Ok, so, to clarify--by "as herself" does this mean she'll actually be playing "Liza Minnelli," or will it be the Bernadette Peters/Leigh Conroy type of thing where they make her play a fictional approximation of herself? It's weird how the show decides to incorporate some aspects of real-life Broadway but not others.
I'm nervous about Owen and Cristina.... As long as they're apart, it's going to be the same old drama it has been for a year now, but if they get back together, I think they're making a huge mistake and compromising themselves in really unrealistic ways. The kids issue is really non-negotiable. I remember a Shonda interview from sometime last year where she said that the kid issue was the dynamic she wanted to explore. In particular the fact that some women, honest to god, just don't want kids. But obviously Owen is crazy about kids (remember him with Zola last week?). So in my opinion they really don't belong together, but them being apart is causing a whole bunch of tired and frankly boring drama.
As for Jo, I think she's fine. Not great, but not worth all the disdain she's getting around here.
Remember, "Midwest" is a huge geographic area... typically "pop" is reserved for the northern plains/great lakes regions, not MO, IL, or IN. I'm from St. Louis MO and have lived in Bloomington IN for years. Never said "pop" in my life! I think P&R is usually exceptionally good at their attention to Midwest detail (btw, major kudos to the show for using the Bloomington-based Upland beer label in several episodes!)
I didn't have the foresight to take the same precaution with my DVR! You should have heard the screams coming from my living room when it cut out. hahah! Thank god for Hulu.
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