Singing Surgeons: How Will ‘Grey’s Pull Off A Musical?

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

Grey’s Anatomy‘ will be joining the ranks of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’  ‘Glee,‘ and, uh, ‘Seventh Heaven.’

Later this season, the angsty hospital soap opera will air a musical episode.   In related news, Brittany will perform brain surgery on an upcoming episode of ‘Glee.’  Well, not really.  But the prospect of singing surgeons seems equally far fetched, given the lack of supernatural elements or show choirs on ‘Grey’s.

In an interview with TV Guide, executive producer Shonda Rhimes claims the episode will be different from other television musicals, most notably ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s’ famous Once More With Feeling episode.   “They did an all-out, show-stopping, Broadway kind of musical. This is very different…  We’re not doing what anybody would call a typical musical episode. The comparisons to other musical episodes are too great, and we wanted it to be different. Nobody is going to be dancing and singing down the halls; that’s not our show. Our show is known for its music. I very much wanted to do something that was musical without being a musical,” she says.

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So what does that mean?  Rhimes reveals that the characters will be singing songs that have been part of the show’s soundtrack like Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.  With a cast that includes Tony winner Sara Ramirez, the quality of the singing should be high.  Here are some theories about how Seattle Grace could plausibly get musical.

1) A Dream Sequence. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) reunited with several characters who died on the show when she nearly drowned and lapsed into unconsciousness.  Less successfully, the show also had Izzie (Katherine Heigl) hallucinate an entire relationship including sex with the very dead Denny thanks to a brain tumor.  ‘Grey’s has set the precedent that strange things can happen during fantasies.  One character could easily imagine his or her co-workers bursting into song, as could a patient with a neurological disorder.  It worked for the classic British musical mini-series The Singing Detective’ as well as a musical episode of ‘Scrubs‘ involving a patient with a brain aneurysm.

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2) Karaoke Night At Joe’s. The doctors on ‘Grey’s have no social life whatsoever — one of the most realistic aspects of the show.  They do like to get wasted at the bar across the street from the hospital.  Perhaps bar owner Joe will install a karaoke machine and the doctors will get inspired.  It’s not exciting, but its imminently plausible.  It also worked remarkably well on ‘General Hospital‘ last year, the ABC daytime show that happens to tape in the same studio as ‘Grey’s.  ‘Grey’s star Chandra Wilson is such a big soap fan that she once hosted the Daytime Emmys pre-show.  Maybe she told Rhimes about it.

3) Christina’s Quarterlife Crisis. Christina (Sandra Oh), once the most gung ho of the residents, recently quit being a surgeon because of her continuing struggles with PTSD in the aftermath of the hospital shooting.  She has already failed at being a bartender.  Perhaps her next alternate career will be singer.  The rest of the surgeons could rescue her when she humiliates herself at an open mic night.

4) Musical Therapy. All of the characters have been forced to attend counseling as a result of the shooting.  It would be very ‘Grey’s for a quirky new therapist to insist that all the doctors sing their pain.   There could be ‘Chicago’-style fantasy sequences as the characters use songs to illustrate their psychological dilemmas.

5) Last Wish of Dying Child. ‘Grey’s hosted a prom to boost the spirits of a terminally ill teenager.  So why not have the characters stage a show to make another patient’s dying wish of singing on stage come true?  Alternately, Seattle Grace could have a talent show as a fundraiser, with all of the doctors grumbling about being forced to do something so ridiculous.

6) Meredith and Derek Have An Actual Wedding. The show seems determined to avoid making legions of fans happy by giving Meredith and Derek an actual, legally binding, on-camera wedding.  But perhaps their attempts to have a child will inspire them to put a ring on it.   Weddings feature music, so maybe Callie could be the lead singer in an all Seattle Grace wedding band.

How do you think ‘Grey’s should try to pull off their musical episode? Are you excited to watch?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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