Lorena On Grey's Anatomy: The Singing Was Entertaining But Don't Do It Again!

Fri, April 1, 2011 2:22am EST by 17 Comments

The musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Song Beneath the Song” had moments of beautiful singing but sometimes I just wanted them to stop so the exciting storylines could continue!

I’m feeling very conflicted about “Song Beneath the Song”, the musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy. There were times where I thought “Shonda Rhimes pulled it off!” and other times where I groaned when the cast started singing and thought “Okay, enough now, get back to the story.” But I have to admit, each commercial break felt agonizingly long and I was riveted by the storylines and genuine Grey’s moments sprinkled throughout the hour. And can we please talk about Sara Ramirez and her amazing voice?

My favorite performances were the ones where the cast sang completely iconic Grey’s songs like “Chasing Cars” and “How to Save a Life.” I feel like I got ahead of myself by watching the spoilers which already included these songs, and I think I expected too much by hoping that the entire episode would feel like this. But admittedly, I squealed when Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) started singing and did his duet with Callie (Sara Ramirez). Bailey (Chandra Wilson) was lovely as well, although no surprise there. Oh, and “Breathe” by Chyler Leigh (Lexie)? Already listened to it twice.

When the “Running on Sunshine” scene started with Callie and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) in the car, the cheesiness made me cringe. But it ended up being an entertaining relief from the rest of the episode and I absolutely loved when Alex Karev sang in his trailer. Justin Chambers, hello there! I wish we had more of his singing.

I think the part I most loved about this episode was hearing the actors and actresses I didn’t know could sing, sing. (P.S. Where was Patrick Dempsey‘s voice? Don’t tell me McDreamy is incapable of serenading, not with that hair!) I don’t know if most of the songs shouldn’t have just been an “extras” part of a DVD rather than an entire episode, but it was interesting to hear who had pipes. Especially when you learn fun tidbits like Chyler Leigh has only really sung before to her children. She was beautiful singing “Breathe”, but what I truly loved was her interaction with a crying Mark (Eric Dane). “I don’t hate you,” she said to him, and gave away much, much more with the way she delivered that line. As much as I might cheer for her and Jackson Avery, the chemistry she has with Mark is pretty undeniable.

I could have done without some of the musical numbers that felt random, like Owen’s song to the other surgeons. If they had cut the songs down to about four total I would have liked it better. I felt like the songs often distracted from the intense storyline of Callie possibly dying, which was amazing all on its own. Arizona’s insecurity over “being nothing” after Mark yelled at her, was heartbreaking. I teared up quite a few times throughout the episode for both Mark and Arizona, and felt terrible for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) when she opened up about her infertility problems (although I did think the whole “the universe is mean” thing was a little forced. I mean, obviously it’s mean and random… you are the queen of “dark and twisty”, this isn’t news to you).

I thought the scene where Mark and Arizona flew down from the viewing room into the O.R. to check on the baby was beautifully shot. (Although excuse me why did Addison and Arizona each have to step in for Lucy Fields (Rachael Taylor), is she THAT inexperienced that she can’t bring a premature baby back to life? Isn’t that her job?) I also was a little bit mad at Teddy (Kim Raver) for telling Cristina (Sandra Oh) she can’t teach her. She seemed bitter. Sara Ramirez, whose ridiculously beautiful voice carried the episode, has me rooting for Callie to wake up when she shook the hospital bed and my smile when her “Yes, I’ll marry you” croaked out was only made bigger at seeing the absolute sheer delight on Arizona’s face. Brilliant acting by both women.

All in all, I commend Shonda for stepping out of her comfort zone and delivering a musical episode that didn’t feel like a complete departure from Grey’s Anatomy’s usual tear-jerking drama. And I’ll probably be YouTubing my favorite songs to watch/listen to again. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m relieved regular Grey’s Anatomy is coming back next week, and we can leave the singing to Glee.

What did you guys think of the episode? Did you love it, hate it, or were you as torn about it as I am? Do you agree that the singing was sometimes distracting? Did you feel slightly unsatisfied and like you needed more regular Grey’s when it ended? What were your favorite moments? Who were your favorite singers? And what do you think will happen to the baby?

Lorena O’Neil

Lorena On ‘Grey’s’ & Sara Ramirez: I Don’t Think Callie Will Die Tonight, Do You?

Kirstin’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: Arizona’s Proposal Was Desperate & Callie Needs To Get Over Mark!


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Posted at 10:37 PM on January 21, 2015  

Literally my favorite Grey’s ever. The songs made it 10x more emotional than any other one. Each song was amazing- listening on repeat on youtube still.

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Posted at 4:19 PM on July 18, 2011  

Well, I think the whole singing was a nice idea.
I really did like “Breathe” (which was the other episode when that song appeared?) but although the scene was awesome, “How to save a Life” didn’t fit in at all.
Hearing Owen singing was a nice experience, but I like him as an actor much much more (he’s so hot. damn. so hot.).

I just wonder how Callie could wake up and say “Yes, I will marry you” . I like her and Arizona together but it’s kind of unrealistic that anybody wakes up from such an accident, nearly dying and is able to remember answering the last question heard. She should think about her baby first. She doesn’t even know if it’s alive!

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Posted at 6:12 AM on May 4, 2011  

I absolutely loved the musical episode. It had the right balance of music and acting. I didn’t think it was distracting at all. I bet those who did are casual watchers. I appreciated the producers/writers taking a risk and giving us something a little different than we’re used to. And everyone sang great.. Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice are my guilty pleasures and I watch them religiously every week.

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Posted at 12:01 PM on April 11, 2011  

Yes, the songs were distracting from the tense story line the first time through, but once I knew that Callie was going to be O.K. I watched the episode again and really listened to the songs, and most of them are SO good,especially Sarah’s song ‘The Song’ at the end, were wonderful. Is there a CD available of the songs? …or a CD by Sarah. She has an amazing voice.

