Thursday Night TV: The Good (30 ROCK), the Bad (UGLY BETTY) & the Ugly (GREY’S ANATOMY)

THE GOOD: Following a funny, albeit somewhat predictable cameo by Oprah, the never-ending hilarity that was the Tracey versus Jenna Freaky-Friday feud and the overall brilliance (or lack-there-of) of Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy (Love how his own over-medicated in-flight hallucination was responsible for confusing his assistant Jonathan with M. Night Shyamalan!), this TV Addict is ready to call it. 30 ROCK, thanks to its penchant for cramming a ridiculous amount of jokes into twenty-two minutes with a special shout out to Tina Fey’s Princess Leah impersonation to escape jury duty and Tracey Jordan’s Claw Hand (Trust me, you have to see the episode!) — is officially ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’s heir apparent.

MORE GOOD: While this TV Addict could focus on the brilliant manner in which the writers of THE OFFICE have managed to keep Jim and Pam’s relationship afloat while at the same time giving Pam an opportunity to spread her wings in New York City. I’d like to award the fake Gold Medal concocted by 30 ROCK’s Jack Donaghy (Once again, if you missed that reference, you have to watch last night’s episode of 30 ROCK) to Mindy Kaling. Who continues to be the only woman outside of Sarah Silverman who can illicit huge laughs from a highly inappropriate yet perfectly timed rape joke.

THE BAD: As much as it pains me to take my UGLY BETTY favorites Marc and Amanda to task. this TV Addict is just going to say it. Last night’s plot advances for television’s favorite dynamic duo were LAME (Note use of capital letters to express my aggravation). I mean, with apologies to new twitter friend David Blue, are viewers seriously supposed to root for Cliff and Marc when we haven’t seen them together (outside of last week’s brief cameo by Cliff) since last season? And don’t even get me started on the odd-coupling of Betty and Amanda. After two plus seasons of incessant ridicule, is anyone (outside of the BETTY writing staff) really buying that Amanda would ever risk her social standing at Mode by co-habitating with Betty of all people? And come’on, Amanda hooking up with Val by episodes end! Who didn’t see that coming?

THE UGLY: And speaking of things we saw coming, even though the television community had three days to prepare for last night’s GREY’S ANATOMY shocker, Dr. Hahn’s drastic personality shift from talented, strong-willed and opinionated Doctor to psycho-cliched-TV-uber-bitch was incredibly disappointing. ABC, Shonda Rhimes, be ashamed, be very ashamed. Even putting aside the rumored (anti-Lesbian) reasons for Hahn’s surprisingly speedy exit and regardless of whether or not you buy showrunner Shonda Rhimes’ assertion that the reason for Hahn’s ousting was that, “we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke’s character would sustain in the long run.” (And I for one do not). Last night’s poorly written farewell scene for the incredibly talented Brooke Smith was both an insult to the actress and the audience alike. In other-words GREY’S ANATOMY, to take a page from American hero Stephen Colbert, you’re officially on notice.

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  • Sounds like I dropped Ugly Betty just in time. I deleted my TiVo Season Pass of UB recently and didn’t really miss the last episode or two.

    I’m also glad I haven’t watched Grey’s at all this season. The show was always over-rated to me, and I got annoyed with the show having more drama off-screen than on.

    Don’t forget folks… Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and hopefully Scrubs will return in 2009; plus we’ll get Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, the show about the crew of Earth’s first long-range starship (can’t remember the title), and later in the year a third Stargate series. If shows are disappointing you, free yourselves from them. There’s more coming later. I know I feel liberated having dropped about three shows recently and not bothering with several new shows past their pilots.

  • Gabi

    Grey’s was so bad last night, hated everything and I usually like that show. But Ugly Betty I thought had one of it’s best episodes ever, but like you sad, a lot of things didn’t make sense, but I still loved it.

  • You know I actually loved Grey’s last night. For me it was a return to the Grey’s that made me cry and laugh practically every week. I think Hahn’s reaction to finding out what Izzie did was spot on. She even said that this was a patient she was attached to. He’s her Denny. Of course she feels like Izzie and the hospital should be punished. I think the sad thing is that it was a great storyline for the character and I think if the firin hadn’t been so abrupt the writing out of the character could have been better. I blame ABC not the writers.

  • Randa

    I’ve been loving 30Rock since the first episode but this season is just completely “rocking” my world. When Jenna showed up as a black man last night even my husband, who is the most difficult person on the planet to make laugh, was cracking up. And then the claw on top of that? BRILLIANT!
    I loved seeing a different side of Amanda on UB, but I don’t think they can (and I wouldn’t want them to) sustain it.
    Dr. Hahn I never really liked her for Callie so I don’t mind that her arc is over. I think Dr. Hunt brings a much better outsider input to Seattle Grace, and gives the ladies what they want: more male characters.

