TV Fanatic Mid-Season Report Card: Grey's Anatomy

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With our favorite prime time shows on hiatus, TVF is taking a look back at some buzzed-about programs and grading their performance this fall, with a look toward the spring.

Recently, we've examined No Ordinary Family, Fringe and Chuck. Today: Grey's Anatomy.

The medical drama, which returns Thursday with "Disarm," has delivered a solid first half, but many fans have felt certain vintage Grey's elements are lacking just the same.

How do you feel? Here's one writer's take below. Share your own with us after reading ...

Derek and Meredith In Bed!

THERE THEY ARE: Meredith and Derek, seen here in a promotional photo for the upcoming January 13 episode, are always a (sometimes infrequently seen) sight for sore eyes.

Best episode: Tough a call as this is, we're going with "Adrift and at Peace," and not just because it's fresh in our memories. It was heartbreaking, emotional, well-paced, dramatic and a perfect sendoff into the new year - hopefully a harbinger of great things.

Worst episode: "These Arms of Mine." The show is too good to fall back on gimmicky attempts to be edgy. Replete with bleeped out expletives and talking-head confessionals, the faux documentary basically featured stories being told to us, not acted out.

Best character: Cristina. Some say the show became Cristina's Anatomy in 2010. Maybe so, but that means heavy doses of the incomparable Sandra Oh. Enough said.

Runner-up: Alex Karev. Six-plus seasons and he's still fun to watch. Finding a calling as in peds has given him a depth and sweetness even he can't manage to conceal.

Least-utilized character: Here's an odd choice: Meredith and Derek. We know that a huge cast in general and the lack of MerDer conflict may mean taking a back seat at times, but they're the glue. There have to be more ways to keep them involved.

Most compelling relationship: Owen and Cristina's marriage certainly went through its ups and downs, but it was fascinating to watch that happen without a third party involved. Ditto for Callie and Arizona, although it felt a bit forced at times.

Most pleasant surprise: April. She's no longer painful! Honorable mention: All things Jackson, and that the medical cases haven't been too crazy ... mostly.

Favorite BFFs: Meredith and Cristina, even if it has its ups and downs. Mark and Callie are always great for a laugh too. We miss you George and Izzie ...

Best Shonda idea: Crossovers with Private Practice. Every time, we think they're going to be cheesy, but with all that history, somehow they always work.

Worst Shonda idea: The musical episode. Please, for the love of ... no.

Quote of the season: "We are all freaks." - April. True ... just not virgins.

Hopes for 2011: More MerDer; Teddy and Henry to connect with each other, and viewers, in a powerful way; Light-hearted moments that remind us of the olden days; More MerDer; Mark and Lexie to make it work; Bailey and Eli to couple up!

Overall grade: B.

Do you agree with TV Fanatic's take? Disagree? Care to expound on anything in particular? What do you hope to see more of next year? Share your comments below!

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


Best episode: "Almost Grown" where our original interns was finally set free for a day. I loved the interaction between Derek and Meredith - and Lexie. They were both so proud when Mer performed her emergency craniotomy - I also loved Derek trying to convince the chief to give him a million dollars for a cure for his wife.
"Adrift and at Peace" was great because Christina (finally!!) moved a little bit on - and because Arizona came back. Worst episode: "Slow Night, So Long". Almost no MerDer interaction - and Christina being a bartender was absolutely pathetic... Best character: Alex. He is the one character the writers have put through so much (Ava, Izzie, do I need to continue?) without changing him or trying to make him something he's not. Love pediatric Alex. Love his soft and hard sides. Least-utilized character: Meredith and Derek! GOD, people. I'm so deprived, I almost wish for another miscarriage or a (temporary) break-up to get some attention on the ultimate Grey's couple. They had a major chance with the miscarriage, but noooo... Most compelling relationship: Arizona and Callie are at this moment the most interesting couple, though I imagine Lexie and Mark going through some rough spots due to Mark becoming a father (again). The last time that happened, she left him for Karev... Most pleasant surprise: April, definitely April. Though I never hated her. Yeah, she had a crush on McDreamy - but can you blame her? She's grown out of her self-pity and insecureness - she's the nice girl without trying to replace Izzie. Favorite BFFs: Meredith and Cristina forever. (I love how they made up. No hugs or tears or speeches. Just a trip to Joe's.) Best Shonda idea: Crossovers with Private Practice, I agree, and letting Derek quit Chief of Surgery. Hospital shooting also mind-blowing - I cried to Grey's for the first time in forever when I saw that! Worst Shonda idea: Shooting Derek. Getting Arizona, Callie and Mark into a baby-love-triangle. Quote of the season: "Derek, you smell like..." - "I KNOW." Hopes for 2011: More MerDer; Shonda making us grow fond of Henry. MerDer. MerDer. Less PTSD. More McBaby and -house. Meredith, Alex or April as Chief Resident. Jackson getting a storyline. Callie having a fake pregnancy. Overall grade: Can I give anything but A for my favorite show?






