Grey's Anatomy: Season 11
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Grey's Anatomy: Season 11

The medical drama has been a staple of television programming since its very beginning. The drama of life-and-death situations occurring on a regular basis has always been able to provide fertile soil for myriad of different types of stories ranging from the highly technical deeply emotional. One of the longest-running television series, ‘E.R.’ ran for an amazing 15 seasons. Not quite there yet another popular medical series is edging up on that record, ‘Gray’s Anatomy’. The DVD release of its 11th season is upon us as longtime fans prepare for the 12th here to begin. One of the reasons for the longevity of this series is that its showrunner, Shonda Rhimes, has been so expertly capable of dealing with change. Any show that is set in a hospital has to reflect the constant flux inherently infused in such an environment. Young doctors come in, receive their training and either remain as attendings or teachers while others move on pursuing other aspects of their careers. With the exception of the above-mentioned longevity champion this series has been the epitome of how such a show should be delivered. Starting out back in 2005 the original premise of the series focused on a group young intern just beginning their training as surgeons. The point of view character was the titular Meredith Gray (Ellen Pompeo) as she not only tries to master new surgical techniques but to establish own identity in the hospital necessary because her mother, Ellis Grey (Kate Burton). Choose one of the most highly respected surgeons of time winning the exceptionally prestigious Harper Avery Award twice. Now, 11 seasons later Meredith is still trying to contend with the ponderous shadow of her mother. In lesser shows this would come off as a plot device that has long outlived its usefulness. However, due to the amazing writing inspired performances we not only watch Meredith as she continues to struggle with her mother’s memory but we are still, 11 years after the beginning, learning why this remains an issue for a woman who has become well-established as a surgeon herself. The show does more than handle changes it brings you deep into the psychological and emotional journey of the individuals it affects.

There are those that might divide this series dismissing it as just another prime time soap opera. There is no denying that it is a popular complete with characters defined mostly by their relationships which over time includes a rather high turnover rate in partners. Differentiating this from traditional soap opera is Howard constantly strives to provide characters of depth, multifaceted human beings that are not just shown moving from one set of circumstances to another with the concerted effort to pull the audience in to the most intimate effects such changes make on the person most affected the collateral fallout of those around them. Intrinsically all soap operas evil to connect audience forming a strong bond with them. The difference with this series is the result was the literary aspect to the bay the characters develop plots unfold. This is especially true in season eleven which was the most emotionally charged seasons in quite a while. Most of the primary characters are beset with extreme tribulations on both the professional and personal sides of their lives. Gray’s Anatomy of has never been shy when it comes to take extraordinary measures as a crucible for change. They have gone to such over-the-top plot contrivances as plane crashes, tumultuous storms and even a bomb in someone’s chest. These are straight out of the soap operas playbook and although they did serve a purpose of placing people in extremely is psychologically challenging situations it did seem to stretch the odds that a group of friends and coworkers experience so many of these challenges in a relatively short space of time. This season was a refreshing change in that it affected some of the direst alterations to personnel, status and emotional fortitude; it did so by means of pivotal moments that was eminently relatable to all viewers.

By now all fans are aware of the most shocking change in the course of the series. I usually try to avoid spoils is much as possible but this change was a significant that many not entertainment oriented news outlets reported on it. If you haven’t seen season eleven please bookmark this review and come back to it after you have finished watching.

Headlines flashed a simple statement that diehard fans of the series would be impossible: ‘Dr. Mcdreamy Is Dead’. It came at a point’s relationship with that his career threatened to supersede his family. Just before it completely dissolved true love wins out and they reconcile. Died rushing home to his wife and children. The writers didn’t allow such a shocking event to be played out as a shocking moment, it point in time. The allowed the character to linger forcing his wife into a terribly difficult decision, one that many people about to face. As it turns out Meredith was pregnant and without much of a word to anyone disappears. There is a single episode that spans the entire year she is gone. It splits between was happening back in Seattle with Meredith and her children far away coping as best they can. There are many exceptionally moving episodes within the season but as a longtime dedicated fan of the show I found that episode one of the most heart wrenching in real the entire run of the series. Painted a picture of fine brushstrokes of a woman struggled to be her own person having to cope with losing someone crucial to she is and how she views herself. This is contrasted with points of time marked by holidays, progressing through the calendar as if by those left behind. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) left a huge void in many lives in each had to find some way to push past their grief and continue the lives despite the death of one friend in the unexplained disappearance of another.

The delicate equilibrium of family severely tested in several of the ways. Both Meredith and Derek recently reconnected with siblings that of come to work inGrey-Sloan Memorial Hospital. Derek’s younger sister, Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), is an extremely talented neurosurgeon attempting to establish a in a hospital where older brother has been a superstar for many years. She takes on the impossible task of removing extremely large tumor that is infiltrated many areas of the brain. Meredith finds yet another sibling working with the in the form of Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary), the chief of Cardiovascular Surgery. She is Meredith’s half-sister, the product of a mother’s affair former Chief of Surgery, Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.). It’s a lot to know that they have to deal with because she had just recently lost her best friend, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) who moved away because of an unprecedented career opportunity. Although the main relationship is undoubtedly between Meredith and Derek, but that are not the only ones to undergo extreme pressures. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) come to the point of having to see a marriage counselor to try to save the relationship. After an infidelity on Arizona’s part the couple all ready to have another baby by means of a surrogate. Arizona’s attention collapses to exclude everything but a special fellowship under Dr. Nicole Herman (Geena Davis), one of the neonatal surgeons. She is dying from the aforementioned brain tumor and has a crash course of specific surgeries planned in order to pass on immense knowledge and special surgical techniques. There are some happy stories though such as the marriage of Dr. Webber to Dr. Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen), the world’s best urological surgeon. She is part of the Avery family oversees the previously mentioned and highly sought after Harper Avery Award. A little piece of current events is to play with the relationship with the relationship between April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). April went overseas to serve a tour as a military surgeon. The relationship is stretch of the breaking point when she continually extends her enlistment.

Of course in spite of all this they just couldn’t get away some trustee so popular tropes. There is the catastrophic event, in this case a total collapse due to an earthquake, that floods the emergency room giving most of the staff a large number of trauma patients to deal with. Ultimately it’s the expert blending exciting moment such as this with very personal and intimate reactions to grief that carries this season reinvigorating it. Remains to be seen how all these changes are going to be processed the coming twelve season. The perennial leading man is now gone and the entire dynamic of the characters to rent a massive paradigm shift.

bulletExtended Finale: "You're My Home"
bulletSpotlight: Caterina Scorsone - Get to know vibrant actress who's portrayed Dr. Amelia Shepherd, little sister of Dr. Derek Shepherd, on two hit series, and discover what she brings to the character, the set and the "Grey's" family.
bulletHow To Say Goodbye - Show Creator Shonda Rhimes reflects on the heartbreaking loss of the show's character Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy.
bulletDeleted Scenes
bulletIn Stitches - Check out the cast cutting up in and out of the OR.

Posted 08/15/2015

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