During the summer TV hiatus, I'm going to look back at the most recent seasons of some of my favorite shows and pose some hypothetical questions about their future in this feature, Five Questions. Today's questions are for "Grey's Anatomy," which will start its fourth season in the fall.
- Can "Grey's" work without Addison? Addison wasn't initially meant to be a permanent part of "Grey's Anatomy," but now I have a hard time imagining the show without this strong, sassy character; she really became the heart of "Grey's" for me. But Addison's headed to LA for "Private Practice," leaving a huge void at Seattle Grace. Is there another woman on the show who can match Addison's blend of toughness and vulnerability?
- Can Shonda right this ship? In retrospect, I actually liked a lot of the third season of "Grey's" — but it's no accident that all my favorite moments (Cristina telling the Chief about Burke's tremor; George's father dying) happened before February, when a poorly conceived ferry crash plunged Meredith into the water and the show into sheer ridiculousness. Now, I wonder if the show will be able to recover. Shonda has said this season was about burning it all down; I just hope she knows how to build it up again.
- Will the rest of the cast be back? The rumors are already flying about whether Isaiah Washington, TR Knight or Sara Ramirez will be gone from the show come fall. It's sure to be a tense summer of contract negotiations, but beyond that, I'm wondering what losing one of these characters would do to the show. Callie is chief resident now, so plot-wise, she should be back, but George failed out of the program and Burke left Cristina. Do we really still need them?
- What's up with Lexie Grey? I loved the big reveal in the season finale that Derek's bar flirtation was Lexie Grey, Meredith's half-sister and a new Seattle Grace intern. The writers have a lot of questions to answer about the logistics of Lexie's appearance (or not — believability has never really been Shonda's thing), but I'm more interested in how much she'll shake up Meredith's life. I really hope Lexie and Derek don't hook up (that's too predictable, not to mention kind of gross), but I'm curious to see if Lexie forces Meredith to accept more of her past.
- Will anyone ever be happy? OK, big question. I know "Grey's" is all about angst, but I'm also tired of the same old dramas — Meredith and Derek's on-again, off-again relationship, Cristina's reluctance to have any emotions whatsoever, Izzie's over-the-top romanticism. I'd like for at least someone to stop being so miserable, but I'm not sure "Grey's" knows how to do happy.
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Photo copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.