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Addison's Very Special Sendoff

Since this was technically the pilot episode for the maybe-picked-up-this-fall Addison spinoff series, I have a lot to say about not only the events of that part of the story, but about my first impressions of characters and my thoughts on its future and whatnot.  Therefore, I am splitting my review into two parts by location, starting with the original Seattle-Grace.

Grey's Drama: "'Ello, Susan," I said pleasantly as she arrived at the clinic.  Although I could not understand why she'd be needing to visit a free clinic when she ought to have been able to go see her own doctor, I was willing to overlook that bit of silliness since I was far too blissed out over her clearly impending doom.  "I expect you'll be dying soon," I added cheerfully, before fast-forwarding her scenes because I really can't stand her eternally hangdog expression.   Yes, I'm glad she died.  I also loved Thatcher slapping Meredith and blaming her for it.  This should happen more often.  The slapping, I mean.  It should be a monthly occurrence. 

Also liked Meredith running out in tears.  And Derek's automatic attempt to reach out for her, only to be pushed away.  (McDreamy, you're welcome to come hug me instead.  Anytime.)  The worst part, though, is that when Thatcher started blubbering and scrunching up his hair and looking so heartbreakingly lost, I actually started to feel sorry for him.  What is the world coming to, when I feel sorry for THATCHER?  And that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as topsy-turvy world goes tonight.

And finally, in a choice between a night with McDreamy and slamming tequila shots with Izzie and Alex...only Meredith would choose the latter.  Eye roll.  See if I feel sorry for her next week.

Sadface Mark: I am making a mighty effort to continue laughing at Mark's pain, but he's making it increasingly difficult this week.  He's like a young child being told "no" for the first time, and the realization is slowly sinking in that no matter what he does he's not going to get his way, and he is utterly shocked because his world has UNRAVELED and now he doesn't know what to do.  Though I rather appreciated Derek smirking about him catching Addison doing it with someone else ("I can't imagine what that feels like").  Later on, he corners Alex and makes some vague threats about how the latter drove Addison out of town.  It's hard to choose the lesser of two evils, but in this scenario, I really kind of wanted Mark to flatten him. Speaking of that...

Alex/Ava: OH!  It hit me like a bolt out of the blue yesterday why she seems so familiar - she was Crazy Rape Victim "Anya" on one episode of Standoff, where she developed a crush on Matt!  I was watching SVU and running over in my head key words that might signal a woman who's previously been raped, and the one that jumped to mind was Anya seething "I'M the one with the power now!", at which point I realized Anya = Ava.  I'm extremely pleased with myself.  Anyway.  I've jumped feetfirst into shipping this pair.  All because of her comment, "You're so good with me.  What's wrong with you you can't be this good with someone you have feelings for?" Clearly Addison was a lust-filled fling, while he's been falling in love with Ava.  If you expect me to believe he really is developing a sensitive side, I will accept no other explanation.  

Burke/Cristina: Bits of it were funny...kind of...no, no they weren't.  I just sat through 70 minutes of wedding junk on ER and I don't want to deal with it anymore, so I can't wait until it's over.  I don't want to see Cristina try on wedding dresses and be bullied into asking Callie to be her bridesmaid or anything like that.  Also, I really thought Burke was going to stand up to his mama at the end, but although he did nicely call her out on the 'I trust you' crap, he then degraded into a tangent about how he knows what's best for Cristina.  What I got out of it was that he tells her what to do and she resists, but in the end she likes it (I believe the word "grateful" was being thrown around) because then she doesn't have to make decisions.  Or think, apparently.  For the first time ever, I kind of hate Burke.  Fortunately, it was all fixed in the end, as there was more adorable snuggling on the couch.  And I liked that he asked if she was happy, sounding very serious and a little worried about it, she looked genuinely surprised that he thought she wouldn't be.  Aww. 

George/Izzie: George?  Please stop talking about Mercy West like it's a viable option.  It's beginning to make me nervous.  And I've been avoiding spoilers as far as they pertain to contract negotiations, because those are sucky spoilers - I hate knowing in advance that a person is going to be gone without getting any context for it.  In this case, my fear of bad news outweighs the hope for good news, so I'm staying in the dark. 

ANYWAY.  The crying on his shoulder business in the elevator was nice.  The way it melted into kissing was not.  I am not quite that accepting of Gizzie yet.  Too soon!  WAY too soon for kissing and tongue and EW.  Way to ruin your last chance at convincing George to stay because you can be just friends, Izzie.  THANKS.  Though on an entirely shallow note, her curly ponytail was even bouncier and cuter than the loose curls last week.

Bailey The Nazi: Is hilarious when putting Burke in his place with the same tenacity used on George, ordering them to leave her marriage out of their own troubled love lives, and then kicking them both out of her clinic.  I love Bailey.  I cannot walk away from this show as long as she's on it.

