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Darryl Hannah*, Dr. Venkman** and I are ready to go for this week’s action packed TV premiere week.

Let’s talk about what we’re going to be watching this week and what we can expect to see from The Babble:

Monday:

Chuck (NBC 8:00)- I’ve found the previews for this show to be really hot and cold. Some days I’m really into it and can’t wait to see it, but others it just comes off as kind of silly and stupid. It’s about a computer geek who accidentally acquires a ton of government secrets as well as a price on his head for international terrorists and assassins. So, to keep the secrets safe, he falls under the protection of two CIA agents. I dunno, it looks harmless. We’ll see how it pans out.

Journeyman (NBC, 10:00)- Really, this show looks kind of cool, but mostly dumb. I’m only tuning in to get a Kevin McKidd (Rome) fix. I’m not expecting anything to write home about here.

Tuesday: 

House (Fox, 9:00)- My brother Iain loves this show and I can see why. It’s funny, fast-paced and edge-of-your-seat excitement. I’m excited to dive in and find a potential medical drama replacement for the ill-fated Grey’s Anatomy. I think you’ll really like it, too.

Have Fork, Will Travel (Food, 9:30)- This isn’t a new show, but it’s one I’ve been watching each week on Food Network and absolutely LOVING. The host, Zane Lamprey, travels around the world to a new destination each week and explores the whats, hows and whys of each location’s edible culture. It’s fascinating, funny and makes me want to travel and eat. This week he’s going to Jamaica. Jerk seasoning! Jerk seasoning!

 

Wednesday:

Private Practice (ABC 9:00)- You’re right, I do think that this is one of the worst ideas to ever come out of tragically fallen Seattle Grace Hospital, but I gotta check and make sure that all spark I had for Addison really is gone. While I’m not excited to see the previously composed, graceful and grown-up Addison get reduced to someone unrecognizable and unlikeable, I am going to watch at least the first episode or two so you all don’t have to. This is how much I love you and you can thank me later.

  Bionic Woman (NBC 9:00)- Though I really wish that this would be a good reason to watch more Egg on my TV, I am thoroughly excited and enthused for this show. It looks like it might be cheesy, but on the whole, I think it looks undoubtedly cool and interesting.  I’m not a fan of Heroes by any means, so I am hoping that this will be NBC’s action/sci-fi show that I can enjoy.

 Thursday (The busiest TV day EVER.)

This is definitely the day I’ve been waiting for for a long, long, long time. Let’s start with the rookies and work our way up to the big guns.

Ugly Betty (8:00 ABC)- If you don’t think that America Ferrera is absolutely adorable and lovely, then you’re a liar. And my new buddy Fran has been watching the season 1 DVDs and she’ll probably hurt me if I don’t watch and love this show. I’m looking forward to this one and will definitely report back on how badly I want to be friends with Betty and/or America.

My Name is Earl (NBC 8:00 *One Hour*)- Though Earl isn’t my favorite show on television, I can say that this show has a heart of solid gold. The show, while dealing with some off-beat and simply silly humor at times, always finds a way to be sweet and endearing in the end. Really, as far as I’m concerned, Earl is one of those shows that’s an easy laugh and a quick pick-me-up when needed.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC 9:00)- This is gonna hurt, kids. Here’s where we left off. And here’s where we’re going. It doesn’t look promising, gang, and this may very well be the last few episodes of Grey’s for me. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s an absolute shame that off-screen drama affected so much of the goodness we were used to on-screen, and now that Isaiah Washington’s gone, there’s hope. Right? Well, one would think that, except we’ve now got Derek, Meredith and Lexie Grey (who is hopefully not as awful as her half-sister), George, Izzie and Callie Continued, Alex and Ava, and newly ditched at the altar Christina. This is going to be an absolute mess and I can only hope that Shondra knows what she’s doing when she told us that she “had to burn it all down.” Oddly enough, the only character I am actually looking forward to checking back in with is Mark Sloane. It hurts bad, but we’ll just have to wait and see how this pans out.

