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Grey's Anatomy Comes Out of Its Strike-Induced Coma

The following contains some tidbits that might be considered minor spoilers. Very minor. Like, cute little baby spoilers. Oh, go ahead and read it, it won't hurt you.

Tomorrow is Grey's Anatomy's long-awaited return after the writers' strike. The first 11 episodes of the season were a bit uneven, as George and Izzie struggled with their lack of chemistry and Meredith and Derrick broke up and got back together an average of once per episode. Everybody needs Bailey to give them a good talking to and set them straight. Unfortunately, Bailey's got problems of her own; her failing marriage culminated in a medical crisis for her son in the last episode before the break. If we were in any doubt about Bailey being in emotional turmoil, she took over the narration from Meredith. On this show, having a voice-over is a sure sign of being a neurotic mess.

On the Meredith-Derek front, Derek's home construction freaked Meredith out. Not as much as finding out that he kissed Rose, though, and they had (another) big fight. It probably won't last the season, though. Shonda Rhimes has said she wants to get Meredith and Derek together for good, in order to explore what their relationship is like. After four years, it's about freakin' time. Also on the horizon was a potential roommate situation for George and Lexie.

According to promos, this week looks like a fairly standard episode. There are medical crises and competition for surgery among the residents, Callie and Hahn bond, and George and Lexie will adjust to living together.

If you are thinking that it sounds like Seattle Grace could use a shake-up, you may get your wish with the May 1st episode. Although Rhimes & Co. originally said that there would not be crossovers with Private Practice, the network decided not to bring Kate Walsh's new show back until the fall, leaving some time in her schedule, and an Addison shortage on our TVs. She'll be returning to Grey's Anatomy for one episode a week from tomorrow. Now, I think Private Practice is an okay show, but it isn't as good as I was hoping it would be. Grey's has been having an off-season this year... since Walsh left. Could Walsh's presence on Grey's have been the crucial ingredient necessary to make the show great? Come to think of it, Grey's didn't really take off until season two, after Addison showed up. Coincidence? I think not.

Even though I still enjoyed watching the first half of the season, I didn't find myself looking forward to Grey's Anatomy all week the way I had in the past. I think the show is due for a creative renewal. I'd like to see the addition of new characters, less emphasis on Meredith and Derek, and confirmation that I will never have to squirm through another George/Izzie sex scene ever again. Lately, with the additional focus on Bailey, the beefing up of Lexie's character, and the (temporary, but hopefully long-lasting) hiatus in George and Izzie's romance, things have been looking up. The last episodes of this season will set the tone for next year, so I'll be watching carefully to see what happens!

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.

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