AS SCENE ON SCREEN: Drama offers best and worst

Christine Klee

As an avid drama series fan, watching a show like “Grey’s Anatomy” is somewhat of an embarrassment. More soap opera than drama, “Grey’s” has had its pathetic moments, moments that made me laugh at the absurdity of the writing. Yet “Grey’s” also has its outstanding moments, moments that kept me at the edge of my seat.

In TV circles, “jumping the shark” is the moment in which a show has undoubtedly reached its peak and will never be as good as it once was. Some shows end soon after their shark-moment, while others never experience one, and a few rare shows manage to reverse their shark-moments with excellent storylines.

“Grey’s Anatomy” is one of these shows – shows with extremely good storylines and extremely terrible plot twists. Some awful storylines include George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) and Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heighl) having sex and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) getting stabbed by an icicle. Besides it being completely unrealistic, an icicle would have just melted in her stomach, therefore making it incredibly easy to remove. However, Owen Hunt had to use visible force to yank it out of her stomach, just adding to the inaccuracy.

Another “jumping the shark” plot was Izzie sleeping with the ghost of Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Many viewers have undoubtedly fantasized about getting intimate with Morgan, yet Izzie took the fantasy to a whole new level. It wasn’t just a fantasy anymore, it was actual sex with a ghost. And yes, it was just as bad as it sounds.

To redeem itself from “jumping the shark,” at least one episode of a show must be phenomenal. All aspects – the writing, directing and acting – must be just right to pull viewers back in.

Shonda Rhimes and her team managed to create such an episode a number of times, which is astounding given the fact “Grey’s Anatomy” also jumped the shark multiple times.

Two of these episodes more recently were the season six finale double-episodes, “Sanctuary” and “Death and All His Friends.” After Dr. Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) declared a patient brain-dead and took her off life support, her husband snapped. He returned to Seattle Grace Hospital to retaliate for his wife’s death by killing all the doctors involved. The episodes were gripping and loaded with realistic emotions, and they touched on a real fear Americans face in any public place.

“Song Beneath the Song,” the musical episode which aired March 31, was a huge risk for the hit show. Fortunately, “Grey’s Anatomy” rose to the challenge and manged to incorporate the doctors singing in a meaningful and beautiful way.