And I think that about wraps up the drama in Seattle this week.  Hop in the shiny red convertible and we're on our way!
------------
So far, it looks like there are 7 main characters at Oceanside Wellness Group or whatever it's called, and I actually like more characters than I hate.  We'll go in order of interest - starting with Addison, who as we all know is utterly fantastic.  This is an established fact.   Addie Can Do No Wrong, at least not when she keeps her pants on and her tongue in her own mouth.

2. Naomi.  Even though my initial reaction was to gasp "ZUT ALORS!  That is Robin, the 'Wing Chick' from CSI: Miami episode "Killer Date," I am pretty sure I can get used to calling her Naomi because I adore her.  I hated Addison's "girl talk" chats with Callie; hated them, but I absolutely adore her with Naomi.  They have fantastic giggly chemistry, and I buy without question the idea that they're BFFs despite not having spoken in 2 years.  It's just so, so natural and easy whenever they talk.  This is what girl talk is supposed to be like.

3. Sam.  I swore up and down that I could not possibly refer to him as anything other than "Taye Diggs," and to some extent that's true, but I can adjust.  Because I love him even more than I love Naomi.  To whom, by the way, he still ought to be married, and I will spend the entirety of the series waiting for him to go back to her.  His rationale for the divorce is B.S. ("I woke up and couldn't do it anymore."), and if you can be great friends with someone after divorce, that's probably a sign you didn't need to get a divorce in the first place.  People are so flighty these days.  *eye roll* BUT, that aside, he is hysterical.  I laughed until I cried when Addison stalked into his office and started slapping him on the head (and saying exactly what I wanted her to say).
"Idiot.  You divorced Naomi?"
"Mind your own business.  [headslap] Ow."
"Moron.  She is my best friend."  [headslap]
"Stop hitting me on top of my head." 

Addison has equally fantastic chemistry with him.  Hell, she has better chemistry with him than she does with McDreamy, not in a romantic context but simply in terms of a believable connection between them.  And even when she's not in the scene, I just love...everything he says.  The way he says everything is so neutral and understated that I kind of can't help but laughing. 

4. Violet.  Again, I swore up and down that I could not possibly refer to her as anything but "Amy Gray," and I kept this up well into hour 2, but eventually it wore off.  My initial impression was that she was dressed like a teenager with 80's hair and the makeup of a hooker, but then she was fantastically frumpy in the grocery store, and it turns out I really love her as a psychologist.  And by the end of the episode I had come to the realization that she cries - a lot - and so naturally, I like her.  And want to be her best friend, because she could do with some cheering up.  *pause* Damn it, Mark Sloan...you permanently ruined that phrase for me.

5. Receptionist/Surfer Kid.  Here's the beginning of my "dislike" list.  Not only do I have the nagging feeling he appeared on CSI Miami at some point, but that whole scene of him strolling out of the office to go surfing, already shirtless?  With the three women almost literally drooling at the sight?  *retch* Okay, not only are said women shamelessly throwing away their self respect and being entirely inappropriate and Julie Cooper-ish - seeing as he's like TWELVE (Addison?  I can usually count on you to point that out...), and I am positive he is no older than 18 - who is actually finding the kid attractive?  It's just a gross display of over developed muscles.  I don't want to think about it anymore.

6 & 7.  Um, and then there are the other two doctors.  One of them is Cooper, but I never caught the other's name, so for now I am going to call him Quack.  He's played by Tim Daly, I think, but that's irrelevant since I don't know who Tim Daly is.  [Edit: OI!  He was the creepy reverend on a recent SVU episode! ("Sin")  Crap, now I'll never like him.]  Anyway, Cooper is incredibly pathetic and I fail to understand why anyone would sleep with him without first being paid large sums of money.  And Quack reminds me a whole lot of a slightly younger Creepy Doc, so you can imagine my feelings about him kissing Addison.  But, all in good time.

Other guest stars of note - the pregnant girl had me going "Grace?!" (Joan of Arcadia), while the lady desperate for sex had me shrieking "MONICA BITCH WEST!" (for those of you familiar with my nickname for the CSI Miami's villain-behind-the-mole-scheme).

Things that worked
*As previously mentioned, the cast as a whole.  Even the two docs I don't like might eventually grow on me; everybody seems to have chemistry here.  I really felt like I was in Addison's shoes, coming into this funny, quirky little pre-established groups of colleagues and getting a sense of their history as I went along.  Also, with the exception of Surfer Kid, everybody here is of proper adult age which means less creepy age disconnect with attendings dating interns and the like.  And here's hoping that they're slightly more mature in their day to day lives, even though I know that's far too much to ask for.  I can dream, can't I?  Hey, I can deal with Quack being a serial monogamist - that's better than being a manwhore. 

