Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Musical Montage

I think I finally got my breath back. Watching Sunday night's episode of Grey's Anatomy was a lesson in holding my breath until it hurt.

Things I knew: Meredith, Burke, Yang, and McDreamy (stupid spellchecker just changed "McDreamy" to "Creamy," but that is a whole other, probably X-rated blog) were in no danger of actually dying from the explosive.

Things I didn't know: The fate of Bailey's baby, the fate of Bailey's husband, the fate of brilliant guest-star Jillian Armenente's husband, the fate of Kyle Chandler's bomb squad expert.

Okay, so everyone lived except Kyle Chandler (insert appropriate mourning sounds). I've adored the actor ever since Early Edition, and it's too bad we won't be seeing more of him on this series. As Meredith handed him the ammunition, I remember thinking "Wouldn't it be a kick in the head if, after all this, he still goes boom?" But I also didn't think they'd do it! I gasped out loud (as did my roomie, down the hall) when the corridor went bang!

The look on Derek's face afterward. "Where is she?" Up runs Addison, all weepy and grateful her husband is alive. And then the Chief's wife's brilliant observation, "That's not the she that he meant." I also loved the re-enactment of George's shower dream at the end there, with Izzie and Cristina helping Meredith wash the "pink mist" off. George is my new hero.

Another brilliant decision with this episode was the use of the musical montage during our three simultaneous climaxes (put those dirty minds away!). Bailey giving birth with George's help ("Stop looking at my va-jay-jay!"), Derek almost losing Bailey's husband on the table, and Meredith removing the live ammunition from unconscious-guy's chest. Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2am)" was a perfect choice.

I have heard complaints recently about how TV shows overdo the use of musical montages in episodes, a trick that's been around for years. I agree that it has become more noticeable in recent television seasons (that, or I've only just now noticed it). Some shows save them for event episodes (I'm thinking E.R. and The West Wing). Other shows seem to use them every single week (Bones, Grey's Anatomy). Occasional users like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Third Watch try the trick every couple of episodes (and it is this fan's opinion that Third Watch deserves an award for Best Use of Nickelback Tracks to Enhance an Episode).

I honestly can't complain. A lot of the songs that these shows play are tracks I've never heard before. If the song strikes me, I will jot down a few of the lyrics to Google later. I have used this method to discover a myriad of artists I may have never stumbled across otherwise: Anna Nalick, Starsailor, Dire Straits, Soulfly, Simple Plan, Sarah Brightman, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and SHeDAISY, just to name a few.

There are still dozens, if not hundreds, left to sample. So bring on the musical montages!

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