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'Grey's,' please heal thyself

February 15, 2009

With the first two seasons of "Grey's Anatomy," Shonda Rhimes intuitively created a compelling drama without the faintest notion as to how she'd conjured such alchemy ["A Reunion That Is Both Anticipated and Feared," Feb. 8]. And because she doesn't know what was right about those early episodes, she can't diagnose what's been wrong with subsequent seasons.

How maddening the viewer discontent must be for her, since, as she noted, she doesn't create unsuccessful story lines. Her remedy? Tell the audience repeatedly that they are enjoying the show rather than craft an enjoyable experience.

The corroborating proof of her lack of discipline is evident in the nebulous "Private Practice": Rhimes has assembled an accomplished cast to flesh out the characters she failed to realize on paper.

"Grey's" fans hoping for a reprise of the show's earlier glory may be waiting in vain. Rhimes' thus unfulfilled promises that all will pay off in the end bear the unsettling ring of self-reassurance. "Stay the course" (her words) has become, of late, a euphemism for winging it while hoping for the best.

Pat Thornton

Los Angeles

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