If there’s one thing Grey’s Anatomy is good at, it’s keeping the audience guessing. That was proved once again after last night’s musical episode.
If you’ve watched the show before, you’re more than likely familiar with its typical season: strong opening episode, lackluster following episodes that keep the viewer just interested enough, huge three-part middle of the season arc that definitely involves one of the main characters being hurt and more than likely has a crossover with Private Practice, lackluster following episodes that makes you almost want to quit watching the show, killer ending (literally, in the case of last season, where a good portion of the cast was killed off) that makes you sigh and realize that of course you’ll be watching it next season.
So last night, in attempts to hook the viewer once again, the creators threw in a spin – a musical episode. Now, other shows have done this before – most notably Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which did it extremely well – so it was nothing new. But for a doctor show, that relies so heavily on melodrama, it seemed almost forced. (Scrubs pulled it off because the show, while medical themed, was just kooky enough that it worked. It had heart, rather than cheese). This was, in this season’s case, its three episode arc. Even Addison showed up.
The story was simple: Callie was in a major car accident, which left her, and her unborn baby, in critical condition. The singing was in her head. Okay, that makes sense. More Chicago than Grease. This wasn’t, of course, the first time a character was in critical condition. I’m pretty sure every character, up to now, has been operated on. (Alex made a funny quip in the episode, calling the hospital Mercy Death.) Since I hadn’t heard of Sara Ramirez wanting to leave the show, (reason why T.R. Knight’s George was killed off) I assumed she would live. (Of course, most hilariously, Izzy wasn’t killed off, even after the hilarious ghost sex arc and the actresses constant bashing of the show, but I’m pretty sure it was because the creators just wanted to torture her some more).
The only reason I could see the creators thinking this was a good idea was because it would a) show off Sara Ramirez’s amazing singing ability (she is a Tony award winner, afterall), and b) bring viewership back. It succeeded in both. Ramirez sounded fantastic; the show had a major viewing boost. Not surprisingly.
Anyway, the episode was pretty simple when it came to plot, but very typical for the show. Full of emotion, most of the characters cried, there was a lot of intense staring, and quite a few frantic surgery scenes. All in all, the making of a normal episode. I’ll admit, I was teary eyed a few times. Then there was the singing.
So, Grey’s Anatomy has made quite a few songs popular. How to Save a Life hit radios hard after it was featured, and let’s not forget Chasing Cars after season two’s extremely emotional finale. (I admit it, I cried). This episode took all of those popular songs, and had the cast singing them.
Again, it was in Callie’s head, but I couldn’t help burst out into laughter when Owen started belting Chasing Cars while wheeling Callie’s gurney in. That was the problem. The songs took away the drama, and instead made it…comical. Extremely comical. The actors had to concentrate on looking like they were singing (I’m assuming they recorded the songs prior), rather than acting. And when dialogue came up between song lyrics – wow. It was just…weird. And don’t get me started on the odd scene when all the guys started seducing their girlfriends with song. Okay. (That said, why were there musical numbers when Callie wasn’t involved? She wasn’t in that scene; there shouldn’t have been a song since she wasn’t imagining it, right? I digress.)
As for the singing, everyone did fine. I mean, no one was horrible, so that was a plus. But when Callie’s dying on the gurney, I didn’t need a chorus of doctors in the background singing This is How We Operate.
What I’ve always liked about the show was its raw emotions. It always went there. This episode just fell incredibly flat. The singing didn’t add anything, as it does in musicals. It just took away what the show excelled at.
I guess I wasn’t disappointed, because I didn’t expect much. And even though it failed as an episode, it definitely did what it intended to do: got me, as well as many other people on my Twitter feed, to watch. And I must admit, I’ll probably watch the next episode, too.
See for yourself here