Thursday, March 8, 2018

REVIEW: ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy' and CBS' 'Mom' (March 8)

Various reviews for March 8, 2018:

Grey's Anatomy - Episode 14.14 "Games People Play"
Mom - Episode 5.14 "Charlotte Brontë and a Backhoe"

In 2018, it's impossible to watch every scripted show out there. There are over 450 of them. It's even more impossible to even provide adequate coverage of some of them. Great shows slip through the cracks. Some shows take awhile to figure themselves out. So as a way for me to provide more coverage, I'll just be writing some paragraph reviews of the various shows that aired new episodes on March 1, 2018. Enjoy!

Grey's Anatomy - "Games People Play"
Written by Jason Ganzel & Julie Wong and directed by Chandra Wilson

This episode is a little all over the place. It's picking up on various different threads without a strong through-line. Yes, it's building to a couple of big romantic moments. It's also showing how the thrill of sex for many is the kind of excitement Meredith gets from work nowadays. But her story is mostly in setup mode at the moment. She's figuring out how to get the patent for the technology she is working with. A family friend proves to be the person who holds the rights. And yet, it spirals out of control once Meredith learns she made a mistake in revealing everything she was working on. It's tragic but also very introductory. Elsewhere, Jackson finally admits that he would like to date Maggie. This story has been rising for so long this season. It was bound to come to some huge romantic moment. It does so here. It's still unclear what exactly to make of it as well. The show didn't really establish the other people that they were dating. It was always interested in the two of them pursuing a romance. But it still feels awkward because of their parents being married. However, that moment with Jackson making his intentions clear is pretty hot. It certainly feels more effortless than what is currently going on with April. Right now, she is spiraling. She wants to just keep moving forward. She doesn't want to sit alone and contemplate what she's doing. She just wants to work and have fun. But here, she's forced to stop working and then lashes out during the sparsely attended game night. It's really uncomfortable watching her breakdown over the course of the night. It's somehow still endearing and arousing to Koracick. That's a little creepy. But again, it feels like the show is enjoying the spiral and the desperation of this story without really knowing what to do with it. It will only get better once April decides to put in the work. But that moment shouldn't be put off for too much longer because everyone is basically aware of how bad her behavior has gotten. And yet, it's also suppose to be fun that Richard and Bailey are watching the video of April knocking a patient's ear off. That's odd. This is an odd and scattered episode. And that's not even delving into Alex wanting medical marijuana for his patient, Amelia and Owen having sex again, Arizona calling out a colleague for performing too many c-sections or DeLuca and Bello admitting their true feelings to each other. C+

Mom - "Charlotte Brontë and a Backhoe"
Directed by James Widdoes with story by Marco Pennette, Adam Chase & Susan McMartin and teleplay by Nick Bakay, Warren Bell & Britté Anchor

The one-two punch of these last two episodes has been incredible. It's been the show remembering that it's fundamentally a story about addiction. Issues stemming from that can't be the sole thing that defines these characters' lives. And yet, it's important to be reminded every so often that they are still powerless when it comes to temptation and this disease. Christy was able to resist drinking again last week because she got that call from Jill that restored their friendship. This week Jill's personal struggle is overwhelming even with the support of her friends. It's a story that brings in Kristin Chenoweth for a lot of fun. She plays Miranda, Jill's energy coach. That seems like a silly profession and the show gets a lot of solid humor from that. Everyone is skeptical about what Miranda brings to the group. And yet, she is able to make an immediate difference in many of their lives. She helped Jill lose all of the weight. She helped Wendy find her voice. She helped Christy pick herself up and be assertive with the head of law school admissions. She helped Bonnie let some of her emotion out so that she could feel less guarded and more vulnerable. For Christy, it was very healthy. It helped her when she was in a dark and depressing headspace. For Wendy and Bonnie, it was more comical. But for Jill, it was clear that Miranda's advice wasn't the best. She was preaching moderation. It's a way to control her addiction to food without having to give up sweets entirely. Jill feels like she can make progress this way. And yet, her applying it to drinking is enough to make her completely relapse. It's such a heartbreaking moment. Jill has put in so much work to get better. She had a path forward for her life that she was excited about. She was stress eating as a way to cope with the new realities of her life. And now, she's probably tossed all of that away because of this decision. That's tragic. But it's also a relief that the show doesn't vilify Miranda. This is a mistake but Jill still has her friends to support her through it as well. That's special and rewarding. A-