The Office (NBC 9:00 *One Hour*)-  The show that knows how to deliver, blow for blow, scene by scene, joke by joke, is finally back in our life with a one hour season premiere titled “Fun Run.” I can’t wait. Not only can I not wait for my funny bone to be tickled to the Nth degree, I can’t wait to see what we’re coming back to. Corporate Ryan (Did you guys also get the e-mail?!), Dwight and Angela, Michael and Jan and of course, Jim and Pam. I know that my heart still has wings from the last scene of season 3. Those teary eyes and smile that lit up the Electric City?! So beautiful!  But I’m terrified, because really, nothing is every that easy over at DM Scranton. Karen’s still there, guys, and who knows how this is going to pan out. And let’s be real. Did you really think Kelly was going to give up on Ryan so easily? All-in-all, this is what I’m living for this week. I can’t wait and you can expect Scrantonicity to be back with a bang by Friday morning. It’s gonna rock. (PS- In case you haven’t heard, Mrs. Tracy Kay and I are headed to SCRANTON, PA next month to attend THE OFFICE CONVENTION. I’m not even making that up! I have a plane ticket and everything! Tickets go on sale this Tuesday! Get on it, gang. You know it’s gonna be totally worth it)

And I think that’s it. I’ll be sure to tune in to watch 30 Rock which starts next Thursday, but this week is definitely going to be busy and help me weed out the things worth weeding out. Can’t wait. I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth reporting back on and cannot wait to hear what you guys will be watching and what you thought!

So, what are you watching this week?

(*My pretty new HDTV)

(**My DV-R.)

Grey’s Anatomy and I aren’t completely on speaking terms right now.

But I was surprised when during Season 3 my heart opened up a little bit for Dr. Mark Sloane, or, as he’s known around the halls of the prestigious and and professional environment of Seattle Grace Hospital, McSteamy. Hunky Eric Dane made an appearance on Ellen last week.

It’s a quick little bit, but I love Ellen and Doc Glamour is one of the only characters that’s bringing be back to make an attempt at watching another season of the sinking ship. I’ll be watching safely from the comfort of my home but I’m not going down with this one.

Here’s a Season 4 Not Really A Spoiler Because If You’ve Been Watching You Could Have Figured It Out:

Remember when Derek meets the “girl in a bar?” And 45 minutes before Christina gets ding dong ditched at the altar he tells Meredith that she should be worried that he met a girl at a bar and it was the “highlight of his week.” WELL, friends! You wouldn’t believe this if you were holding out for some seriously good plot development from our dear writing staff over at GrAnatomy, BUT! In a promo for season 4 there is an exchange between Lexie Grey (Meredith’s step-sister who [surprise, surprise!] got an internship at SGH, Meredith and Derek in which we learn that Lexie is NOT ONLY Meredith’s step-sister but also Derek’s girl in a bar.  HA! Oh, the irony!

Seriously, I think if I am going to watch Season 4, which at the beginning, I will, I’ve gotta go into it with negative expectations in hopes to be pleasantly surprised.

 

It’s been a pretty dry Summer for Grey’s updates around The Babble, but last season left me on uneven ground with our friends over at Seattle Grace Hospital. I felt that towards the end of the season, the show really started to lose its bearings and started to become one of those promiscuous soap operas I had avoided by getting into Grey’s in the first place.  If you go here, you can read my review of the season finale, as well as a quote from Shonda Rhimes that gave me hope that Season 4 might be something different and something better.  For the sake of this post, here’s that quote again:

“So that’s it.  That was our season.  I did my level best to burn it all down this season, to burn it to the ground so that we can have a place to build from next season.  Burning it down was hard.  But next season…oh, next season is all about the fun and the pain and the new beginnings.  Because our interns are going to become residents.  Because everyone is single again — well, there is the little matter of Izzie and George and Callie…but still…”

I was personally really glad to see that revelation from Rhimes. It was good to know that she understood that she pretty much destroyed everything they had built up. And while I always thought it was for the sake of cheap drama, I can see now that it was also for the sake of being able to rebuild everything in the fall.

Season 4 is going to be a huge change, let’s have a look why

– Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) is no longer associated with Grey’s Anatomy. In fact, he’s been signed on for a short run with NBC’s Bionic Woman series this fall. What I find most interesting about that is that there are reports that Washington was talking with NBC Exec Ben Silverman long before his off-screen drama occurred. If you go here, you can read Shonda’s interview on the topic. Hmmm… I really do think that Washington is a spectacular actor and I am a firm believer that his off-screen antics truly got in the way of the development they were hoping would take place in Season 3. Oh, well.

But, with losing a friend we gain apparently three more. If you watched the season finale, you’re well aware that George is out (of the program at least), and Lexie Grey (Meredith’s half-sister) is in. Set to be played by Chyler Leigh (who’s been seen around your TV set on various shows like The Practice and Reunion.). As much as I think this might be throwing us in the wrong direction, I’m trusting you, Shonda. No word yet as to who the other two interns are.

Private Practice is geared up and ready to go for its Fall launch date. Starring Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery, the story follows her character’s tail-between-her-legs departure from Seattle Grace to the bright and sunny shores of Los Angeles. This is not only the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard, but for a while made me incredibly angry, especially since throughout the end of season 2 and the first half of season 3, Addison was my favorite character on the show, by a long shot. I’m really not planning on following this show, gang. I might watch the first few episodes, but don’t expect any news updates. If you’re into the show, and bless you if you are, you can get your fix here.

-Finally, an AP interview with Shonda herself about the fate of Season 4 reveals, once again, that she is well aware of the mess she’s created on the show. She admits that her characters took a “darker journey” last season with the death and infidelity that occurred, but also hopes that people are going to stick with the show as they’re going to “get back to having fun” next season. This actually kind of makes me happy to read that. I think that it’s important to realize that it really was not fun to watch that second half of Grey’s. And as I’ve said before, it’s a shame that it was because of so much off-screen drama. And in my opinion, the fun episodes of Grey’s (Season 3’s camping episode which will go down as my all time favorite Grey’s EVER.) are always, always the best. They know how to write witty and they know how to write drama and they can pair those two like mac n’ cheese. I just hope we remember how to keep things on an even keel over there at SGH. I like that she’s previously admitted to burning it all down, but I hope this means that Season 4 won’t start with everyone having massive amnesia and forgetting everything that has happened.

And so, it’s with that I also introduce you to our newest tag on The Babble, simply titled, Grey’s Anatomy. While I’m working on a better title, you’ll be able to find all the Grey’s News and Reviews right over there.

So let’s press on to sometime in September for the premiere of Season 4. Rhimes herself said, “This season will be the redemption from that mayhem.” Let’s hope she’s right.

This morning, very bright and early, Holywood Standard Time, Emmy Gods smiled down on our humble little office in Scranton, Penn and handed down NINE Emmy nominations to our favorite little paper pushers!!!


From this past year’s Emmy Awards after The Office won for Best Comedy Series.

Comedy Series: The Office
Lead Actor In A Comedy Series:Steve Carell
Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series:Rainn Wilson
Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series: Jenna Fischer
Directing For A Comedy Series:Ken Kwapis, for Gay Witch Hunt
Writing For A Comedy Series: Greg Daniels, for Gay Witch Hunt
Writing For A Comedy Series:Michael Schur, for The Negotiation
Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series: Dean Holland, Dave Rogers, for The Job
Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (half-hour) And Animation: John Cook, Peter J, Benjamin Patrick, for The Coup

 AWESOME! I am especially happy for Jenna and Rainn. While all characters, supporting and main, on this show are week-after-week consistently stellar, I feel that this past season gave us some of the absolute best Dwight ever. And Pam. Pam, Pam, Pam. I think any of you in doubt need to re-watch Beach Games and The Job. There you’ll find some of the best television ever and two of the many reasons that Jenna Fischer should walk away with this award.

 In other Emmy news, Grey’s Anatomy was nominated for Best Drama and four of its actors for their supporting roles. I’m going to go ahead and say that I really hope it doesn’t win for best drama. The second half of the season was lazy, contrived and ten million steps backwards from everything else we would have ever seen when the show was at it’s peak.  It’s up against House (which I always enjoy and will be watching more of this fall), Boston Legal, Heroes and The Sopranos. I’m gonna go ahead and call this category to The Sopranos, as well as many other categories where the show is nominated, being that the show has ended and Emmy Awards will tend to go to the retiring veterans.

As far as the Grey’s actors that were nominated:

T.R. Knight is up for supporting actor and there’s a menage-a-trois for supporting actress, as Katherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh split up the Grey’s vote.

I’d like to say that I’d pull for Knight, but think he’s definitely the dark horse.

And for Supporting, I’m goin’ with Team Oh. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to Heigl, but would be very surprised if it went to Wilson. While she was amazing whenever she was actually in the show, her character was very absent this past season and didn’t deliver enough memorable moments. Heigl is of course excellent in portraying her character, Izzie Stevens, but for me, the problem is her character. I think that Izzie has become hands down the least likable character on the show and that makes it hard to hope she wins. Oh is always spot-on and clearly understands her character inside and out, top to bottom. She definitely brought the big guns to the season finale and in spite of shoddy writing, really made that episode complete.

 

I can’t say I’m surprised, but I must admit that I thought we were in the clear from all of this Washing-ton-o-Drama on Grey’s Anatomy.

And though this does offer some more explanation to the hackneyed “wedding” season finale we got, it has been confirmed, finally, that Isaiah Washington will not be returning to the cast of Grey’s Anatomy next season.

 In retrospect, I am sure this is going to be able to explain a lot of the crap we were served in the second half of this season, but it also makes me upset to know that the personal, off-screen drama is getting in the way of the used-to-be-excellent on-screen drama.

