — to what distance should a doctor follow their Hippocratic oath, do they have the ability or even the right to choose who to help in times of crisis, and the amount of creepiness Joel Grey emanates? Okay, that last one was only during Private Practice, but seriously, he has become progressively creepier each year ever since winning both a Tony and an Oscar for his role as the Emcee in Cabaret. (See his appearances on Buffy and this week’s PP for further evidence.)

On Grey’s Anatomy the show decided to finish off its three-episode Eric Stoltz-versus-that-kid-with-major-liver-and-bowel-problems, picking up right where the last episode left off — that is, with Stoltz using Meredith’s advice to make himself completely brain-dead by smashing his noggin on the headboard. Meredith and Miranda reluctantly decide to not page Derek immediately, but Cristina comes in and makes the call for them. Derek, upon being paged, is extremely upset with Meredith for waiting so long and thus ignoring her duties as a doctor, even if a dead Stoltz means sweet new organs for Jackson the sick dying boy. As Derek operates on Stoltz’s brain, Miranda comes in and tells Derek that against her better judgment, it’s her duty to tell him to stop operating on the death row serial killer, only to finally relent when Derek poses to her the ultimate question — is he a surgeon or an executioner.

Stoltz now saved, he tries to save face by telling Meredith that this was all a set-up to ruin her career, which she wisely does not believe. Despite this, though, she accepts his invitation to be present at his execution, and upon seeing his useless body be destroyed — chock full of useful organs she could have harvested for better purposes — she goes home and completely collapses emotionally in front of Derek. Their fight and ethical conflict unresolved, Derek learns to accept Meredith for what she is, especially since Mama Tyne Daly gave over a ring for him to give to Meredith when the time was right. In addition, Derek finds a way to unite Meredith and Cristina again after several long and obnoxious weeks of them giving each other the silent treatment, allowing Cristina to be a proper best friend and console Meredith’s woes far better than Derek, presumably because he’s a man, could ever hope.

But what of Jackson? Well, there’s another brain-dead man in the hospital, having just been the victim of a horrible car accident, whose wife simply can’t pull the plug, but just as Jackson is about to die, the brain-dead man’s organs finally come in, thus saving the day once and for all. I look forward to a Dr. Miranda Bailey who’s once again very sure of herself and her skills as a doctor, because having her act like Meredith was really starting to wear on me. There’s only room for one Meredith on this show, Chandra Wilson, and her name’s the title of the show.

In smaller, less relevant and more trivial stories, Lexie, upon getting some good lovin’ in the on-call room, accidentally breaks Sloan’s penis (penis fracture OH NOES!) and has a very tough time trying to keep the secret from her fellow interns that she’s Sloan’s new lover. After throwing hissy fits at all of them for butting into other people’s business, Sadie takes the fall for her and claims that she is the Penis Fracturer (a.k.a. either a really sweet new Vertigo comics supervillain or a really bad Quentin Tarantino character.) At the same time, Cristina and Owen come to an understanding about their relationship, that they both have a fuckload of their own issues to deal with, and that dealing with them together might not be such a bad idea.

Ah…but over in Izzieland, Izzie and Denny’s story culminates in what is probably the most frustrating conversation on television in a good long while, all boiling down to the true reason why Denny has been haunting her — he’s not “here for her,” but he’s “here for her.” What is obnoxious and cryptic becomes not-so-apparent to a regular viewer (and somebody who’s not the show’s writers acting like they’re all clever), but the gist, from what I can gather, is that Denny has been around in order to escort Izzie into heaven, which makes her realize that she’s sick.

Seriously, no one likes you. Thats why Ive got to get you off this fucking show so you can continue to make shitty romantic comedies.

Seriously, no one likes you. That's why I've got to get you off this fucking show so you can continue to make shitty romantic comedies.

Oh, you’re sick? Really? We could have told you that very thing six episodes ago. Is that the only reason Denny was around? Because I wasn’t hating their stories so much as simply confused by it, but now it just seems so completely patronizing and kind of a waste of everybody’s time. Now he promised that he’s going away, though, so we can now finally deal with what the hell is actually ailing Izzie.

Lesson: If Jeffrey Dean Morgan starts following you around, punch that bitch in the face, because he’s actually the Grim Reaper and specializes in frustrating you to death until you’re enough of a corpse to be brought into the afterworld.

