‘It’s A Beautiful Day to (Not) Save Lives’ – Dr. Derek Shepherd

Hey Grey’s Anatomy fans – how ya doin? Have you gotten over the emotional trauma that was last night’s episode? This is a safe space to talk about your feelings.

PS: IF YOU WATCH GREY’S AND HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE YET OR HAVEN’T, LIKE, BEEN ON THE INTERNET STOP READING. STOP READING NOW. COME BACK LATER. OKAY, BYE.

Hello. Welcome back. For today’s post, I’m just using it as my soapbox to talk about what happened last night, because really, isn’t that what the Internet is for? I have a lot of problems with the departure of Patrick Dempsey/Dr. Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd, but I also am slightly okay with it. But first things first.

Because of my job, I have to monitor what’s happening with entertainment news every minute. Early afternoon on Thursday, someone on Instagram posted a photo of an article in Entertainment Weekly featuring Patrick Dempsey with the title “The Doctor Is … Out” and it’s his first exit interview after his last episode – which airs on Thursday night. Apparently some subscribers get EW issues on Thursdays, while most people get it on Fridays, hence, it wouldn’t have been a spoiler if the issues had arrived at the end of the week. This got picked up, Entertainment Weekly was all, sorry, y’all, and I was annoyed because I got spoiled on Thursday’s episode. I hate spoilers.

Then the clock hit 6pm PST (I work until 7pm) and, again, remember I have to monitor entertainment news, my RSS feed and Twitter feed were BLOWING UP with posts about how not only was it Patrick Dempsey’s last episode, but they FREAKING KILLED HIM OFF. Usually, when something like this happens, there are headlines that say like ‘[SPOILER] Leaves ::insert show here::’ or ‘This Really Just Happened on ::insert show here::’. However, this time around, it was one right after the other that read: ‘Shocking Grey’s Anatomy death!’, ‘Original cast member leaves Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Shocking Grey’s Anatomy Accidental Death’, and straight up: ‘McDreamy Is Dead! Patrick Dempsey Killed off Grey’s Anatomy’. Thanks, People magazine. It was legitimately impossible for me to avoid spoilers – even more so because I had to write a story about it. So I mean, I guess I didn’t really know how he died.

Fast forward to the actual episode. Brief recap: Derek is on his way to the airport (to quit his job in D.C. and move back to Seattle) and he’s tailgated by a sports car weaving in and out, and the car eventually hits the SUV in front of Derek, and both cars flip over, while Derek stops to a grinding halt. Basically he manages to save everyone’s lives, makes friends with the young girl who’s not injured and played Sydney on Parenthood, one car caught on fire, police and firemen saw the smoke signals and came to the rescue. Derek stays behind and waits until all the mess is cleaned up for some reason and as he’s making a U-Turn to go back home, Meredith calls, but his phone is lost somewhere in the crevices, and a tractor-trailer comes and smacks into him. Derek gets sent to a hospital that’s NOT Grey-Sloan, and because they’re not properly trained/don’t listen to the female intern doctor/make poor decisions, Derek is essentially brain dead. Meredith shows up, knows exactly what’s happening, knows she has to lit’rally pull the plug. #RIPDerek. (So that wasn’t that brief)

I managed to keep it together until the end of the episode when I found myself bawling when she has to watch him die. In the background, a cover of The Frey’s How To Save a Life is playing – a song call back to season two, when Derek is about to cut into someone’s brain and says, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives”, which he told Sydney from Parenthood earlier. Then there’s a montage of all of MerDer’s best moments and bye.

Ok so my initial thought was:

Then I began to wonder why Shonda decided to kill him off. Last January, both Ellen Pompeo and Patrick signed contracts to be on Grey’s until the 2015-2016 season, even though it hadn’t been picked up yet. Why would he leave with a year left in his contract? Furthermore, Patrick has publicly said he’d be on the show until the end. Then, there were rumors that he and Shonda were not seeing eye to eye. AND he had been gone in “D.C.” for most of the season. All signs were kind of pointing to ‘Yes’ he is leaving the show, but I would NEVER had expected Shonda to kill him off.

Which lead me to thinking that this episode is officially Grey’s Jumping the Shark.

derek_leftshark

While many believe Grey’s hasn’t been good since the end of season six (you know the finale where Derek was shot by a crazy gunman seeking revenge), I will say there have been a number of good episodes since. It just hasn’t been the same. The show has been on for 11 seasons, and there have been many cast changes, so it’s never going to be the gut-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat, hearts-in-your-eyes drama that it was in seasons one and two. Now that Derek’s gone, there are only like four original cast members left. Moreover, there’s only one half of MerDer left.

