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Has Grey's Anatomy Jumped the Shark?

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Depending on your point of view, the Season Six finale of Grey's Anatomy was either one of the show's all-time best or a sign of just how far it's fallen from its glory years.

Below, two of our staff writers explore these opposing viewpoints as we head into the summer: Has Grey's Anatomy jumped the shark - and are its best days behind it?

YES by M.L. House

I fell in love with Grey's Anatomy because it was a drama based around a number of well-written characters. Over the last couple of seasons, however, it's devolved into a melodrama based around a number of lazily concocted gimmicks.

I miss the days when story ines were built around heartbreak, affairs, deaths and births. Stuff that happened all the time to regular, flawed people.

But consider the events that have taken place of the last few years:

Izzie Stevens, Denny Duquette
  • Viewers watched some strange version of Meredith (and the bomb squad tech) in heaven.
  • Izzie operated on a deer.
  • Instead of sending George off to Iraq, the character was suddenly killed off in a blatant ratings ploy.
  • Denny returned as a ghost (and gave Izzie an orgasm!).
  • A crazed gunman wandered around the halls of Seattle Grace, murdering numerous people in cold blood, while the SWAT team chilled outside.

Do most shows decrease in quality as seasons go by? Yes. It can be difficult to come up with fresh material, I understand. But Shonda Rhimes told us repeatedly over the years that Grey's was a show that focused on layered characters and their interactions with one another.

This simply isn't true anymore.

It's now a show that glides by on unique medical cases each week; avoids any real personal or relationship development among its doctors; and then throws in some "game-changing" event to mask the fact that nothing actually happened during the season.

I'm not buying it. I'm not letting this manipulation blind me to the the sloppy, lazy writing that now plagues the series I used to get so excited for every Thursday night.

I really miss that Grey's Anatomy.

NO by L.J. Gibbs

My eyes rolled a little when I read the Grey's Anatomy spoilers about someone shooting up the hospital, but my skepticism eroded about two minutes into the episode.

From the moment I saw Gary Clark roaming the halls of Seattle Grace, I got the chills, borderline petrified with fear - not for me, but for fictional TV characters I love.

If you feel that way, that's a sign of consistently excellent writing.

You won't find any argument to the notion that multiple shootings, a live bomb in a body cavity, and various afterlife visits and hallucinations are far-fetched. They are.

To dismiss a work of fiction based on this misses the point, however. By doing so, one discredits characters' relationships and story lines as they pertain to the drama.

Did you not shed a tear for Meredith's miscarriage? Were you not moved by Cristina stepping in to save Derek? Terrified right along with Bailey as she cowered in fear?

Surprised, but a little touched by Lexie declaring her love for Alex? Praying that Derek, then Richard, would disarm the shooter before the body count rose any higher?

Mrs. Shepherd Picture

The memorable scenes and performances from last week's Grey's Anatomy were so numerous, I had to edit them down to a dozen in my review of the season finale.

This wasn't due to the fact that bullets were flying. It was because of complex characters we've watched develop over years, and how they responded to this adversity.

Our surgeons are brilliant and flawed, McDreamy and imperfect, dark and twisty, bright and shiny. Extreme circumstances can often make them the most fun to watch.

Empirical evidence backs me up - 16,788,000 people watched the season finale, a number most shows never attain, let alone retain five whole years after their debut.

On a smaller scale, TV Fanatic's weekly Grey's Anatomy fan reaction poll has never been as overwhelmingly positive as last Friday's. No surprise - it was gripping TV.

One more number for you: 124. That's the number of Grey's Anatomy episodes I've seen to date. Most of them pretty good if not great. That alone is quite the feat.

Do some of them stretch the limits of believability a bit? Absolutely.

But the characters are always at the center of whatever drama is introduced, and it's compelling. I just hope they can keep this cast together for years to come.

What do you think? Are Grey's Anatomy's best days behind it?

 

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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@hollie
Cristina wins Haper Avery at the same time for some super-cardio-surgery. At the podium she says: "... and I would like to thank here to my brilliant teacher... " - we see Burke and Marlow in audience ready to stand up... " dr. Teddy Altmann!" WOW

Smileyglen

@ Zdenda Love it and as farfetched as that sounds it is plausible. I saw an episode of House and next door neighbours fell in love, married, they leave home at 16, his dad is a racist, any way this loving couple both come down sick, and House and his team do numerous tests, on the wife then later on the husband, House is thinking how can they both have the same disease, then he runs a DNA test and it turns out, the husband and wife are actually half brother and sister. So Mark and Lexie having a kid who grows up to marries her half nephew, sounds pretty freaky.

