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S12.E01: Sledgehammer

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I thought it was a terrible premiere. I realized tonight that there are only four or five characters on this show I care about even a little, and those characters rarely interact with each other. And of course, other than not getting along with Amelia, Meredith is doing just great, one year after her husband's death. I particularly hated the line where she said "I used to love with someone who knew that I like...." when explaining to Maggie why Amelia is driving her crazy. Derek is just someone now? Of course. So I'm guessing the writers decided that having Derek's picture on the fridge and his drawing of that epic tumor surgery sitting on the ground in her bedroom was enough of a nod to Derek as if he and Meredith's love story only deserves a short nod. Ridiculous.

Also, I'm an atheist liberal and even I thought the patient storyline was obnoxious as hell. So the Christian fundamentalist is a total bigoted bitch (shocker) while the Muslim man was perfectly open and accepting. Whatever. I'm sure some tea party blog is going to have a field day with that.

I have yet to miss an episode of this show, but I may finally walk away.

 

 

When physically assaulting a family member over a difference of opinion is cheered by the rest of the staff, one has to seriously wonder about Shondaland and whether to return!

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I liked this one. I have no problem with not seeing the kids, because kids always have and always will be a prop on TV shows primarily about adults that aren't also primarily about families. Grey's isn't a family sitcom, so I suspend disbelief there. Plus, with all the regulars they have to pay, I can see why they don't want to waste screen time on kids.

 

I like Meredith/Amelia/Maggie -- it's different than George and Izzie in that they're Meredith's family. And they're all dysfunctional in some sense, unlike Lexie from the loving home. Meredith is a stray herself now, in a sense. Lots of projection on her part when she was criticizing Amelia (and vice-versa).

 

I liked the "anti-conversion camp" storyline, but I agree it would've been more creative or inventive if the parents were the liberal elite. Bigotry comes in all shapes and sizes. Slight points to the show for the mother being the intolerant one and the father being more open-minded. That was somewhat novel, especially for a stock "right wing Christian" family.

 

But I kind of loved Maggie punching that woman out -- not because of who the woman was -- but because of the conversation they'd had about how she'd been bullied and had never done anything about it. It felt like an oddly natural response if you were already in that mindset of remembering your bully victim status. Definitely an OMG moment.

 

And I laughed at the meta moment where the show announced all its improbable tragedies, and how they'd somehow all happened with Arizona in the vicinity. "You're probably immortal." Hee hee. Felt like a welcome bit of self-awareness.

 

I have (perhaps foolishly) high hopes for this Jackson and April storyline. Shonda (and her ilk) have brought marriages to the brink twice (Cristina and Owen, and Callie and Arizona) but have never successfully brought one back from the brink. Jackson and April's estrangement seems to be connected to one event (the loss of their baby) that could perhaps be helped by intensive therapy. I'd like to see therapy work, and one couple be able to slowly reconnect and work on their marriage without eventually divorcing. I don't think Jackson and April are fundamentally broken at their core -- they've just sustained a lot of damage. Come on, Shonda (and co.) -- surprise me.

 

With very few stable relationships, this is feeling a lot more like the Island of Misfit Toys that Grey's was in the earlier seasons. I like it. Let's see what happens next.

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I was disgusted when Maggie punched that woman out, even though I didn't agree with the woman's position regarding her daughter.  I'm just sorry the woman didn't have the presence of mind to punch Maggie's lights out in return.  Also, I'm pretty sure Maggie wouldn't have done that shit to a black woman.  Beatdown in the hospital, yeah.

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I saw Alex's "I was fat and was bullied" as merely a way to show how he's finally opening up to Jo and showing his hand. I know the theme of the show was bullying, and the fat thing was definitely pulled out of nowhere, but it was one of the few times Alex let his guard down and gave Jo a glimpse of some inner feelings. I think the resulting kiss was not "Awww, I feel bad for you, you got bullied," but rather, "Wow, you just shared something really painful and private with me." Or perhaps it's a bit of both.

 

I fast forwarded through Bailey's entire story line. Even Stevie Wonder could've seen she'd become chief. And yes, the voice of the actress playing the other candidate was horrible.

