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Well call me a Goldman Sachs whore, because I’m proud to announce that we’re initiating coverage of Grey’s Anatomy at a Strong Buy rating. All TVgasm pro-Dartmouth bias aside, this show is one of the best dramedies to hit television in a while and a major reason for ABC’s Sunday night resurgence. We’ll begin actual coverage after this week’s episode, but for now here’s a brief recap of the characters and the season thus far.Created by Dartmouth alum Shonda Rhimes ’91, Grey’s Anatomy is now in its second season. It follows the lives of five first-year surgical interns at fictional Seattle Grace Hospital, which is the biggest snakepit of sex, lies, and syphilis this side of Laura Bush’s holiday party. Seriously, these people never got the memo about not dipping the pen in the company ink.
Though intern Meredith Grey is the narrator and ostensible protagonist, it’s definitely an ensemble show, and the writers have done a great job making you care about virtually every character and storyline. The plots can be pretty soapy, but the writing is good enough to cover over any implausible coincidences, and there have been a few genuinely moving moments. Match that with a cast that’s talented down to the small roles and you have a pretty good show.
|Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) – The title character, whose one-night stands have a nasty habit of turning up at the hospital as her superiors and/or patients. In particular, Meredith is still recovering from a one-night stand turned disastrous relationship with her boss, the still-married Dr. Shepherd. Meredith can be pretty self-pitying but is occasionally justified in her misery. She also bears the burden of her Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother, who COINCIDENTALLY used to be a doctor at Seattle Grace Hospital herself. Last week, Meredith broke her one-night stand’s penis.|
|Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) – Meredith’s aggressive, self-deprecating best friend who, like Meredith, is wisely screwing her boss. Cristina has been hesitant to admit her relationship with Dr. Burke in public, but she was forced to come to terms with it after she miscarried his baby. In any case, they provide the show with some hot black-Asian action. Cristina lives in a pigsty of an apartment and, in keeping with her Sideways character, loves to get shitfaced.|
|Dr. George O’Malley (T. R. Knight) – The cute goofy intern who has a huge crush on Meredith, unbeknownst to her. I’d bet that they ultimately end up together, but it could be a while. Though George started off as one of the least confident interns, he is now one of the most promising: earlier in the season he managed to perform open-heart surgery while stuck in an elevator. COINCIDENTALLY, George, Meredith, and Izzie are all roommates—you know, since the thing this hospital needed most was an additional layer of incestuousness.|
|Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) – The resident hottie-but-sweetie intern, who looks like Charlize Theron minus a few years. She’s beautiful but insecure and slightly embarrassed about the fact that she did just a weeeee bit of semi-nudie modeling to pay her way through college. She’s been dragged through the mud both sexually and emotionally by fellow intern Alex, and I imagine that a smackdown of some sort is pending.|
|Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) – The cocky asshole of the bunch, who deep down is pretty unsure of himself. He led Izzie on for a long time, repeatedly destroying her self-esteem, and now that they’ve finally gotten together, he can’t get it up. He did, however, give one of the other nurses syphilis. Charming! Alex seems to have a good heart beneath all his posturing, though, and he’s swallowed his dose of humility after getting word that he had failed his medical boards and would have to retake them.|
|Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) – The staff neurosurgeon who can’t decide between Meredith, with whom he had several brief-but-meaningful makeout sessions, and his wife Addison, who COINCIDENTALLY just started working at Seattle Grace Hospital as well. Dr. Shepherd seems like a thoughtful chap but usually just comes across as selfish and immature because he can’t commit to either of the two women.|
|Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) – A cerebral, job-obsessed cardiac surgeon who has been dating Cristina on the downlow. Ever since their relationship has been made public, it’s become increasingly unclear whether they actually have anything in common. They just have sex and go to work, and on the few instances they’ve actually been on dates they’ve found themselves mired in awkward silence. Dr. Burke is a perfectionist and is often tough on the interns.|
|Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) – The requisite dubious black woman, who is one of the funniest characters on the show. The businesslike Dr. Bailey, who oversees all the interns, has little patience for unprofessional behavior and divulges virtually nothing about her personal life. Though people call her “the Nazi,” her compassionate side peeks through occasionally, and her newly announced pregnancy will probably soften her character further.|
|Dr. Addison Shepherd (Kate Walsh) – Dr. Shepherd’s nearly-ex-wife, a highly paid, hotshot obstetric surgeon who COINCIDENTALLY just relocated to Seattle from the east coast in the hopes of rekindling their marriage. Her arrival at the hospital caused Meredith huge angst. The writers started Addison’s character off as a raving, adulterous bitch, but she’s become more sympathetic as the dithering Dr. Shepherd has raked her over the coals as much as he has Meredith. Addison has also taken a role as Izzie’s mentor because she thinks Izzie has promise in obstetric surgery.|
|Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) – SGH’s chief of surgery, probably the most minor of the ten regular characters. Above all, he seems concerned about maintaining the quality of the department and finding a good candidate to succeed him as chief.|
Grey’s Anatomy Porn Map
|And finally, when 70% of a show’s characters are getting freaky, sometimes a visual just works better. If only it were animated:|
|That’s all for now. Enjoy tonight’s episode—we’ll post on it later this week. Until then, happy hernias.|