I also really like the history with Sam and Naomi and their daughter - whom I hope we see more of; Addie is her godmother, right? - and I'd like to hear some more stories of the past.  For now, I will content myself with daydreams set pre-2005, because the image of Addison & Derek + Naomi & Sam hanging out as a pair of married couples is just too delicious.  The sheer smoking hotness of that foursome is practically illegal.  *sighs wistfully* Guess they'll join my other favorite NY couple-that-never-was, Mac & Claire Taylor. 

*Continuing in this train of thought, the cases.  It's not all OB/GYN; each doctor has a completely different specialty, and that should keep things from getting repetitive.  And as an added bonus, patient care will probably be a lot less messy than it is when your main characters are all surgeons.  Yay!

*Sam owning a chihuahua.  All dogs are worth squeeing over, no matter how small and insignificant.

*Addison's infertility.  I want to say I didn't like it, and that's largely true - because ever since her earlier comments about wanting a baby with Derek, and not wanting one with Mark because he wasn't the right guy, I've been feeling extremely sympathetic towards Addison's maternal instincts and desire for a family rising to the surface, and it broke my heart to hear that will never come true for her.  However, it did provide us with a heartwrenching scene of her sobbing in the elevator, and that was enough to call it good.  And y'know, they really could have turned part of that into a PSA about how having an abortion can increase your risk of infertility.  But they didn't even touch on it.  I don't know whether to be pleased or disappointed.

*Violet rejecting Cooper's attempted kiss.  Excellent!  Nobody in Seattle would have that kind of willpower. 

Things that didn't work
*I, along with everyone else in the world, think that the talking-elevator thing was stupid.  It didn't take me long to sigh and admit that the spinoff wasn't going to be the serious hour of drama I'd hoped for, but it doesn't need to blatantly take cues from soap operas here.  This needs to never be brought up again. 

*The wrong, wrong, wrong...thing between Robin (sorry, force of habit) Naomi and Surfer Kid.  Kid, there is no romantic connection here, and stop deluding yourself that there is.  There is only an indecent amount of sexual attraction between you (God knows why), which means nothing so much as "find a cold shower now." 

*Quack and Addison.  When one of earliest lines at Oceanside was about their strict "no-consorting" rule, I pumped my fist and shouted "YEAH!", ignoring the little voice that kept telling me the only reason to have a line as blatant as that was if they were planning to break the rule ASAP.  You see, what I really, really, really wanted out of this spin-off was for Addison to put on her scrubs, look around, and realize she didn't need a man to define her life.  In fact, aren't her tangled relationships with men half the reason for her leaving SGH?  Foolishly, I thought perhaps we could do something novel by rescuing a character from the sexfest that is Grey's and transplanting her in her own show where she could shine as a...doctor.  I was thinking something like a season (*gasp* 1 year!) of her just working before she even started to think about dating again.  But oh no, she flirts with the first man who comes along.  And then makes out with him.  Addie, Addie, Addie.  We talked about this.  We talked about you becoming strong and empowered and independent...and here you are,

I'm sorry, I was talking about Quack.  I hate that new shows can apparently no longer get off the ground without some sort of romance being forced down our throats from the get-go.  Let me show you what my reaction to that scene was -

Quack: I'm gonna kiss you
RS: No.
Quack: I'm gonna kiss you with tongue.
RS: EW! And here at the 61/85 minute mark, I have my first truly negative reaction to the Addison spinoff.  *gags in a corner and frantically slaps at ABC.com player until it jumps forward 2 minutes in time*

OVERALL: I think I would like to give this show a chance if it's picked up in the fall, provided they either a) stick it in a timeslot that does not clash with my pre-existing schedule, or b) air episodes online.  It definitely has a different tone - literally as well figuratively; every time scenes cut back to SGH I kept thinking how dark and dreary it seemed - but I want to see Addison in a new environment.  If I have to suffer through her trying on another crappy relationship, so be it; it's better than the two crappy ones she had in Seattle, plus here she has a good gal pal.  It's always hard to tell with spin-offs, and there are inevitably comparisons between old and new sets of characters until you can get a handle on who the new characters are, but I've generally had a positive reaction to spinoffs (even setting aside the procedurals, Lone Gunmen comes to mind) and see no reason this shouldn't follow the same trend.

Provided they keep the explicit sex to a minimum, of course.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
stunt_muppet
May. 7th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
Okay, off-topic, but wasn't there an entry after this one? About crime shows getting called soap operas? It seems to have dissapeared.
rainbowstevie
May. 7th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
There was. However, I am prone to fits of paranoia whenever I stray very far into personal opinion posts, and after discovering I'd been cut from two peoples' flists today I decided I wasn't in the mood to risk comments on anything and deleted it. Sorry if you had something you wanted to say.
stunt_muppet
May. 7th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
Ah. That explains the vanishing. Thanks.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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