 

I, too, didn't care that we didn't see Meredith's kids. This is a soap opera about people who work together - kids are just an aside, to be used to create problems or tragedy. There's almost no aspect of this show that is realistic, so I don't expect to see how Meredith functions as a single mother with a stressful, consuming career.

 

Otherwise, I thought it was an OK episode. I've watched the show since Day One, and while it's been a long haul, I'll see it through to the end, whenever that may be and whatever nonsense may ensue.

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I, too, didn't care that we didn't see Meredith's kids. This is a soap opera about people who work together - kids are just an aside, to be used to create problems or tragedy. There's almost no aspect of this show that is realistic, so I don't expect to see how Meredith functions as a single mother with a stressful, consuming career.

 

To be honest, I've never cared that we don't see the kids.  I've never felt there was a need for them to waste lines to say, 'oh, they are with the nanny', 'oh, they are in daycare', etc.  Having said that, when they were knocking down the wall, even I, who doesn't give a rat's ass about the kids whereabouts, was thinking that would wake up the kids and they needed a line to say something to the effect of, 'whew, glad we all agreed to soundproof the kids rooms' for me not to notice.

Edited by pennben
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Also, I'm an atheist liberal and even I thought the patient storyline was obnoxious as hell. So the Christian fundamentalist is a total bigoted bitch (shocker) while the Muslim man was perfectly open and accepting. Whatever. I'm sure some tea party blog is going to have a field day with that.

Did they say the other family was Muslim, I don't remember any mention of their religion?

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They did not say he was Muslim; however, they also did not say the mother was Christian, that I can recall. So I guess I'm guilty of assuming both parents' religious beliefs based on the character's appearance and backstory. I believe the writers intended the audience to identify the mother as Christian and the other father as Muslim though.

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They did not say he was Muslim; however, they also did not say the mother was Christian, that I can recall.

 

 

The mom said that the camp to which she was going to send her daughter was run by a pastor, so you could assume that she (the mom) practices some variation of Christianity.

 

As for the widowed father, you could infer that he is Muslim based on his name, his accent, and his appearance (which kills me to write, because it sounds as if I"m racially profiling him!). Also, his daughter's name was Aliyah, and while any human of any ethnicity could have that name, it's generally defined as an Arabic word meaning 'exalted' (and again, that also sounds like racial profiling...certainly not every person who speaks Arabic must be Muslim).

 

Of course it wasn't enough that the girls were of the same gender. Making them of different ethnic and religious backgrounds created even more "drama."

Edited by Biggie B
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You could infer the family were Muslim, but they could've easily been Hindu, Sikh or Christian.

It is specifically mentioned the white family have a pastor, and therefore christian.

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I just finally caught up with the past few seasons on Sunday since I watch another show on Thursday nights and didn't bother to DVR Grey's.  Wow, so much happened and changed!  Derek dying just happened for me so I'm still sad about it.  So many people are gone - it's just strange that both the "Mc" guys are dead.

 

Anyway, I watched the premiere Sunday night too.  I liked it okay.  I'm curious to see how the show progresses without Derek.  Luckily, I don't hate any of the characters so I'm open to seeing what happens.

 

I really liked that Meredith was wearing Derek's ferry boat scrub cap. 

 

I hope Amelia is able to get past being "the other Shepard" now that Derek is gone.  She's probably the only character that really bugs me.

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To be honest, I've never cared that we don't see the kids.  I've never felt there was a need for them to waste lines to say, 'oh, they are with the nanny', 'oh, they are in daycare', etc.  Having said that, when they were knocking down the wall, even I, who doesn't give a rat's ass about the kids whereabouts, was thinking that would wake up the kids and they needed a line to say something to the effect of, 'whew, glad we all agreed to soundproof the kids rooms' for me not to notice.