Meredith and Derek are one of TV’s most beloved couples – just imagine if Jim Halpert died unexpectedly or Ross Geller or Sam from Cheers or Fitz (DON’T GET ME STARTED ON SCANDAL). Removing such an important element of a beloved show like Grey’s could potentially hurt the show more than it can help.

That being said, I get why they killed him off. It was getting boring quite frankly (see: hasn’t been good since season 6), and they need something to stir the pot a bit. When Sandra Oh left at the end of last season, she moved to Switzerland (neutral country) with the possibility of her coming back. It was interesting to see what would happen this season without Meredith’s person by her side. But that still wasn’t enough to create the same level of drama and interest as before. So I get it, writers, I get it. But from a fan’s perspective…

This is reminiscent of How I Met Your Mother all over again – except this isn’t the series finale. Here’s what we do know – next week is the season finale, and all the doctors at Grey-Sloan-O’Malley-Webber-Yang-Stevens-Montgomery-Shepherd Memorial Hospital have to say one finale goodbye to Derek. It puts them in a much more interesting position than when Yang left, because she still exists and is doing her thing. Derek’s departure was sudden. He left behind a wife and two kids, a staff who admired him. How are they all going to deal with his death? We all saw what happened after the plane crash (if you watched past season 6). They all had PTSD. What kind of mark will Derek leave on them?

One last thing and I’ll end my rant (thanks for sticking with me!) – before Cristina left, she told Meredith to not let Derek dictate her own life and hopes and dreams. In some way, it was a foreshadowing of what just happened, but it’s also a reminder that Meredith, a self-professed dark and twisty person, is more than Derek Shepherd’s wife. She’s Dr. Meredith Grey. She has seen a lot in her life, and she doesn’t let it effect her too much. Will Derek’s death finally be the thing that breaks her down? Will Cristina be there to pick up the pieces? Will Ellen Pompeo stay on past season 12? Did Shonda just issue Grey’s its own D.O.A.???

Sound off, fam! What do you think will happen next??
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Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Friends

Today we are kicking off a week – A WEEK! – long series of posts exclusively dedicated to one of our personal favorite TV shows of all time – Friends. May 6th (tomorrow!) marks the 10th anniversary of the series finale airing, which drew in 52.5 million viewers, making it the fourth most watched finale in TV history. But more on that tomorrow.

This post is all about the people who walked into the world of our six favorite New Yorkers – and then walked out immediately. These guest stars aren’t people like Paul Rudd or Brad Pitt or even Julia Roberts for that matter, but rather the less high profile actors who were only in one episode and the ones you barely remember (or don’t remember at all).

Let’s go all the way back to 1994, shall we?

Melora Hardin (Celia)

TOW The Stoned Guy {Season 1, Episode 15}

Before she was crazy Jan Levinson who wooed Michael Scott on the office, she wooed Ross … in the most awkward way.

 Leah Remini (Lydia)

TOW The Birth {Season 1, Episode 23}

Somewhere in between being Stacey Carosi on Saved by the Bell: Malibu Sands and the King of Queens, Leah Remini stopped by NYC to have a baby. While the gang is in the hospital for the birth of Ben, Leah’s character Lydia had no one – so obviously Joey stepped in.

Lea DeLaria (Woman at Wedding)

TOW The Lesbian Wedding {Season 2, Episode 11}
lea delaria friends

This connection didn’t occur to me until writing this post – but the woman who hits on Pheebs at Carol & Susan’s wedding is Big Boo from Orange is the New Black!

Tahj Mowry (Kid)

TO After the Super Bowl {Season 2, Episode 12}

He’s a Smart Guyyyyy *doo doo dooo doo doo doo dooo* And also a kid who likes listening to inappropriate songs from Phoebe

Michael Bower (Roy Gublik)

TOW The Prom Video {Season 2, Episode 14}

Roy Gublik was Monica’s prom date in the famous video (you know, the guy who has seen Star Wards  317 times), but you may know him as Donkey Lips from Salute Your Shorts.

Charlie Sheen (Ryan)

TOW the Chicken Pox {Season 2, Episode 23}

Remember when Charlie Sheen wasn’t QUITE as crazy as he is now, and considered somewhat of a Hollywood heartthrob? Yeah this was then. He played a guy from the navy who was home for a couple weeks and had a thing with Phoebe. But he gets the chicken pox, which Pheebs had never had before and that explains the odd cow oven gloves.

Mae Whitman (Sarah Tuttle)

TOW Rachel Quits {Season 3, Episode 10}

One of TV’s best criers, Mae Whitman, was obviously a child star, but this role gave her the upperhand on Ross, who accidentally broke her leg. Because of this, he has to sell all her Christmas cookies a la the girl scouts. I mean that end scene with the fake space camp?? Come on.

