Friday, October 2, 2009

Waiting for Cuts ~ Grey's Anatomy takes on the economy

The following is a cross post on Joe Jenkins' blog joeonthetube. Richie and I were honored to write a guest post for Joe and look forward to contributing to joeonthetube in the future. His & Hers Grey's Anatomy Season 6, Episode 2
After last week’s season premier revealed that Seattle Grace would merge with Mercy West, the entire staff is on edge, to say the least and is worried about keeping their job. This week’s episode revolves mostly around the character’s obsession with proving their worthiness as the chief is keeping tight lipped regarding his plans for any downsizing.

Izzie returns to the hospital, complete with a “Stepford wife” wig. Although she isn't supposed to return to
work for three weeks, her fear of being cut due to the merger pushes her back into the O.R. for a complicated five-hour surgery, forcing Alex to play nurse making sure that she takes her cancer meds and eats throughout the day.

Meanwhile, Cristina decides the best way to secure her job is by asking to be on Arizona's service in Pediatrics. It doesn't take too long (with a little help from Callie) for Arizona to realize that Cristina is using her to save her own neck. I mean, come on, who would really think Cristina should be allowed in the same room with children.

We almost thought the show was going to jump the shark when a paranoid schizophrenic and his mother are brought into the ER after being involved in a car accident. While the mother was lying on the table complaining of abdominal pain, the camera focuses in on a small fist shaped object pulsating in her abdomen. Just then her son says, "Aliens have impregnated my mother." And break for commercials.

Thankfully, Grey's did not go the way of
the X-Files and we learn the pulsating fist was caused by a large aneurysm in her abdominal cavity. Unfortunately for Lexi, she looses the son while trying to bandage his minor wrist injury from the car accident and that leads to him falling down a flight of stairs and in turn bursts his spleen. Fortunately for Lexi, she comes up with a great idea to do surgery on both mother and son (who technically doesn't need surgery), so they can happily recover together. If not for this great idea, the mother refuses the life-saving surgery since there is no one else to take care of her mentally ill son.

Grey's Anatomy Season 6Image by LiGado em Série via Flickr

In the end, the chief directs HR to send out an e-mail to the first round of employees to be let go (not a move us PR folks recommend). None of the main characters get the axe, not that we expected them to. In fact, the only face that any true fans might remember is the nurse that George and Alex slept with during the syphilis outbreak of the first season. In traditional Lexi fashion, she has an emotional breakdown, even though her job is safe.

But fear not, the writers did not leave this episode on a sad note. Instead they left us with something in
spirational; Beer and baseball. Three of our four happy couples meet out on a baseball diamond with a pitching machine that they just happened to have and a cooler of beer for some batting practice and philosophy. It was a fitting, if not contrived, way to end the episode.
He Said/She Said

Best plotline:
He Said - I'm really intrigued about the dynamic between the chief and Derek. The writers are holding back on some things and I'm curious to see how far they will go to separate the two. She said - The staff's reaction to the proposed merger. I think that in today's economic times it is an unfortunate reality that people are willing to do whatever it takes to keep a job - even one they don't really like.

Best line:
He Said - "H
is name is Mr. Bear . . . He eats kids" |(BONUS LINE) "You need to stop worrying about what's gonna happen, and you need to focus on what is right in front of you." She Said - "Nobody likes a dead baby."

I could have lived without: He Said - The paranoid schizophrenic son throwing Lexi up against the wall. That seemed unnecessary. She Said - The baseball scene. I go back to last week with the scene with Izzie and the girl on the bench outside the hospital. The whole thing seemed unnatural and just a bit too much.

A little something for the fellas:
He Said - The pulsating aneurysm in the mom's stomach. Totally looked like Alien. She Said - Agreed. If an actual alien would have jumped out it would have been perfect. Stupid, but perfect.

Something for the ladies:
He Said - The caring and supportive role that Derek took on at the end with his now former co-workers. That only perpetuates the McDreamy persona. She Said - Watching Alex take care of Izzie. He has such a tough outer image, but now that his wife is the one who is sick, and she is putting on the tough face, he was busting in on surgeries and into patient rooms to make sure she was taking her meds and eating. He really loves her. He's still a jerk and sometimes has a strange way of showing it, but watching him bend over backwards to take care of her makes you realize that is the kind of man every woman wants.

Something for everybody:
He Said - The show has finally taken on the economic climate and how we are all being impacted. It is a classic example of art imitating life. The audience can relate because they may have either lost a job or may know somebody who has. They can relate to the situations that the doctors and nurses were in by either losing a job or being the person who got to keep their job.
She Said -Aside from watching the characters react to the news of the merger, I think the mother with the mentally ill son had a really touching story. When she was willing to forgo a surgery that would save her life because there was no one she could trust to take care of her adult mentally ill son, that was a really telling and often overlooked story. She briefly mentioned that her husband left when her son got sick and friends had drifted away. I think this is more true to life than we want to admit. Even just watching the character for an hour on television, I was uncomfortable, so I can imagine that befriending a woman with a son with that illness would be a challenge. Mental illness, even in the 21st century, is something that people still hesitate to talk openly about or to deal with publicly. It is a shame, because then women like the mother portrayed on this week's Grey's, end up alone and isolated, dealing with challenges which are often more than they can, or should have to, handle on their own.

Who are the bloggers? Richie and Kristen are a happily married one-TV couple with two kiddos. Both have worked in the communications/PR field for the past decade or so. You can check out Richie's blog about all things PR and social media here. You have found Kristen's blog. Please feel free to stay a while and look around.

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