Friday, July 27, 2012

More cast upheaval hits Grey's Anatomy

The long-running ABC show ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is going to look vastly different this season.

First, the show lost Chyler Leigh’s Lexie Grey when the young doctor was killed in a plane crash in the season finale.

Fans also said goodbye to Kim Raver’s heart surgeon Teddy, when the character returned to the military.

Now, on the heels of all that, is the announcement by Eric Dane that he’s taking his long-running horndog Mark Sloan out of play as well.

For those that don’t remember, Dane joined the show in the second season as a plastic surgeon that slept with anything that moved.

In the beginning, Mark was a character that had very little depth. He softened a bit when they paired with with Leigh’s Lexie – but he still had edge.

Over the past two seasons, though, Mark’s likeability factor has been pretty low. Not only did he mistreat Lexie – forcing her to break up with him – but he also became obsessed with having kids.

While I was a big fan of ‘Grey’s Anatomy – The Early Years’ – I consider myself a sporadic watcher (at best) these days. I did tune in for the season finale, though, and found parts of it to be compelling and parts of it to be ridiculous.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is one of those shows that’s well past its prime.

When it was launched, it was essentially a show about five surgical interns and their complicated love lives.

Two of those interns (Katherine Heigl’s Izzy and T.R. Knight’s George) left of their own accord at the end of season four/beginning of season five. Ever since then, the chemistry of the show has been off.

Much like NBC’s ‘ER,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has been able to introduce a bevy of new characters over the years to keep the storylines fresh. The problem is, none of these characters have been able to match the chemistry of the original five.

Sure, they’ve had some hits – Kevin McKidd’s Owen and Sara Ramirez’s Callie being the best two – but they’ve also had some misses. I can’t find one fan that likes the annoying April – and yet she’s still around.

Fans were up in arms after the season finale – mostly because they wanted a happy ending for Lexie and Mark. At the time, show creator Shonda Rhimes warned that the rest of the cast wasn’t safe.

Now, with Dane’s announcement that he’s leaving, I can’t help but wonder when this decision was made.

I know that Rhimes likes to get buzz – and that’s why killing off Lexie probably seemed like a good idea to her. With Dane leaving, though, I think she might have been better off sending the couple off into the sunset together.

We know that Dane is returning for a limited number of episodes to finish his character off. I have no idea how many, but I doubt it will be a lot. I think Rhimes will go for the gusto and kill Mark off – rather than have him leave Seattle Grace.

With Lexie gone, quite frankly, it makes no sense to have Mark take off for parts unknown and leave behind his small daughter.

Given its age – and the high profile contract renewals with series regulars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey several months ago – I think that Dane and Leigh were probably casualties of budget more than anything else.

I know both said it was their choice to leave – but more often than not show runners let actors say that to save face.

Some fans have said this could be a great time of revival on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ – a time to bring in fresh faces and fresh drama.

Let me ask you this, though, was ER better with George Clooney or Mekhi Phifer?

Essentially, what I’m saying is that ABC might want to let ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ go out with a little dignity instead of sucking all the marrow from the show’s bones.

What do you think? Is it time to put ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ out of its misery?


Blogger Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

"I think that Dane and Leigh were probably casualties of budget more than anything else."

'Fraid not. I have a friend who works on that set. First off, the Grey's set is and always has been a total war zone. It is the most unhappy set in current television, it is infamous for that fact. You can thank Shondra Rhimes for that (Private Practice set not as bad, mostly b/c the actors are more mature). Chyler came to painful decision to leave because she was being harassed by a male cast member (guess who) and SR wouldn't fire the perpetrator. Now that Dane is out (not known if voluntary or not, but probably related to his substance abuse), guessing CL is VERY unhappy she took the hit. Story behind scenes is she got some hush money. Definitely not budgetary for her.

August 2, 2012 at 4:45 PM 

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