Grey's Anatomy's got a case of Cliché

Grey’s Anatomy’s epic three-episode sweeps arc is gathering buzz abound from critics and fans alike, but was the second installment of the three-parter deserving of all the fanfare? ABC’s dramatic previews would have you think so, but the show, though heavy on sweeps-reminiscent melodrama was ripe with some basic TV clichés. One – putting the main character in damsel-in-distress peril, only to have her pulled out by her doctor-turned-super-swimmer boyfriend, even though we totally knew she’d live because of course, she is the main character.

That being said, Meredith is only partially living, still working to be revived last we saw her. The cliché then wasn’t entirely complete, but it still warrants a few quibbles. First off – why is it Meredith that’s always finding herself in some life-threatening ER situation? Last year’s body-with-a-bomb plotline had her on the outer edge of an explosion, once again giving us the few-second impression that she had been canned. The looming threat of her death is one that would undeniably bring every character together, making it a plot jewel for the writers. With the Grey’s cast, though, there’s no real shortage of effective characters, or top-notch actors who’re giving them life. Almost any of the supporting cast, put in the same situation would draw a similar reaction. So, why not go there? Why not utilize the full talent of the dramatic cast, and put someone else on the chopping block?

It’s a minor quibble, but a quibble nonetheless. Grey’s can be applauded for its ability to dramatically wow-ify all anyone wants, but it’s risk-taking abilities are on the wane this year. It’s taken half the season to get them to get a eye-opening storyline going, and even then, it’s lacking the explosive qualities of the years before. What Grey’s can be applauded for, as always, is its ability to make television art. Whether it’s the thematic metaphor of a burden-bearing Meredith drowning in her bathtub and then fittingly the ocean, or the added touch of her episode-starting monologue being choked prematurely as she bobs under the tide, it always makes you stop and watch. As Meredith, in all her clichéd turmoil finally dips under water we hear her character cough out weakly: “I have more to say, I have more to say.”

No matter how overdone, it seems audiences keep listening.

A C-Rate for Grey’s this week – mildly Clichéd, but still Cool.

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