Grey's Anatomy: Season 7 - With You I'm Born Again (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
What’s the story? In the wake of the shooting at Seattle Grace-Mercy West, the doctors find themselves in a frenzy: a couple gets married, someone is sent to jail, and others are trying deal with the recent blood bath.
Our verdict: The seventh season of Grey’s Anatomy got off to a pretty woeful start in our opinion.
Having gripped throughout its back-to-form sixth season, which culminated in a shocking bloodbath finale, Season 7 marked a return to the bad old ways in which melodrama prevailed and characters behaved despicably towards one another.
There were a number of culprits. Dr Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) was hiding her post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and her miscarriage by acting outraged that her colleagues were being cleared to operate again. But it was clear she was hiding something.
Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) was also coming to terms with her own PTSD by no longer maintaining the same interest in operating and by getting married to Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). She was more content to read a magazine during the episode’s pivotal (and graphic) medical sequence, and responded with a “thank you” rather than “I do” to Owen’s proposal. Again, she is clearly hiding something.
Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) was trying to hide her grief by firstly running off to stay with her mum, and then rejecting the concern and care of fleeting season six love interest Ben – preparing to blub about being held together with glue than reach out for someone to care.
Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) just kept hyper-ventilating and spouting facts and figures containing massacres before completely losing control with a patient she should never have been allowed to care for in the first place.
And her former love interest Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) swanned about the place pretending he was cool with having a bullet in him, because it’ll go down a hit with the ladies.
Oh, and Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) was coming to terms with his near-death experience and feelings of guilt by getting arrested each day on his way to work (through speeding), quitting his job as chief and taking on risky operations without preparing his patient for the full consequences of what they were about to undertake.
Looking over them all was recurring new guest star James Tupper as an impossibly good looking shrink who has, as yet, done little to justify the supposedly formidable reputation surrounding him.
Put all these components in place and what you had was an episode that was trying to be subtle while falling prey to the obvious at every turn. The acting was mostly terrible, with everyone clearly traumatised even when they were pretending not to be.
But then they’re not helped by a script that accentuates the obvious and repeats the important bits several times in case we weren’t paying attention. Wilson’s love interest, Ben, for instance had to repeat the fact he was playing golf while the shootings took place on several occasions just to underline the fact he may have been sorry or feeling guilty himself for being absent.
Owen told Christina that he wasn’t going anywhere at least twice before he proposed and Karev kept telling people that a bullet in his body was a sure thing with the chicks. To put it bluntly, we kind of got all these things the first time.
And, yes, we’re not so insensitive to gun culture that we can’t imagine that everyone might be carrying some sort of trauma or survivor’s guilt from their experiences without having it rammed so obviously in our faces.
But then Grey’s Anatomy seldom shys away from heightened melodrama, or layering on the tragedies and trauma when a little more subtlety would go a long way.
To this day, it remains a pale imitation of better, more mature shows such as ER, or the very best that American TV has to offer (from Mad Men through The Walking Dead to Breaking Bad and Nurse Jackie).
Season 7 of Grey’s Anatomy is on the Living channel on Wednesday nights from 10pm.