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'Grey's Anatomy': More Meredith misery, and Addison on the road

May 4, 2007 | 12:30 pm

Greys245_2 If ever there were a motherless child, it is Meredith Grey. Earlier this season, her biological mother died, taking one of the show’s richest story lines—how you come to terms with brilliant but an emotionally abusive mother as she is eaten alive by Alzheimer’s—with her. Then last night, Meredith’s brief but promising relationship with her step-mother (the always welcome and wonderful Mare Winningham) was cut short by a strange infection complication that seemed lifted directly from “House.”

But never mind that. The important thing seems to be that the tentative, tenuous rapprochement Meredith had made with her dithering detached father was snapped, perhaps forever. When receiving the news of his wife’s unexpected death, he lashed out at his daughter, literally and figuratively, while Bailey, the Chief, McDreamy and the rest of us stood by in shock. Wasn’t this man once a doctor himself?

Not that anyone should have been totally surprised by Susan Grey’s death--parents in general don’t fare too well on “Grey’s.” But still there seems to be a conspiracy afoot to keep Meredith from anyone who could impart anything at all like wisdom, if not maternal comfort. This works for those of you, and you know who you are, who like Meredith best when she is totally miserable, but not so much for McDreamy who is finally realizing that his love interest is, after all, a young woman in her 20s, the sort of girl who allows her best friends to kick her boyfriend out of bed because they need to talk. The sort who, in a crisis, still turns first to the tequila shooters.

This mindset--the Meredith Grey demographic if you will--may explain why the show is lately so pre-occupied with sex. It has become essentially the Abercrombie and Fitch of TV shows—popular, clever, pretty and aimed at those who still remember dorm life fondly. Memo to the “Grey’s” cast: Anyone playing a character over the age of 45 take heed—life is short and getting shorter.

Meanwhile, in the wake of her closet hump with Karev, Addison headed south seeking solace and fertility advice from her med school buddy Naomi (Merrin Dungey,) Strangely enough, Addison has decided that all her problems will be solved if only she can have a child. Having given up on McDreamy, McSteamy and Karev, she will settle for a donor.

Alas, it is not to be—according to the blood work, she is infertile. An infertile ob/gyn—the irony is Shakespearean. Fortunately, this is Los Angeles which invented the consolation prize. Here there are not hospitals but wellness centers, complete with tough talking therapists (yay, it’s Amy Brenneman), sexaholic healers (and Tim Daly looking not a day older than he did on “Wings”) and, of course, a best-selling health guru (ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Taye Diggs). Add a clever story line about an Internet-dating addicted doc (Paul Adelsetein) and a hot surfing assistant (Chris Lowell, last seen as Piz on “Veronica Mars”) and you don’t need a baby, Addison, because you can drive away in your very own fabulous new show.

There is always so much hope and promise in a pilot, especially one with such talent roiling around. The Avid “Grey’s” Viewer cannot help wanting “Private Practice” to succeed—who doesn’t love Addison with her alabaster skin and fetchingly expressive eyebrows, not to mention Amy Brenneman who has been gone for too long? (OK, two years, but it seems longer.) Certainly the set-up is perfect—the various medical, and alternative medicine, departments open things way up for plot possibilities and, as “America” so brilliantly put it, it’s good to get out of the rain. But sex seems to sell itself as hard here as in Seattle—both patient plots had to do with sex, not to mention all the principal plots. Which is fine, sex is great, sex is fun. It just isn’t the only thing that moves a drama, or its viewers.

Also, we can’t help noticing—no characters over 45 even mentioned. Of course, it is L.A.

-- Mary McNamara

(Photo courtesy ABC)