Alright, I am back with the second edition of Watch This, Not That. Today, we tackle two Shonda Rhimes creations. Both shows have been around for awhile and both shows have generated buzz over the years. But, with so many new shows beginning, especially this fall, I think it may be time to vote one of these shows off the island. So here we go: Grey’s Anatomy v. Scandal. Let the games begin.
Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays, 9pm, ABC) – I will admit that I have only watched the season premiere of Grey’s. (I simply did not have the time to watch the second episode last night). But, I seriously doubt that episode number 2 is going to change my impression. Let’s be honest. The season premiere of Grey’s was a mess. An utter mess. It seems like they decided to throw every storyline into the first 2 hours. The Chief is electrocuted and then so is Brooks. Callie and Arizona breakup and Callie moves in with Meredith and Derek and refuses to let Arizona see the baby. And, like in every other Grey’s season there is a terrifying natural disaster…this time it’s a storm and a landslide or mudslide (honestly, I can’t remember exactly). What kills me about Grey’s is that, we are getting the same story over and over again. It’s now been 9 full seasons (season 10 just started) and it’s the same old stuff. A lowly intern dies (remember when George died), a couple breaks-up, and a bunch of people are injured by a huge catastrophe. I am over it Grey’s, over it. Please just call it quits.
Scandal (Thursdays, 10pm, ABC) – Scandal picks up in it’s season premiere right where it left off. We see an incredibly intense showdown between Olivia and her father that makes you wonder where in the heck did Olivia come from. The entire episode centers around the main love triangle in this show–Olivia, Fitz, and Mellie–and how to overcome the fact that Olivia has now been revealed as the President’s mistress. It’s situations like these that bring out what we love most in these characters: Mellie and Cyrus turn into the monsters that they are, the Gladiators stay strong and support Olivia, and Fitz becomes the sometimes weak, sometimes strong, man that is always less intelligent than the two women that are the center of his life. In addition to the scene between Olivia and her father, I thought the scenes between the VP and the President were particularly strong and showed another layer Sally Langston. All in all, a very strong premiere.
The similarities: Obviously both shows are Shonda Rhimes creations and are airing on the same network. Further, both shows star a female lead with a difficult and complicated love life (well, at least Meredith Grey used to have one) and a troubled upbringing. Further, there are several actors who have played characters on both shows: Jeff Perry, Scott Foley, Katie Lowes, Josh Malina, Bellamy Young, Kate Burton, George Newberm, Kurt Fuller, Gregg Henry, Debra Mooney, Mark Harelik, Tom Amandes…you get my point.
The verdict: You can’t argue that Scandal isn’t the better show at this point. I mean come on. We all realize that Grey’s has become this old, tired drama that everyone is secretly hoping will announce its cancellation so that we can stop watching (oh, maybe that is only me). In contrast, Scandal has proven itself to be exciting, interesting, creative, and unpredictable. Those are hard things to accomplish. And while admittedly, Scandal had a little rough start, it has now found its groove. This could not have been any more evident than by the premiere of Season 3–an hour of television that I did not want to end. So, jump on the Olivia Pope train and let’s try and remember the good years of Grey’s before the life had been sucked out of it.