TV Review: Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 Premiere




It would be pretty hard to find a show more frustrating than Grey’s Anatomy. More than decade on the air, I question my sanity every time I watch an episode. I’ve had ups and downs throughout. Season One, I didn’t watch. Season Two & Three, LOVED it. Since then, I’ve felt pretty bad every time I watch an episode but just kept doing it week after week. It was a real veg-out show that I knew had lost that luster but I just couldn’t lose all interest…I’d committed too long. As for the season 13 premiere last night (yes, they are at 13!), I watched it. Hated it but I’ll probably watch the next episode.

Why? Well, my biggest problem with the show was their treatment of the character of Alex (played consistently well by Justin Chambers). They’d give him a storyline, drop it. Give him another storyline, drop it. It came to a point where at the end of a season I couldn’t remember a single storyline they’d given him. He’d become a shadowy character once they added more and more characters. I feel they’ve made a bigger effort to develop the character of Avery (Jesse Williams) over time since he joined the show in season 6, rather than the character of Alex, is just a bummer. The fact that this season seems interested in giving Alex a profound storyline makes me happy.

What doesn’t make me happy is the way they’re going about it. It’s not just that I’m upset that a character I liked did something wrong…really wrong (he severely beat up a fellow doctor). It’s because that storyline doesn’t feel right. If the premise of this new story is “you never know” or a further look at his backstory (and massive rage issues), good, I’m looking forward to it. If this is just another traumatic way to get buzz…shame on them. They’re going to have to do a hell of a lot to get me on board for this storyline.  If they have logical plans right now, hopefully they’ll work out.

What else is happening on the show that doesn’t pertain to Alex beating up DeLuca (a character that really hasn’t made a serious impression)? Well, Deluca was with Jo at the time of the beating but we just learned Jo is a hidden identity because she was once married to an abusive guy. This seems a little much for her character, and at this point I’m done with Jo (Camilla Luddington) on the show. That character was never well developed enough and too often seemed like a female Alex. Stephanie’s (Jerrika Hinton) way more interesting and she was only in this episode to be Jo’s person after her boyfriend died last season in Amelia’s OR (these doctors are constantly operating on each other and their family). Amelia and Owen are married so they were pretty much out of the episode.The other two married couples are at different places. Webber and Avery (James Pickens Jr. and Debbie Allen) seem pretty good. Avery was mostly concerned with her new granddaughter born after Ben (Jason George) did a C-section (still not as gruesome as the C-section baby napping on Private Practice, a show I have no guilt about loving). After that, Ben’s in a good standing with his wife and boss Bailey (Chandra Wilson). It’s nice to see some functioning relationships on this show for once. The sisters Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) are having problems after Meredith tried to protect Alex from repercussions (Maggie dated DeLuca) but they are in a better place the end. I will be interested in seeing how Alex and Maggie play out, considering they had a really nice, easy friendship before all this.

As for the show now, I’m basically just watching a weekly soap opera at this point, usually eating an bowl of Cheerios and questioning spending an hour on this series. The humor and banter from earlier seasons left long ago (although the absence of Christina was particularly hard). What used to be a medical dramedy is now just a run of the mill medical drama. I don’t like about half these characters. We still get some good scenes. Alex and Meredith scenes are consistently good. However, Debbie Allen and Chandra Rhimes need more scenes together. Something’s definitely missing on a show that used to be a refreshing take on a stale genre…now it is just another medical drama. The show that used to have a spark now has a dim, blinking light. Give this show back some of its energy and charm…stat.

Rating: 4.5/10

Lesley Coffin is editor and founder of Movies, Film, Cinema. A writer with a masters degree from NYU’s Gallatin School in biographical studies and star theory. She wrote the biography on Lew Ayres (Lew Ayres: Hollywood’s Conscientious Objector) and Hitchcock’s Casting (Hitchcock’s Stars). Lesley currently freelances for a number of sites, including regular contributions to The Interrobang, Pink Pen, The Young Folks, and previously wrote for The Mary Sue and Filmoria.