This morning I watched Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy online (sorry, no ad revenue for the writers...), and am very glad to say that it was as good of an episode as some of the better ones from seasons 1 and 2. Ever since about the second half of season 3, Grey's and I really lost the spark in our relationship, but this week's episode, "Forever Young," reminded me of the way that Grey's used to be tense, touching, and funny. And these last few episodes have brought back Dr. Hahn as a full-time cast member, which makes me SO happy. And now I'm listening to Rod Stewart all day.
I've been a big fan of actress Brooke Smith for years now, based solely upon her role in the excellent movie Series 7: The Contenders. I caught it randomly on iFC one day, and ever since, I have considered it to be one of the cleverest and funniest things I've ever experienced. It plays as a marathon of a season of a reality TV show in which the contestants (picked at random from a lottery of unwilling participants) are each given a gun, and the winner is the last one alive. Also, there's an incredible flashback to a music video two of the characters made in the '80s as goth teenagers to Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," that might be the best parody-within-a-parody ever created. I can't go into much more detail than that, but I really hope anyone who ever hears of it gets a chance to see it. (Trailer at bottom of post)
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I had to watch Vanya on 42nd Street for my Film and Literature class, and was pleased to see Brooke Smith in another starring role. Everyone in the film is amazing (I always like Julianne Moore a lot more than I think I will, and Wallace Shawn is my favorite person in the entire world), and I am so glad I saw it, but Smith was just something else. She had this sweetness and temperance and humility that I would never have expected from my limited exposure to her work. One constant that I did expect from her performance was the passion she imbues into her characters, and I was not disappointed.
Of course, she is probably best known as Catherine Martin, the girl who puts the lotion in the basket in The Silence of the Lambs. I haven't seen that movie in forever, and I didn't remember that it was her, but I know I've seen Brooke Smith in other roles. Iron Jawed Angels, for example, or one of her many guest roles on TV. But I'm glad to have the chance to see her every week (for the next few weeks, at least) on Grey's, because I am a very big fan.
As far as this last episode of GA is concerned, it was nice to see the characters forced to own up to their all-too-controlling immaturities, and what better way than against the backdrop of a bus load of injured high-schoolers? The performance from Chandra Wilson was particularly impressive.