This is all based on the first half of the season.
Episodes from the second half are not included. Best Episode: Adrift and at Peace. Finally, we got an episode where everything going on actually matters. The tension in the OR was great. Callie slamming the door in Arizona's face was a high for me. Worst Episode: I have to agree with you TV Fanatic. These Arms of Mine was not dreadful, but it was not any good either. Grey's Anatomy, you already are awesome so you don't need to try that hard to change. Best Character: Lexie Grey. She has been amazing and has never let me down. Least-Utilized Character: Meredith Grey. For years, we have enjoyed Meredith and her never ending problems. This season, Shonda had a huge shot at making an interesting storyline out of Meredith's abortion. Instead, she decided to go with the never ending PTSD. I love Cristina, don't get me wrong. But not this one. Anyway, she's back to her old self, which is good for me and the show. Most Compelling Relationship: Callie and Arizona. This was the most relationship that was given material in this half of the season. All of the other relationships were not given enough focus or attention, specially the one between Meredith and Derek. Most Pleasant Surprise: Well, I guess many things might have been predictable, but seriously, who would have predicted that Callie and Mark would actually sleep together? No one? Ok, point proved. Favorite BFFs: Mark and Callie. They are always there for each other. Meanwhile, I didn't feel Meredith was there enough for Cristina. She should have been the one helping her heal, not Derek. Best Shonda Idea: Well, to be honest, in the first half there were no good ideas. So I guess I just have to cheat and say Callie's pregnancy. And another smart idea was that Cristina would end up operating on the shooter. Worst Shonda Idea: Having Cristina be the one to undergo the PTSD. I mean sure, she made a point that anyone can have a PTSD, but she can't just remove one of the reason most people watch Grey's Anatomy. I mean robot Cristina is what keeps a lot of people hooked. Anyway, I'm glad she's back again. Quote of the season: Well to be honest, I found no interesting quotes said this season. But of course, I still do enjoy the Meredeth voice-overs. Hopes for 2011: We were promised for closure with the Alex\Izzy situation. I honestly hope they would bring her back, because I think that is the only way it could work. And since you are going to go along with a musical episode, please do not ruin the reputation of the show along with it. A disaster episode like the ones from Seasons 2,3, and 4. The bomb episode. The fairy boat episode. The ambulance crash. Give more screen time for Meredeth and Lexie. Make Shonda forget about Private Practice and her new show Off the Map, as if she needed any more distractions.


Best Episode: Something's gotta give--I mean seriously learning more about Alex just makes me love him more and more. plus Christina podering becoming a "mall person" tragic to any fan but still pretty funny. plus i mean callie's hair. Worst Ep:These Arms of Mine--I would actually say it was fairly equal to Time Warp the whole episode seemed force. The only part that was well done I thought was Mandy moore's character which is a testimate to her acting. Overall it was just weird and the the only good part broke my heart :( Best Character: ALEX! love him more and more every season like seriously he's a bad ass and sweet guy in one love it Runner Up: I'd say Teddy i don't gey why anyone doesn't like her she's totally a Grey's character. and now she's showin some of her quirks like online dating she's definetly someone fun to watch. And then marrying a patient. i loved when Denny was in the show even in season 5 idk what people didn't like but watevs I'm interested to c how this is going to play out Least Utilized character: I feel like Merder hav totally been in it but with not-so-great plotlines. So i'm thinkin Avery he can do so much more and they seem to keep makin him the bad guy Most compellin relationship: well Merder's pretty much the only option Calzona has probs alot when they hav big decisions to make not too happy with that. O&C just seem awkward to me. buy yay mark and lexie back 2geth :) Most pleasant surprise: loving teddy's character Fav BFFS: Mer and Alex they just know how to talk to each other about anything Best Shonda idea: focus on Christina someone made a good point that alll the others had their seasons of focus we definetly needed that and it was good for her character Worst: April! god y keep her! she still annoys me that fact that she's living in Mer's house jus annoys me like she invaded my fav show. Avery i think is fine but ugh mayB it'll take longer to like her. Owen can also be thrown in the mix i loved him season 5 to 6.5 but his character isn't doin much 4 me
hopes for 2011: get rid of Kepner(most likely won't happen), better Owen and Christina plot, please don't hav Callie B pregnent from Mark i love mark and lexie together and if a break up happened all over again i don't think i can deal coz u know they will and there'll be this awkward period and they'll get back just let them B..though she gets pregnant other than mark totally 4 it! and keep meredith frat house alive i know she and McDreamy R married and all that but the house dynamic is so classic can't mess that up please! Mer and Christina back together! hav another interesting finale!
Happy new year Grey's fans


i agree with MerDer not being so central this season. Let them be happy!!! They are a MARRIAGE, and a marriage isn't supposed to be a dramatic thing... they have done a great job with the Cristina trauma. And they have used Meredith in a great way getting involved in it... and can somebody explain me why the hell did Cristina get cure by a FISHING TRIP??