On Private Practice, Addison FINALLLLLLLLLY breaks up with S.W.A.T. Guy after becoming guilty about her kiss with Dr. Wyatt Lockhart — S.W.A.T. Guy’s mental torture upon her really didn’t help, either. This finally frees her up to be more of an adult character, something this show struggled to achieve in its first season, even if she is pining over yet another immature douchebag (Wyatt). It’s funny that the most stable man she’s ever been with is ex-husband Derek Shepherd, and she fucked that relationship up by having an affair with Sloan. Actually, that’s not funny. That’s actually very depressing, because even as Grey’s and PP fluctuate and quality, I will always be terribly attached to Dr. Addison Montgomery. Me and my redheads.

No matter how big PP could try to be this week, it couldn’t really match up to the amount of drama over on Grey’s, so what’s the use in even getting in-depth with any of the  stories? A surrogate mother comes in to give birth to her child — there are so many damn surrogate mother stories on this show that I’m not entirely sure if this is a character we’ve already seen or just yet another pregnant woman — only to find that the baby itself was very ill with something to the effect of a diaphragmatic hernia. The new parents, afraid for the child’s health, decide to not, in fact, accept the baby, leaving the worried birth mother in a very tough position. She accepts taking care of the baby, but then the parents think twice about their decision and now want it back, only to not be allowed to. Blah blah blah…the surrogate mother finally decides to give them the baby, which is good because, as my wife pointed out, you might want the baby to grow up with somebody who actually has health insurance.

As for Joel Grey, he’s an old queen who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, so he invites Pete over to basically help him die. It’s against Pete’s oath to allow him to kill himself, though, but he’s not sure of his position, because that tharrrr Emcee is in a whole lot of pain. He calls Sam over, who berates him for even considering helping Joel Grey die, but then they both decide to just kind of keep quiet about it. Pete returns to the hospital, steals some morphine, and gives it to Joel Grey, who uses it to finally die. Case closed.

But what’s going on with the personal lives of Oceanside Wellness? Well, Violet finds out that she is pregnant — she’s had a tough time with the concept, considering she’s been raped once and had three abortions — so it’s especially tough when she’s unsure of who the father is, Pete or Sheldon. Rough times. As for Cooper and Charlotte, she proposes to him and decides to elope in Vegas, but after reluctantly saying yes, Cooper decides that Charlotte deserves her wedding to be the best day of her life, even if she can no longer have her father walk her down the aisle. They’re a surprisingly sweet couple, and it doesn’t hurt that she is absolutely “slammin'” — to use a description my sophomore year roommate used quite a bit — when unclothed, which on this show is quite often.

And who should show up at the end of the episode nailing Naomi in the middle of an office but Addison’s brother Grant Show, fresh off the cancellation of the dearly departed Swingtown. I know he’s a major focus in the upcoming Grey’sPP crossover, so be prepared for some major awesomeness.

Lesson: If Joel Grey offers you a bowl of what looks like something covered in sugar, don’t take it. It’s actually a ground up concoction of suicide pills.

Are you sure you dont want any? Its really good pudding!

Are you sure you don't want any? It's really good pudding!

The Husband:

There’s a pattern, much like the one on Fringe, here on Private Practice that has a strong influence on all the show’s characters, one that seems designed to wreak havoc on the good doctors on Oceanside Wellness. No, it’s not scientific anomalies fabricated in order to cover up vast conglomerate conspiracies such as time travel and the literal breakdown of physical space. No. It’s that the clients of Oceanside Wellness are fucking idiots.

I think this is a major factor of what makes Grey’s Anatomy work so well and Private Practice kind of hit the middle of the road. On Grey’s, all the stupid shit the patients have done were before they were received at Seattle Grace, where the doctors will do everything they can to treat your presumably fatal illness/dismemberment before it’s too late. On PP, it’s a clinic with expertise in fertility, psychology and new age medicine, created to suggest medical procedures to their predicament, pressing or not, before the worst is yet to happen. (Another major difference is that GA usually takes place over one or two days, while PP, with few exceptions, spreads out its episode timelines through several days.)

So what am I talking about? Well, in the last three episodes, the patients/clients of Oceanside Wellness have made some very stupid decisions, and it’s those decisions that have been driving the medical drama on the show. Me? I find it highly problematic, because I would rather see the doctors have to deal with inevitable consequences despite a great deal of intelligence and know-how instead of stupid-ass blunders.