 

I liked this one. I have no problem with not seeing the kids, because kids always have and always will be a prop on TV shows primarily about adults that aren't also primarily about families. Grey's isn't a family sitcom, so I suspend disbelief there. Plus, with all the regulars they have to pay, I can see why they don't want to waste screen time on kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree, this isn't a family drama and I've always been ok with not seeing the kids or wondering where they were.  However, i do feel like they could have snuck in a line or two about waking up the kids, or even hearing a baby crying.  There are things they can do to make some of these scenarios less inane.  All of the less invested people I know who watch (the "normal" people) all had the same two comments.  1) Why would they attempt knock down the wall with kids sleeping and 2) why would Arizona need a roommate.  I feel like these two things they definitely missed the mark on, but otherwise I was happy with the episode.  On to episode 2!

 

 

Of course it wasn't enough that the girls were of the same gender. Making them of different ethnic and religious backgrounds created even more "drama."

 

At first when the mother approached the other father, I thought some of the hate towards him was going to be about his ethnicity/religion, but I was pleasantly surprised that didn't seem to be an issue for the mom, more just that she was against her daughter being involved with a girl (of any background).  Maybe others saw it differently though.

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The PSA (bullying is bad! Homophobia is bad! Bisexuals exist! Religious/ethnic stereotypes aren't always accurate [cept when they are]!) was HILARIOUSLY heavy handed but I can't say it was a message I didn't appreciate. If you have a huge number of people listening to you why not say something good, yeah?

 

EDIT:

 

Hated the music btw. Wrecking Ball when two teenage girls just got hit by a train? Are. You. Serious. : - |

Edited by Fredward
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They said homophobia is bad and bullying is bad, what isn't good about that?

I wouldn't say it was a PSA that bisexuality exists. Callie mentioned it in a situation that called for it. It may seem heavy handed because she's only one of two bisexuals that I can think of on US TV.

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Hated the music btw. Wrecking Ball when two teenage girls just got hit by a train? Are. You. Serious. : - |

 

Wrecking Ball is already poor taste on its own, whiny emo cover included.

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The music this season it's the worst it's ever been. It's so distractingly awful.

 

Finally caught up with episode and it was ok. The bloated cast hurts the show and this episode showed that.

 

The sisters Grey - I don't know if I'm sold. I like the idea of it but I really can't stand Smug Shepard so anything that encourages her getting screentime I'm against. The wall thing was annoying because unless she bought shares in Meredith's house, does she really have any right to bitch out at her like that?

 

I want to like Maggie and I keep trying but seriously show making her the central of EVERYTHING does not endear her to me. The bullying storyline could have gone to anyone and Maggie already had the sisters side plot but of course it had to end up being about her. While the mother was awful the punch was worse. Well actually the punch was kind of funny but everyone's reactions of high fiving her was exhausting. She was propped all the way through season 11, can we have a break now please. She's a great character on her own. She doesn't need excess screentime and propping. Save it for one of the other 13 odd characters who are getting ignored.

 

I had to laugh at the beginning of the episode, since when does everyone like April enough to want to do a ~thing for her return. Arizona I can buy but Callie spends most of her time rolling her eyes at her. I did like the scene with her and Jackson and their romance is one of the few I'm interested in seeing get amended this season. I like them together and I get why he's mad, I do hope we don't get another Stpehanie redux though.

 

Speaking of whom, is she now specialising in paediatrics as well or is that just plot contrivance so she could have scenes with Arizona. I did love Arizona in this episode. She was funny and I like the banter with the intern.

 

I liked the little scene with Alex/Jo in the end. I really don't want the writers to ruin them this season but I fear that they will..

 

Could not care less about Owen or his romance with Smug.

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I remember in the earlier seasons, the cast would do interviews where they were talking about shadowing real surgeons and watching surgeries and they said that surgeons chit chat about inane things while operating.

So, it might seem like the show taking creative liberties, but it really isn't. In reality, total silence is probably worse. Easier chance of zoning out.

 

 

Well, during *routine* surgery they chit chat over inane things, but not when the going gets tough, and not over who's doing whom or who's upset about this or that. It's things of no real consequence, not like in this episode where they are talking about personally emotionally charged issues like how they were bullied as kids or whether they are going to put in for chief or not.

