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ABC aired its much-anticipated Grey’s Anatomy musical episode Thursday night. Twitter was mixed on the show — which featured Tony winner Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres) having an out-of-body experience after a serious car accident, causing her and the doctors to sing during surgery. But what did the critics think?
“Overall, the concept worked since music really has always played a big part in the show. Some songs were more appropriate and/or better performed than others, though,” opined blogger Nicole Golden on TVfanatic.com.
“During surgery, the whole cast sang ‘How to Save a Life’ by the Fray while operating. The song seemed perfect for the particular scene, although it was a little weird that the doctors were singing from behind their masks,” Golden added.
“One of the stranger moments in the episode involved a flashback to the car scene pre-crash,” Golden noted. “The concept also worked in part because it was so new to the show. The format would probably not have the same effect if used in future episodes.
The Boston Herald thought several of the actors pulled off notable performances, but overall was not a fan of the concept.
“I really wanted to love this episode,” wrote Herald critic Mark Perigard. “But the Grey’s Anatomy ‘event’ proved how tricky it is for an established show, especially a drama, to pull off a musical episode.”
Perigard was a fan of Ramirez, and wrote that, “Chandra Wilson and Chyler Leigh (whom I never have anything good to say about) delivered some impressive vocal work..Eric Dane did some of his best acting of his career last night as an anxious father-to-be terrified he would lose his best friend. Jessica Capshaw was appropriately numb as Arizona, bleeding, trying to figure out how her proposal went so awry.” (Arizona had just proposed to Torres when she crashed into a truck, causing Torres to fly through the windshield.)
“Other shows have done musical episodes before – “Scrubs,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Shonda Rhimes’ inspiration) – but we’re talking about shows that are either light-hearted or fantastical in nature. This felt like an episode of “Cop Rock” – out of tune,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal had few very positive things to say about the episode.
“If Glee, and E.R. had a baby it would be tonight’s episode of the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” titled “Song Beneath the Song,” wrote The Journal’s Lyneka Little.
“The doctors sing to Callie as she’s being wheeled to surgery. It’s unclear if she was crying from the pain or the sound of their voices, which were equally painful,” she adds. “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, meet Grey’s Anatomy: The Musical.”
The stars admitted they were nervous about how the show would be received.
Capshaw, who performed KT Tunstall‘s “Universe & U,” told the Hollywood Reporter before it aired: “There were many times where I felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re doing the best episode of Grey’s Anatomy ever. And there were other times where I thought, ‘Did we drink the Kool-Aid and we’re all terrible?’ ”
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