How is it that every patient we see is a complete and total moron?

How is it that every patient we see is a complete and total moron?

Two weeks ago, a highly religious couple came in because, after experimenting with some fertility drugs (good!), they have been experiencing issues during their pregnancy. Specifically, they have triplets, two of which (the identical twins) suffer from TTTS Syndrome, wherein they share the same placenta and blood vessels and will die unless surgery is performed (bad!). Unfortunately, the religious couple believe that this affliction is God’s way of punishing them for using fertility drugs, so after telling Addison they need help, they refuse any surgery and hope that it will all be sorted out by the Almighty. When it nearly becomes too late, Addison has no choice but to do surgery (after the non-afflicted baby has died) to snip the vessel connection between the twins. I forget if one of the twins died in the process, but I know at least one lived. But hey, maybe that baby wouldn’t have died if you just listened to your doctor who you went to in the first place.

In last week’s episode, we met a man whose pregnant wife was in an irreversible coma due to kidney failure and Wegener’s Granulomatosis. The baby is nearing birth, so Addison suggests (rightfully so) that  they perform a C-section so the baby will be born without complications (good!), because if they do it the natural way the baby could easy suffocate on the way out (because the mother is in a coma!). However, because the man had heard of one (read it: one) case of a comatose woman waking up while giving birth, he refuses the C-section and demands that his wife gives birth naturally (bad!). This leads to major complications in both mother and baby, and so the surgery happens too late (also after finding out that the man wasn’t married yet to the woman, so he had no say over her parents’ decision). The baby is born, but due to medical issues the comatose woman dies! Yeah, that’s a major fail.

This week we have two blunders. The first, a famed but retired bicyclist goes to the fourth floor practice (where Charlotte has set up a competing clinic), but is stolen away by Sam and Pete. The bicyclist has a SoCal race that weekend and would like to stage a comeback to make big bucks to support him and his wife (Ione Skye still as beautiful as ever). Sam and Pete work on helping his knee recover in time, but then it comes to their attention that he retired not because of a bum knee but because he was suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the muscle of the heart contracts under extreme pressure (see: hardcore bicycling). The doctors don’t want the bicyclist to compete, but he says that it’s his choice once they fix his knee. So they fix his knee, he wins the race and dies at the finish line. Great job, asshole.

Addison’s case this week involved a woman who was dying of stage 2 ovarian cancer, but she wouldn’t let Addison remove her ovaries and uterus (or, you know, the things that were killing her) because she was dead set on having a baby the natural way, even if she was going to be a single mother. The issue was that a hotshot doctor on the fourth floor had an experimental trial that could potentially remove the tumor without surgery, but by the end of that very day parts of her reproductive track had collapsed on her colon, so surgery was needed anyway. Fail.

So there you have it. Oceanside Wellness gets its business from morons.

Hello, Audra. It is I, Grant Show. Ive come to ask you to join me and Lana Perilla at a key party. Jack Davenport and Molly Parker will be there. Maybe even Miriam Shor. Wont you join us?

Hello, Audra. It is I, Grant Show. I've come to ask you to join me and Lana Perilla at a key party. Jack Davenport and Molly Parker will be there. Maybe even Miriam Shor. Won't you join us?

So what’s been going on other than idiotic clients? Pete’s former and now regained lover (Jayne Brook) started working at a free clinic, but had some of her clients come to Oceanside (because it’s awesome), where she started allowing abortions. Naomi, being the owner of the fertility clinic, refused the procedure to be done under her roof (which I think is actually an offense worthy of a steep fine in California), but then relented. Violet started dating fourth floor psychiatrist (Brian Benben from HBO’s gloriously filthy comedy Dream On, an actor who once told Letterman in the early 90s that Brian Benben was just his stage name, and his real name was Brian Benbenbenbenben…), but then he couldn’t get it up so they broke up. Violet then made out with Pete, leading to presumed bitchin’ sex. Addison’s brother (Grant Show from Swingtown, which you should buy on DVD right now) came into town and banged Naomi, and then Sam punched him in the face. Cooper and Charlotte broke up because she lied to him about starting up the fourth floor competing practice, and then had a false pregnancy scare. Addison is still taking care of her injured S.W.A.T. boyfriend. Dell loves his young daughter.

That’s about it.

And Cooper uttered one of the most unique sentences I’ve heard in a good long while:

“Oooooh…unlimited spanikopita!”