  • sara

    I thought Grey’s was great. Every time Denny was on I cried like a baby. Even though Izzie’s character (on the show and in real life) is totally a jerk these days it reminded me that she used to be my favortie character. I also love that Meredith finally told people who she saw when she was dead and it was hysterical that she was so deadpan about it.

  • Stella

    I thought Dr. Hahn reacted appropriately to the situation. The problem, though, is the fact that now her character is just going to disappear into thin air. Had this just continued to be an issue between Hahn and Izzie, it would’ve all made sense. I even thought the Callie and Hahn conversation was spot on. However, the fact that it was her last scene made it reprehensible.

  • Stella,

    I completely agree with you. It’s not so much Dr. Hahn’s reaction -after-all, who doesn’t think she’s right in terms of the Denny situation. Rather it’s the fact that that is it. She’s gone. One conversation, one fight, one blowup and her and Calile are done. Hahn just drives off into the sunset. Somewhat unrealistic and ridiculous and as I mentioned above, an insult to both the actress and the audience.

  • AHA

    I liked Sloan ‘sand Hahn’s interaction in the beginning the most.

    I still have Grey’s on my watch list but it has been relegated to a “while I fold laundry or am at risk of falling asleep” entertainment.

    I’m starting to get really annoyed by the Meredith voice overs that are getting more stupid by the episode.

    The montages at the end to boring and sappy music are getting more and more annoying. It’s not even good music any more. The pilot used one of Keane’s songs really well, but there hasn’t been anything like that for years.

    The whole Izzy and Alec getting back together was so lazily written. No suspense whatsoever.

  • yah. im with Gabi, I thought Ugly Betty has been on a hot streak with great episodes this year.

    I find I still enjoy Grey’s but I’m not excited about it afterwards like i used to.

  • Mels

    “I still have Grey’s on my watch list but it has been relegated to a “while I fold laundry or am at risk of falling asleep” entertainment.”

    I agree. It’s been relegated to my “watching while surfing the internet or doing easy homework” shows. The show has deteriorated to utter shit.

  • Ugly Betty was good last night. And it does kinda make sense that Amanda would weasel her way into Betty’s apartment. She takes advantage of people like Betty and manipulates them. Heck she manipulated her way into staying with Betty only 20 minutes after hooking up with Val.

  • showtime

    I think Hahn will still linger in Grey’s. I think she is going to report Izzie and get her license to practice medicine revoked. I think this is the best way to write Izzie out of the show. She’s annoying and Katherine Heigl is even more annoying.

  • nctodc

    I’d have to disagree with you a bit on Ugly Betty, TV Addict; I thought it was one of the better episodes.

    You’re right about Marc and Cliff–we haven’t seen enough of them to be truly invested in their relationship. The only thing that draws me to seeing them together is that to me, Cliff is the male Betty, so my sympathy for her is transplanted to him.

    We differ on the Amanda and Betty coupling which I didn’t see as being that out of character for Amanda. I mean, if you’re thinking in terms of what would ruin her reputation the most, you can weigh the options: being homeless or moving in with Betty. Clearly, the latter’s the better choice. Plus, despite everything, I think there is a little respect between the two characters–and there has been since season one when Amanda was sleeping with Daniel.

  • I really enjoyed Ugly Betty’s episode. I didn’t care about Cliff and Marc, but I might care after a few more episodes. I was touched by the underlying theme of three very different women who all seem to be unlucky in love. Even evil Wilhelmenia gets her heart broken from time to time.

  • Kisha

    I LOVE Ugly Betty! I’m glad Alexis is leaving because it was funny at first, but her sex-change really made it hard to keep the storylines together without it seeming really weird.

    As for Grey’s….this show is going down the tubes. Everything that was good about that show (Burke, Callie pre lesbian, Hahn’s pre lesbian, Izzie/Alex Mer/Christina pre Sadie….they’ve all been ruined! The writers are going to catch A LOT of heat. At least they fixed Mer-Der, but I think they have too much bleeding to fix. I am SO mad they are bringing back Denny. He’s DEAD! Sure the actor is nice to look at and a great character, but he’s DEAD! That whole stealing Denny’s heart, living on the bathroom floor story line was such a waste of time. Kill Izzie, make George fade away and heat up Owen/Christina, Mer/Der, Justin and a good woman and bring back the carefree Callie we all used to love.