All in all, I think it’s for the best. Though Preston Burke was a consistently great character, Washington’s mouth got him in enough trouble to taint that character for many fans.

Iain and I went to Newport on the Levee last night to see Knocked Up. Luckily, I was able to put away my soul-searing anger for Izzie Stevens to really enjoy Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen as two good-natured, polar opposite people trying to make good with a baby on the way. The movie had the raunch and debauchery of a run-of-the-mill “frat boy movie”, but the sweetness and heart of solid gold that I especially loved in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Judd Apatow is an incredibly talented guy who knows how to crank out the absolute best and worst of people in the funniest and sweetest ways possible.

Speaking of sweetest ways possible…

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Okay, I am finally caught up on my television. Finally. And for those who don’t know, The Office rocked my socks so good, that there was little hope for Grey’s Anatomy to pull out the big guns and be the season finale that really took my breath away (That award has already been presented to Beespert.).

That, and the fact that three of my most well-trusted judges of all things Grey’s gave less than stellar reviews, my expectations of this episode, as well as my motivation to get around to it was pretty low. But let’s have a look at “Didn’t We Almost Have it All” and at the end here you can also get my final verdict on the future of my relationship with Seattle Grace Hospital.

(I know my Grey’s audience is significantly smaller than my Office one, so those who want to know can carry on past the jump.)

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I am an optimist. I always try to see the bright side and always try to understand that things aren’t as bad as they seem and there’s always a way to get better. Always.

That being said, it occurred to me last night as I was getting ready to re-watch last weeks’ Grey’s Anatomy so I could have it fresh in my mind, that I am indeed giving far too much credit to these last few episodes that have been “better” but aren’t quite where we were a little over a year ago. Or at the beginning of this season, for that matter (if you ignore that terrible premiere episode.). Grey’s just isn’t what it used to be and I don’t know if I can continue to mentally bail out the writers of the show because I want it to be a show that’s different than the rest. I want a show that doesn’t rely on parlor tricks and cliches to up its ratings and become more popular in its target audience. We have Desperate Housewives for a reason, Grey’s doesn’t need to join their club. Grey’s Anatomy has become everything I hate about television, a sterling example of the unoriginality and undeniable fate of television drama. Sex, stupidity and arrogance sells. Keep it up, guys.

So where do we go from here? Because where I’m sitting, there are two ways to look at these episodes. 1) Using the gold standard we’ve received in the past to judge and scrutinize every move they make, and in turn hating every fiber of its being. Or, 2) We can take it at face-value for what it is. Get over what they’ve given us in the past and find a way to press on through at least this Thursday’s season finale and hope that all these death sentences are for good reason.

I am an optimist.

I am also not retarded. I’m gonna call it like I see it.  After I get home from work.

In case you were wondering if I was going to have another ‘I love it/I hate it’ Grey’s Anatomy post this week, well… I hoped I would, but time got away from me and I didn’t have too much to say pre-show.
Well, one thing to say.

There’s one thing that they give away in the preview and that’s that Meredith and Derek are (once again) having relationship troubles. And to be totally honest, I’m just a wee bit sick of all the drama between them. I mean, if it were something worth fighting for, I’d understand. But fact of the matter is, I have yet to see how or why you would fight for this relationship. It’s bland and they’re just not a good match. Carry on.

Anyway, I’m watching last night’s episode tonight, and will get down to blogging it shortly thereafter. Promise.

I’m trying hard to be optimistic about the falling star that has become Grey’s Anatomy. I’m trying to see the silver lining and understand that perhaps this is all for good reason. I mean, how can writers who delivered some of the better television I’ve seen in a long while, suddenly fall back on cheap cliches and lazy stereotypes? Where did they go wrong? To me, I think we really struck this downhill momentum at full force when they killed George’s dad and George and Callie had a knee jerk reaction to get married. Fiasco ensues.

But I’m sticking with it. Hanging on tight and rolling with the punches as hopefully the end of the season clarifies why they’d do half the things they did.

On that note, if you’re interested, check out creator Shonda Rhimes’ blog where she quiets a few of my fears, but creates rumblings in other areas. I’ll trust you Shonda… but trusting you better mean you’re going to fix these little problems we’ve been having. And soon. Like, next week soon.

Must depart, as this weekend’s non-stop non-stopping-ness begins… now. I’ll add more on this and the episode post-viewing. Hopefully it puts me in a happy bloggy mood. Stay tuned.

If you have yet to watch this past week’s two hour Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice mash-up, I’d consider skipping out on this post.

Otherwise, I’ll meet you on the inside.

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