Not to insult anyone but a lot of you MerDer fans sound like,what his name? Goloum in Lord of the rings. My precious..... I mean come on, open your minds, it's just a show. Let other characters have their moments, I mean, there are other characters. But I have to agree with everyone, I trust you Shonda, but I am really truly deeply scared to see this musical episode of yours.


its been awhile but glad to see anuflas and others are still commenting! Best episode: "Something's Gotta Give" I loved the Alex and Mer scene in the end we he tells her about his brother going crazy. I loved when he figured the pinball would be a cure for his patient. It was also the first episode where I liked April and opened up to her character. Teddy was awesome in that episode as well. I thought this episode was hands down the best this season. Worst episode: "Adrift and At Peace" Don't shoot me, but I think I was expecting BIG things to happen and change, and I just didn't believe that Christina was healed by going fishing. Best character: Alex. I love the fact the the writers waited six seasons to give away this guys backround! I mean for seasons we knew he had a terrible childhood but never really knew what happened. And we still don't. Plus I love how different he's become. Huge character growth for him. Runner-up: Don't shoot me but Teddy! I mean has anyone not noticed how bad ass she was in Something's Gotta Give with that middle eastern guy? and marrying this heart patient could be an awesome storyline! Least-utilized character: MerDer for sure. It's sad but ever since they got happily ever after like, they've had no real good storylines. Most compelling relationship: Callie and Arizona! I never thought they'd be broken up because there was no other lezbo on the show! But now that Mark's kinda been put into this triangle I find their relationships so intersting. And if she is pregnant, I think the storyline has really good potential! Most pleasant surprise: April. forsure. Still not a fan of JAckson. Favorite BFFs: I wish they'd pair Lexie up with a BFF, because I think it'd be good. But I'd say Mer and Alex this season. They've had a moment ever episode this year, and I've loved it. Best Shonda idea: Giving Christina an actual centered storyline. We had George's dad and marraige. Izzie's cancer. Alex's marraige with Izzie last season. Mer's mother. And now its her PTSD. Good thinkin'. Besides the whole fishing crap. Worst Shonda idea: Hiring Owen. Quote of the season: Hopes for 2011: Callie pregggggo! Bring Izzie back for one more episode to just make ammends with everybody. MerDer storylines. Teddy and heart patient sounds interesting. Maybe hook Lexie and Jackson up,rather than old Mark. More Arizona! More Bailey! Overall grade: B.


I think Mer/Der should move to the happiest times have a baby and build their dream home.... Let Mark and Lexie work it out and also be happy in the "GRAY KNOWING HOW TO BE HAPPY WAY" As for Owen and Cristina I know that there were problems in the past but it seems all the charachters that were the problem are gone now maybe Burke can come back and finish up unfinished buisness, it's OBVIOUS Cristina still loves him and DOES NOT LOVE OWEN THE SAME....Bailey also deserves a lot of happiness as well as Kereve he amy be a tool but he has a heart of gold. I know I am only 1 person but I lived a trauma center for 20 years and smetimes it's good to see the good people win!!!! Thankx for listening or reading for that matter~


Worst episode - These Arms of Mine. But it didn't sink as low as S6 Time Warp episode. Least-utilized character - MerDer. It's pathetic that MerDer have been reduced to being the supporting cast to Cris' PTSD overblown storyline. That Mer telling Der about her miscarriage could be relegated to a mere 33 seconds(I timed it on youtube) is ****!!! Grrr. The writers got that so wrong. Most compelling relationship - It's too Cris centric to feel there is any relationships that counter balance this storyline Most pleasant surprise - Wish there was one. Favorite BFFs - Mer and Alex by far. They have survived crappy parents and bonded to have an honesty in their friendship that's a joy to watch. I hope Alex will help give Mer some perspective when Mer feels left out of Der's clinical trial Best Shonda idea - To hopefully end GA when EP and PD leave so GA doesn't spiral into poor ratings and ends with some dignity Worst Shonda idea - To overexpand the cast list and think I will be manipulated into liking Kepner and Avery just cos Mer's storyline made them move into her house etc. My empathy ran dry when Denny appeared in S5, so Altman's medical insurance husband will not make me like her at all Quote of the season - Anytime MerDer don't talk about Cris Hopes for 2011 - Make MerDer the centre of GA. To finally know where Mer wants her surgical career to be. To have a McBaby. For Alex to get over Izzie. Avery to go to his grandfather's hospital to train, and Kepner to decide to become a vet and go back home to the farm

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.