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For episode 200, MerDer return, Mer pregnant with twins (Der failed to tell Mer that's why three of his sisters have fourteen children between them). They are returning for the Mark Lexie wedding, oh and Der gets a chance to work with Mer on her ground breaking idea and it's the Meredith Grey method that wins Mer the harper Avery

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Most importantly ABC likes GA. It's a money spinner for them advertising revenue wise, DVD sales etc, even though it's not the most popular ratings wise. Go GA!

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@smileygen
I have a perfect story-line for GA season 15 (lets say): Mark and Lexie are merried, have a daughter. When small Lexie Sloan grows up, she meets a perfect young guy, formidable charming doctor, few years older than her. They fall in love, but - we find out the guy is her fathers grandson, adopted many years ago... :-) :-) :-)

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This was the best season yet! Even if I HATE Owen and Teddy, season 5 and season 6 has been the best! And I love AZ, she's so bright and shiny, and I can't wait to see what happens with her and Callie. If she canhge her mind when all has calmed down a little. And I can't wait to see what happens to Christina and Owen and Teddy, Alex, Lezie and Mark!

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GA plots that were sooooo annoying S4 Gizzie, I fast forward that plotline everytime it appears
S5 Dead Denny overload. Everytime I watch S5 I keep thinking the writers were overindulging KH cos they messed up her storylines in
S5. Too much screen time for that story. S6 the triangle of Teddy,Cris and Owen. It's put me off Owen. Come on Avery get Cristina whilst she's available. Also annoys how people whos have the sense not to get involved with someone who also works at SGMWH has relationship break downs. PS Almost forgot the MWers.Only bring back Avery plz Shonda

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I look at GA in terms of MerDer S1 they meet, fall in love until Der's past turns up
S2 Der chooses his marriage over his true love for Mer. Mer falls apart and drags herself up again, whilst dealing with the in your face moving fo Der's wife to Seattle until
S3 Der faces up to the truth, wants Mer. They're happy until Mer's parents screw her up again and her issues overload her with loving Der and not being able to commit to him.
S4, a bit of a wishy washy season that needed to leeet Mer work through her issues, and Der let her down by not recognising her pain
S5 MerDer back together, but Mer needing to adjust to being a couple.Der gets a ring, has a crisis. Rejects Mer in a very hurtful way, makes no effort to woo her back in his first two proposals. Redeems himself in the elevator love letter, gives away the MerDer wedding to a couple break up within months. The post it still annoys cos it doesn't feel legal
S6 MerDer seem to be the only couple who have pulled it together, but after all the very GA drama, they needed to be so happy. I think S7 & S8 will see the patter of tiny feet, major career adjustment for Mer and Der won't enjoy being chief. Der needs to exit that job!
GA is a bit of fluff, not earth shattering reality. It deals with real life occasionally, can be educative. I used to joke about knowing about some medical things cos I watched ER. Substitute GA. It's had to change cos MAGIC couldn't be first year interns for ever.I hope we get to see Mer, Cris and Alex finish their training as surgeons before EP and PD leave.

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Of course not ! This season was the best and I am pretty sure that much more enjoyed it . Both season 2-3 were good but they were too too dramatic and you could stand many minutes . In my opinion Grey's Anatomy season 6 was the best that has ever existed . I am really looking forward to seeing season 7 and I hope it'll be as good as the 6th . In season 6 we could see more medical things happen and that's the , so that we could she how difficult this is and how they finally manage to succeed in what they really want .

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Of course not ! This season was the best and I am pretty sure that much more enjoyed it . Both seasons 2-3 were good but they were too dramatic and you could not stand many minutes . In my opinion Grey's Anatomy season 6 was the best that has ever existed . I am really looking forward to seeing season 7 and I hope it'll be as good as the 6th . In season 6 we could see more medical things happen and that's the point, so that we could see how difficult this is and how they finally manage to succeed in what they really want .

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Sometimes we have to get lost. To find each other.

Meredith

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)
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