My willing suspension of disbelief is gone with 'Grey's Anatomy' . . . seriously
Because of my job, I've been lucky enough to visit the sets of television shows and talk to many of the actors who play my favorite characters. And it's never, ever affected my willing suspension of disbelief.
I've been able to sit at a booth at MacLaren's on the "How I Met Your Mother" set and still watch the show and totally believe this group of five friends are living in New York. I've been to the Walker home, yet I still think the family on "Brothers & Sisters" is busy running Ojai Foods in California (when they aren't fighting, of course). I've walked through the lab on "Bones," but can still watch Booth and Brennan solve crimes without thinking "That's not really a lab."
But something happened to me when I watched the season premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" (next Thursday on ABC beginning at 9 p.m.). I couldn't shake the behind-the-scenes drama that dominated the show last season. I felt almost no emotion as all the doctors attended George's funeral (I don't think I'm spoiling anything here since pictures of this scene have been everywhere). All I could think was, 'Well T.R. Knight wanted out and now he's not on the show.' I've honestly never had this happen to me before - where I am unableto watch what's on the screen and take it for what it is.
I don't know if it's because "Grey's Anatomy" already did so much damage last season with the never-ending Dead Denny storyline that I was already detached from the show or if it's because over the years we've heard so much about how what goes on backstage at "Grey's Anatomy" that it has now had some sort of cumulative effect.
As I said on Monday, this is the time to wipe the TV slate clear and face the fall with an open mind, but I'm not sure the show can win me back. ABC only released the first hour of the two hour premiere for review so who knows maybe all the magic happens in hour two. Are you excited for the season premiere of "Grey's Anatomy?" Have off-screen happenings ever affected you when you watch a TV show? Talk about it below.
"House" also returns next week with a two-hour season premiere Monday at 8 p.m. on FOX. As you may recall, when we last left Dr. House, he had checked into a mental institution because he was suffering from grand delusions (most notably that he had slept with Cuddy). The premiere is a very different episode. Except for Wilson who makes a brief cameo appearance, none of the series regulars appear. It's all House, all the time. Andre Braugher (one of my all time favorite actors) guest stars as Dr. Darryl Nolan, the man in charge of Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital and in charge of trying to help House. As you can imagine House doesn't take well to being committed and at the beginning tries to stage a "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" type coup. It's highly entertaining to watch a familiar TV character interact with a whole new set of supporting characters. The episode gives us new insight into House (it also screams, "Give Hugh Laurie an Emmy award!") and also House new insight into himself - especially when his typical antics have dire consequences. There are also several moments where we have never seen House so vunerable.
At the end of the two hours, I found myself thinking, "I wonder where the show can go from here?" And honestly I'm not sure, but I'm definitely along for the sixth season ride. Are you excited for the season premiere of "House?" Talk about it below.
I'm trying not to get too lured in about who will win and who will lose Sunday night and just enjoy the Emmys for being the award show spectacle it is. And it's quite possible that after Sunday night I might love Neil Patrick Harris even more. The show promises to celebrate the year in TV -not just the nominated shows - so that means we better see shout outs to shows like "Friday Night Lights." Will you be watching the Emmys? If so, follow me on Twitter Sunday night where I'll be talking about the show.
Where Have I Seen Them Before?
Dennis recognized Patrick Fabian as the father of the girl who had been taped in a "Girls Gone Wild" type video on "Drop Dead Diva." Fabian was Professor Hank Landry on "Veronica Mars" and Ted Price on "Big Love." Seamus Dever was the producer of the video. You'll see Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan on the season premiere of "Castle" on Monday. He was also Getti on "Army Wives." Steve Valentine was the designer who didn't want to make clothes in larger sizes on "Drop Dead Diva." Valentine was Dr. Nigel Townsend on "Crossing Jordan."
Dennis also caught Yeardley Smith as the nurse at the hospital on "Mad Men." She's the voice of Lisa Simpson on "The Simpsons" and for some reason I always remember that she was also Louise on the FOX series "Herman's Head."
Kristen recognized Debra Monk as Will's mom on "Glee." We'll see Monk next week as George's mom in the season premiere on "Grey's Anatomy." She's giving Sharon Lawrence some competition as the go-to TV mom. She also plays Ellen's mom on "Damages" and she'll always be Katie Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue" to me.
Kim and Jessica recognized Sarah Danielle Madison as Liam's mom on "90210." Madison was Matt's wife Sarah on "7th Heaven" and Heather on "Judging Amy."
Michelle recognized Jennifer Aspen as Terri's sister Kendra on "Glee." Aspen was Daphne on "Party of Five" and Trina on "Rodney."
Quotes of the Week
"Luanne, relax. You think I brought you here to Adriana you?" Jax to Luanne on "Sons of Anarchy." Thanks to Sandy and Michelle who were the first to submit this week's most popular quote. They especially liked the inside joke that Drea de Matteo, who played Adriana on "The Sopranos," plays Wendy on "Sons of Anarchy."
"I don't want to walk down the aisle and have people whispering, 'There goes the fancy whore.'" Pam on "The Office" about her wedding.
"How long have you known about the pregnancy? A week? A month? A year?" Michael to Pam and Jim on "The Office."
"It's nice to be the only judge." Paula Abdul on "Drop Dead Diva."
"Me and Annie, we're doing our own thing now. I'm done dealing with her crap." Dixon on "90210." Oh, Dixon, you are so lucky. If only we could all be done dealing with her crap.
"Do you think it's a bad sign that I can say that out loud and neither of us thinks I'm crazy?" Peter to Olivia on "Fringe" after he tells the theory that the people who are trying to kill her are shape shifters from an alternate universe.
"A cell phone, Cas, really? Since when do angels need to reach out and touch someone?" Dean to Castiel on "Supernatural." Thanks to Sandy for the quote.
"Last week my father said the world better watch out for me and I'm thinking why? Because of my ability to name every guy Carrie Bradshaw has slept with in season order?" Casey to Ashleigh on "Greek."
"Josh Groban loves a blousy alcoholic." Josh Groban to Will's mother on "Glee." Thanks to Kristen for the quote.
"I haven't even finished my breakfast and already that boy ain't right." Hank about his son Bobby on the series finale of "King of the Hill." Thanks to Barry for the quote.
Exchange of the Week
"I missed half a day." Don to Roger about coming into the office late on the day Betty had their third child on "Mad Men."
"Well Betty had the baby, not you." Roger's response.
"Friday is your birthday Peter. We need to celebrate. And make sure Agent Dunham can attend. I want to see her face when she eats my pudding." Walter to Peter on "Fringe."
" That's disturbing." Peter's response. Thanks to Ryan for the exchange.
"I'm starring in the elliptical version of 'Speed' and you're guilting me over money" Shawn to Gus on "Psych."
"Just for the record, it's more like 'Lethal Weapon 2, ' the one where Danny Glover found the bomb attached to his toilet." Gus to Shawn.
"Oh God, I would kill to be on a toilet right now" Shawn to Gus. Thanks to Jamie for the exchange.
That's all for today. I'll be back on Monday for the craziness that is the official fall premiere week. So I'll have reviews of the new series "The Good Wife," "FlashForward," "Cougar Town" and "Modern Family." And I'll also be talking about the season premieres of "How I Met Your Mother" and "Heroes." Also coming next week, a look at the season premieres of "Medium" and "Dollhouse" (it's been a long time since there was this much good Friday night TV). Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week or a topic for discussion? Write me at mailto:email@example.com follow me on Twitter. Have a great weekend and get lots of rest so you will be ready for next week. Talk to you on Monday.
Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal