We've been a bit critical of Grey's Anatomy at times this season, but deep down, we're still crazy about the medical drama that hooked us all the way back in 2005.
Entertainment Weekly recently listed 10 reasons the current season rocks, and we thought we'd pass that along here as we await another new episode tonight ...
1. DR. AVERY
Dr. Avery wasn't quite clicking as part of the ensemble when Jesse Williams first joined the cast. But now? Oh, mama. He's flirty - to a fault - but he's also a decent dude, and the show was in need of a seriously single dude. Game, set, match.
2. CRISTINA'S STORY LINE
Cristina's been through hell on this show - actually, she's been through it about once a season. But now that she's settled down on the relationship front, her story arc of personal anguish in the wake of the shooting gets to take center stage. Sandra Oh's acting has always been one of the show's greatest assets, and she's getting some of the best material she's had in years.
3. IT'S FUNNY AGAIN
Sure, Grey's is a melodrama, and you're guaranteed to cry roughly once an episode. But it's also peppered with silly, fun, honest dialogue between characters who genuinely seem to like one another. We could listen to Mark and Callie chitchat all day.4. NO MORE IZZIE
Izzie Stevens. Love her or loathe her, Izzie's story line cast an intense shadow on the show over the past few years, be it the ill-conceived Gizzie, Denny's ghost, or her battle with cancer. Enough was enough, and now Grey's is finally moving on - for real.
5. CRISTINA AND MEREDITH'S FRIENDSHIP
Romance, schmomance. The best relationship on this show is definitely Meredith and Cristina's, and this season it's been even more important. Both docs are dealing with some serious issues following the shooting - Meredith's miscarriage, Cristina performing emergency surgery — but they're helping each other cope. Who wouldn't feel better snuggling with Meredith and Derek?
6. PATIENTS ARE WILD, BUT WITHIN REASON
Let's never speak of the deer CPR again. Grey's is finding its way back to the right balance of bizarre patients/cases as metaphors for the doctors' problems. To wit: Tree Guy. Indeed we are all freaks, as the episode told us. Also, HPV is a hell of a virus.
7. FINALLY, APRIL IS LESS ANNOYING
Sarah Drew slayed us as Hannah on Everwood and broke our hearts as Sal's wife, Kitty, on Mad Men. She finally landed on a hit show and... uh, yikes. April was chirpy, irritating, and immature, and her crush on Derek didn't endear her to us either. But these days, we say hooray for April; since Meredith declared that the two of them are pals, April's become a lot more tolerable, instead of being Lexie 2.0.
8. IT'S JUST SCHMOOPY ENOUGH
Hey, it's still Grey's Anatomy. We want some romance and cutesiness, and the Mer-Der relationship is hitting a terrific stride. They're so happy as a couple, yet each is going through some heavy stuff. But they're getting through it together! Yay, love.
9. ALEX HAS FOUND HIS CALLING
Once upon a time, Doug Ross was the scruffy rogue pediatrician with the womanizing issues and sexy smirk. These days it's Alex Karev. Finding his calling as a peds specialist has given Alex a depth and sweetness we've seen him try to cover up for the entire series.
10. THE MONOLOGUES ARE IN TOP FORM
''Pick me, choose me, love me.'' Izzie stripping down to her bra while yelling at everyone. The amazing Dr. Bailey speeches. Somewhere after that, though, the show's signature monologues started losing a little bit of their verve and impact. But welcome to the spiel renaissance, as ushered in by Dr. April Kepner, and her terrific ''we're all freaks'' (and virgins) speech.
What do you love the most about Grey's Anatomy this year?