Sherilyn Fenn (Ginger)

TOW Phoebe’s Ex-Partner {Season 3, Episode 14}

Chandler starts dating this chick Ginger and when he finds out she has an artificial leg, he Chandlers it and freaks out. But then she finds out he has a ‘nubbin’ and SHE’S too freaked out so she ditches him.  You know when she should’ve ditched everything? When she and her stupid daughter April came into the life of Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls and ruined everythingggg.

Sherri Shepherd (Rhonda)

TOW Phoebe’s Uterus {Season 4, Episode 11}

Did anyone else watch Less Than Perfect? Just Me? It’s the show where I thought Zachary Levi was really cute and then years later realized he was ZACHARY LEVI. Anyways, Sherri Shepherd is like the token black woman here, but oh dear lord is it good.

Iqbal Theba (Doctor)

The One Hundredth {Season 5, Episode 3}

Apparently Joey always needs to have his own separate story line when the episode is set in a hospital. While Pheebs is off having the triplets and dealing with the Fonz stan, Joey has kindey stones. Otherwise known as KIDNEY stones or kidney STONES.

Michael Winters (The Doctor)

TOW All The Thanksgivings {Season 5, Episode 8}

Michael Winters couldn’t put Chandler’s severed toe back on his foot mainly because it was a piece of carrot. You know who would have a lot to say about this? Taylor Doose from Gilmore Girls.

David Sutcliffe (Kyle)

TOW The Engagement Picture {Season 7, Episode 5}

Speaking of Gilmore Girls, Christopher also made his way from Boston via Stars Hollow to Greenwich Village, playing one half of troubled couple Kyle and Whitney. Pheebs dates Kyle, Ross dates Whitney and Pheebs and Ross end up having a fight on behalf of Kyle and Whitney – who end up working their problems out and start dating again.

Scott Adsit (Director)

TOW Ross and Monica’s Cousin (Season 7, Episode 19)

In which Pete Hornberger from 30 Rock has to stare at Joey’s fake… thing. Which falls embarrassingly to the floor.

Kevin Rahm (Tim)

TOW Rachel’s Date {Season 8, Episode 5}

Kevin Rahm may play stupid Ted Chaough on Mad Men now, but I will forever think of him as Tim, Monica’s sous chef (sous = under. I ‘soux stand’) who Phoebe begs Monica to date but then wants to break up with him because he’s totally annoying. Problem is that Monica wants to fire him too. There’s a part where Tim blows a kiss to Phoebe and she catches it, but when he walks away, she throws the invisible air kiss back at him in anger. I may or may not do this on a regular.

Emily Osment (Lelani Mayolanofavich)

TOW The Halloween Party {Season 8, Episode 6}

Little Emily Osment visits the gang as a trick-or-treater, but when Rachel runs out of candy, she offers a personal check… except pre-Hannah Montana Emily’s name is so hard to spell. Just make it out to ‘cash’.

Marla Sokoloff (Dina Tribbiani)

TOW Monica’s Boots {Season 8, Episode 10}

In a parallel universe, Gia, Stephanie’s rebel friend on Full House, grows up to be Joey’s sister who gets knocked up and asks Rachel for life advice.

Dan Bucatinsky (Waiter)

TOW Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner {Season 9, Episode 5}

James! Dear, dear James from Scandal. From waiter on Friends to White House Press Secretary, he really moved up in the world. Kinda. Fun fact: Dan Bucatinsky and Lisa Kudrow have been friends for a super long time and are producing partners together, and produce Lisa’s Web Therapy as well as the really cool genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are?

Jim O’Heir (Adoption Agency Worker)

TOW the Birth Mother {Season 10, Episode 9}

I mean how crazy is it that Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry helped Andy Dwyer’s IRL wife find her baby out of wedlock find a home with Chandler and Monica??

Ellen Pompeo (Missy Goldberg)

TOW The Stripper Cries {Season 10, Episode 11}

This role is weird because Ellen Pompeo is playing fairly nice and not as Type A as Meredith Grey. But she looked totally rad in the 80s flashback!

Craig Robinson (Clerk)

TOW Princess Consuela {Season 10, Episode 14}

Daryl Robinson pre-Dunder Mifflin was helping Phoebe legally change her name… you know, to Princess Consuela Bananahammock.

Jane Lynch (Ellen)

TOW Estelle Dies {Season 10, Episode 15}

Jane Lynch plays a realtor showing a house to Chan and Mon – but the other person looking at the same house? Hint: OH. MY. GOD.

Jim Rash (Nervous Male Passenger)

The Last One {Season 10, Episode 18}

Hey Dean Pelton, relax. There was no left phalange to begin with.