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Well, during *routine* surgery they chit chat over inane things, but not when the going gets tough, and not over who's doing whom or who's upset about this or that. It's things of no real consequence, not like in this episode where they are talking about personally emotionally charged issues like how they were bullied as kids or whether they are going to put in for chief or not.

 

Well-said.

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I remember in the earlier seasons, the cast would do interviews where they were talking about shadowing real surgeons and watching surgeries and they said that surgeons chit chat about inane things while operating.

 

"Chit chat about inane things" is fine (like my OB and the nurse midwife discussing the kids' Spring soccer tryouts once they handed the newly born baby to the nurse and commencing to tie by tubes and sew up my uterus). Heated exchanges about personal lives while trying to prevent someone from bleeding out, now that's something else entirely.

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"Chit chat about inane things" is fine (like my OB and the nurse midwife discussing the kids' Spring soccer tryouts once they handed the newly born baby to the nurse and commencing to tie by tubes and sew up my uterus). Heated exchanges about personal lives while trying to prevent someone from bleeding out, now that's something else entirely.

Well-said,too.

 

I often wonder they have Linda Klein on set, a qualified nurse,who knows maybe she has pointed out this issue,but no one obviously cares Shonda, writers,actors,producers - simply nobody as we witness this fact on screen. For example, the bullying conversation going on between Maggie, Callie,Alex, or the bickering between Meredith and Amelia in this episode -so out of line amidst surgery I can´t even say. I haven´t watched Bailey surgery scene properly - but I suspect she was operating and giving her chief speech amidst surgery.OK then.

 

I mean there have been worse personal scenes between them  during surgeries than in this episode but all in all, it is just stupid and lame of writers to continue this crap. The only surgeon who I believe was capable of following what she was doing even though she was talking personal crap was Cristina.

Edited by Season5OwenHuntfan
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I know I play devils advocate a lot here, but just for the sake of seeing both sides: the show has literally always had extremely inappropriate conversations going on during surgery. There's doctors fighting, crying, talking about sex, throwing other surgeons out over personal issues, etc. They also discuss patient matters inappropriately, have sex in on-call rooms while avoiding pagers, inappropriately deal with patients and families, make scenes all over the hospital, drink heavily before working, and the list goes on... HIPAA doesn't exist in Grey's. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I've been over it since at least season 2 or 3. 

 

The quality of the writing was certainly better in earlier years, but a lot of things that get really nit-picked now have always been hallmarks of this show. If the docs didn't talk about personal issues during surgery, we'd either never get surgical scenes, or they'd all be incredibly boring. 

Edited by BaseOps
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...the show has literally always had extremely inappropriate conversations going on during surgery. There's doctors fighting, crying, talking about sex, throwing other surgeons out over personal issues, etc. They also discuss patient matters inappropriately, have sex in on-call rooms while avoiding pagers, inappropriately deal with patients and families, make scenes all over the hospital, drink heavily before working, and the list goes on... HIPAA doesn't exist in Grey's.

 

 Indeed. The show is, after all, a soap opera first and foremost. There'd be nothing to watch if this ^^ didn't happen.

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Well-said,too.

 

I often wonder they have Linda Klein on set, a qualified nurse,who knows maybe she has pointed out this issue,but no one obviously cares Shonda, writers,actors,producers - simply nobody as we witness this fact on screen. 

 

Well, they aren't going to stop having personal discussions.  Who wants to watch a surgery where all the doctors are chatting about the weather? I think it's just an unrealistic thing you have to accept about the show.

 

But if this was real life,  I totally wouldn't want to get sick in Seattle.

Edited by KaveDweller
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The quality of the writing was certainly better in earlier years, but a lot of things that get really nit-picked now have always been hallmarks of this show. If the docs didn't talk about personal issues during surgery, we'd either never get surgical scenes, or they'd all be incredibly boring.

Agree with your entire post, but especially this. I have no hard proof but I'd say the majority of important conversations happen either in the OR or the scrub room and I have no problem with it. Probably an unpopular opinion but the tequila/OR scene was one of my favorites of the episode.

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