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Posted at 4:29 PM on April 5, 2011  

Cheesiest thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how they did that without cracking up.

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Posted at 6:29 PM on April 2, 2011  

The Mer/Alex/Cristina scene and MerDer scenes made the episode for me. Ellen Pompeo rocked the elevator scene. I didn’t care about the rest.

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Posted at 7:19 PM on April 1, 2011  

Loved the episode… except for the singing. After the 2nd song I just muted the tv when they sang because it was so distracting from the story. Even GetGlue thinks the episode was jumping the shark because that’s what sticker I got for watching it. lol

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Posted at 5:35 PM on April 1, 2011  

This was just the wrong, wrong, wrong episode to start singing. I love Callie so much and i was so tense about what was going on with her, that everytime they started singing it was just… “no, please stop”.
Totally jumping the shark in the middle of the most intense story line – like the episode had a split personality. The episode’s story was so strong why lay a thick layer of desperate gimmick on top?!
I did love sara’s voice she is amazing, but i think they could have had her and the other’s singing in so many more realistic ways that would have been more fun to watch, I don’t want to see doctors singing in the OR, thanks. Focus on operating

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Posted at 4:48 PM on April 1, 2011  

I didn’t like it at all. It was very distracting to have all the singing amidst the drama – and why the hell did they keep giving Dr Hunt so many songs to sing? He was terrible!

Agree Sara has a wonderful voice…

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Posted at 3:53 PM on April 1, 2011  

Awful, Awful, Awful, never, ever, ever do that again. I can’t stand it when they go so off page to do something so ridiculous, and obviously trying to pander to another audience (Gleechk) to try and get more viewers. Grey’s does what Grey’s does beautifully, and they should continue to keep on keeping on, instead of trying to jump ship. Horrible, horrible!!!

(Sara does have an awesome voice!)

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Posted at 11:11 AM on April 1, 2011  

Just because someone CAN sing does not mean it is always appropriate.
I CAN make a steak for my infant daughter. I shouldn’t though due to her lack of teeth. Did no one but me notice that Callie wasn’t in the stairwell with Mark and Lexie? If the whole singing element is in her head then how did she affix this melodic disease to people she cannot see?
Everyone else needed to be seen by her so she could hallucinate that when they spoke it came out as a bad pop song.
Suffice it to say, a terrible episode with more plotholes than the war in Iraq.

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Jerry Cole

Posted at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2011  

An awesome story line BUT any more of the ‘Musicals’,I’m out of here!

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Posted at 9:30 AM on April 1, 2011  

I felt many similar emotions while watching the episode. All the singing was really good, Justin Chambers was probably the biggest surprise. But it was really distracting when Owen or someone started just singing all of a sudden, especially “This is how we operate”, though the performance was great.
Also agree with the emotions on the part where everybody had to step in for Lucy, it was strange.
If they want to pull off another musical episode in the future, I would imagine it in three ways:
1) They don’t actually show the actor/actress singing, they would just use the recordings as a soundtrack. But then again, that wouldn’t be a MUSICAL episode.
2) A very very DREAM seaquence, a bit like how they did “Running on Sunshine”. Not looking at someone who starts singing in a real life situation out of the blue.
3) They are all aware they are singing. Like some hospital benefit banquet where they all are somehow forced to sing. With a microphone. On the stage. (They pulled of prom, didn’t they?)

About the 7×18 episode storyline: I loved the Lexie/Mark scenes. I kinda hoped they would reunite, but I guess we have to wait for that. Avery is hot and all, but Mark and Lexie have an almost epic chemistry.
When we found out that Callie will go through windshield and be in a life threathening condition, everybody was speculating if:
1) baby will die
2) both will die
3) nobody will die
but I didn’t hear the option of Callie dying (or staying in a coma) and baby living that much. Although it would have been tragic, oh so tragic (because we all love Callie!) it would have lead to some interesting storylines. Would Mark and Arizona raised the baby together?

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Posted at 9:11 AM on April 1, 2011  

I totally agree with you!
You said exactly what I was thinking while watching that episode!
And I was so looking forward to seeing Addison again in SGH, but it’s a pitty that there were only so short scenes with her :(

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Posted at 8:38 AM on April 1, 2011  

My disinterest in the baby/threesome storyline made me not excited for this storyline or caring and some of the music was distracting. On the positive side, Justin Chambers was great. I wanted more. Chyler Leigh’s acting and singing was amazing. I am going to download her Breathe from itunes. I thought it was caring,sweet and grown up of Lexie to be there for Mark. I still have love for Mark and Lexie but I don’t want Lexie stuck in that baby/threesome mess and she deserves better. Mark is still awful. He was great in season five but he’s awful this season. Also I just get the feeling and impression that Eric Dane is not a Lexie/Mark fan. I mean Chyler sung beautifully to him and no mention in his interviews. I don’t think he’s a shipper but Jess Williams wants the pairing. So go Jackson!

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Posted at 6:59 AM on April 1, 2011  

Sondra Rhimes came from a Musical Theater background… she wasn’t out of her comfort zone, she was in it…

and I agree with you. entertaining, but less songs if there is a next time.

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Posted at 3:29 AM on April 1, 2011  

Shonda Rhimes should NEVER do that again …
The Best Drama on Television has just taken on the Hoak Factor, that cheapened the Show and will make it difficult, for a long time, to take the Show seriously again … There are some very Good voices, but they don’t belong on Grey’s Anatomy, Singing … And Rhimes needs to dump the disgusting Arizona, and get Sloan and Torres married … They have the only REAL Love on the Show, based upon friendship and not hormones …

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