Midseason Report Card: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 12 tries to find light in darkness

Going into “Grey’s Anatomy” season 12, we had no idea as to what the show was going to be giving us. It is the first full year without Patrick Dempsey, and therefore there were mysteries surrounding if viewers were even still going to care. Luckily, they do, and in some ways we think that we have a story that is a little more free to go in different directions as a result.

Does this mean that season 12 is actually better than those that have come before it? We wouldn’t go that far, but there are some cool things that it is bringing to the table.

What’s working – Dr. Nathan Riggs. Martin Henderson has shown already to be a great addition, mostly in that he is giving Owen one of his first real stories in some time that does not have to deal just with a romantic partner. We like getting the backstory for many of these doctors, and seeing how that impacts their daily lives.

Also, we’ve found Bailey in her new role to be very interesting to watch, and as far as couples go, the path for Jo and Alex has been very real. We’re not sure that she has accepted his marriage proposal, but if he has, the two characters can start to move forward with their lives and have some stability.

What’s not – The Penny story feels like such an obvious way to shoehorn Derek’s death in here, and make it so that it is extremely hard for Meredith and viewers to move on. It’s the biggest mark against the season so far, since it feels like drama for drama’s sake. The same goes for all of the shouting and the arguing for Jackson and April at this point. Why can’t these two be a more stable couple who has external issues weighing them down? One things that “Grey’s Anatomy” is doing so well with Riggs is allowing his history to be a foil to Owen, and it is a nice reminder that there are relationships that exist in this world other than romantic and family ones.

Overall – It’s still “Grey’s Anatomy.” They are still going to give you slowed-down renditions of popular songs in key moments, there’s still going to be breakups, and it’s still not a show for everyone. Season 12 so far is solid entertainment as a whole, but in looking back what we’re seeing is that while many of these stories are good, they are not that memorable. Midseason Grade: B-.

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