Grey's Anatomy: Season 10
It is difficult to believe that I have been watching ABC staple dramatic series ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ for a full decade now. It is fairly rare nowadays any television series to extend past a handful of seasons with the exception of record holders such as ‘Gunsmoke’, ‘Law & Order’ the more specific to the medical genre, ‘E. R.’, which made it all the rage of fifteen seasons. Although the shiny façade that initially guarded many critical acclaim and industry awards has begun to erode, the series has remained a solid contender in a stalwart member of the ABC network primetime lineup. The initial premise was unique enough following a brand-new group of surgical interns as they enter the cutthroat final stages of their training. The young cast portrayed a group of doctors who were young, ambitious and hungry for success. I’ve always enjoyed medical series, especially since the portion of my life that brought me to training in the medical field. Having had a peek behind the scenes of health real hospital works and medical training actually proceeds. I’ve always found series such as ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ interesting from a different perspective than most of the target audience. Understandably, after 10 years on the air, the initial premise has been outgrown a long time ago, yet, the ingenious show runner, Shonda Rhimes, realize the cyclical nature of medical training in a teaching hospital. Today’s students eventually become tomorrow’s instructors and eventually some will move on to the attending staff positions tend the month of the hospital management. While many of the original cast has moved on, some not entirely of their own volition, of the young actors has been inserted into the storylines in roles highly reminiscent of the original character set. This is precisely the way things should be, as the personality archetypes found in medicine, particularly the surgical disciplines. They frequently include such personas as, the shark, always on the move. Looking for the next advancement in their skills, the bookworm, the studious student who is an encyclopedia of medical knowledge and the politician, who have their eyes, set a not so much working in a hospital, but running it. For this series, the spaces may have changed over the years, but each of these archetypes has always been represented.
Derek is not the only position in the ship and household involved in 21st technology, Meredith has been working on utilizing a 3-D printer to manufacture replacement parts for heart valves and other crucial pieces of anatomy. By using undifferentiated cells or cells called from the prospective patient, this 3-D printer is able to manufacture on-demand a replacement parts perfectly suited for the patient. The use of this device may be under Meredith’s oversight of the surgeons are anxious to make use of it. Leading the pack is Meredith long time best friend, Dr. Christina Yang (Sandra Oh). This split is eventually mended. Like so many disagreements before, but it does lead to a significant change that will affect how the show proceeds season 11. One character that has been with the series since his start has been subjected to a substantial amount of change, Dr. Richard Weber (James Pickens Jr.), having stepped down as chief of surgery a couple of seasons ago due to stresses emanating from personal matters in the merger of Seattle Grace Hospital with Mercy West, the estate on staff as senior attending retaining his position as the ultimate authority figure of the hospital. In the last season, Dr. Weber had been electrocuted in trapped in the hospital basement. This season, Dr. Weber is recuperating from his serious injuries and sidelined in a hospital room.
Over the years, even the name of the hospital has been subject to change. Seattle Grace Is Now Sloan Memorial, but the anachronistic combination of saving lives, forging new advances in surgical technology in bed hopping has continued unabated. There should be some sort of a warning card that precedes every episode, stating something like "the amount of sex depicted in the series is completely unrealistic, unprofessional, it is not actually found in a real-world situation. Storage rooms are used for supplies, not for an inappropriate tryst". Still, the libidinous torch has been passed to a new generation of surgical students, although the original cast members can always be counted on for the always popular romantic drama and angst. The titular surgeon, Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), married the local heartthrob, Dr. Mc dreamy, Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), several seasons back and has already begun working on building their family. For these characters, the trials and tribulations of been in love balance with the heavy competition to move ahead in their fields has to some degree in mitigated by the all-too-familiar situation for many, working parents trying to raise a child. Both of these doctors have now achieved positions of responsibility and respect within the hospital and are now facing one of the more difficult aspects of modern medicine; biomedical research. Derek is at this point, the chief of neurosurgery was been working on the cutting-edge surgical implant with resident orthopedic surgeon Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez). The breakthrough is so important to medicine that the NIH becomes heavily invested in it and offer Derek a job working to develop it. When the patents are of place primarily in his name legal action is threatened by Torres manifesting home rights to participate in any furthering of the technologies. The advancement is so important that a representative of the President of the United States becomes involved. Finally Derek is crucial in negotiating a deal that would include Torres.
This series has always been the recipient of accolades from the LGBT community, not only for this storylines that feature gay and lesbian couples promoting the movement the same-sex marriage, but also the how some personnel problems concerning homophobic slurs were handled early on in the series run. Torres, is bisexual, having once been married to one of the league cast members of the original. She entered into a relationship with Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), a pediatric surgical attending. After a breakup, Torres became pregnant, but now she and Arizona all married raising the baby as a family. Tensions still exist because of an extra-marital indiscretion committed by Arizona. The newcomers are also written with emotional baggage and relationships complicated enough to warrant maintaining a flowchart. Paramedic Matthew (Justin Bruening) had a heated relationship with surgical residents April Kepner (Sarah Drew), ultimately getting married to Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), a surgical resident brought in as a result of the merger with Mercy West Hospital. He is the grandson of a very famous and as revealed in this season exceptionally wealthy and powerful family gets him a seat on the board. His family does not like the fact that April is a devout Christian feeling that all beliefs might influence their children would someday inherit seats on the board of the family trust.
Although the quality has suffered somewhat over the last few years this series is still holding its own, not only in ratings, but in the fashion that it continues to appeal to the audience. In some way the show running here has taken a page from the playbook of the current longevity master, Dick Wolf, by periodically updating the cast. Not only is it a more natural situation for hospital setting, but it makes sure that the storylines remain invigorated and robust. There was one factor in common with most series that have lasted a significant amount of time. They usually heavily rely on many of the elements in production techniques of the soap opera. Many are quick to condemn these overly melodramatic ongoing stories, but the fact is they work. They are successful because they are able to pull people in to the frequently intricate stories and hold them for prolonged period of time. They also structured in such a way that someone new to the proceedings and quickly become fully indoctrinated into the back stories of the characters in the situations that have led up to the current moment. It is a part of me that Mayfield this show has begun turning a corner, but that is kept in check, to a degree by the fact that I’m looking forward to watching season 11.
Extended Episode: "Do You Know?"