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From Gabrielle Stanton & Harry Werksman, writers of "Much Too Much"

Episode Airdate: 11/27/05

It seems somehow fitting that our episode, with its theme of too much of a good thing, should air the Sunday following Thanksgiving.  A holiday all about too much traveling, too much eating, too much family, too much time together.  All good things but perhaps not in such concentrated doses.

We started thinking about this episode by asking ourselves, can you actually have too much of a good thing?  You start with the obvious food, alcohol, drugs and soon realize these aren’t such funny or uplifting stories.  They’re addiction stories and not really good things.

Then we read about this woman in Australia who had given birth to a set of quadruplets, got pregnant again and gave birth to a second set of quadruplets!  Wow, what are the odds, right?  That made us think, having a baby is a good thing, but what if you’re this Australian woman, didn’t you get a bit more than you bargained for with a second set of quads?  Out of that came Dorie.  Three boys are great, but she wanted a little girl.  She ended up with five girls, all with serious medical conditions.  What seemed like a good thing, suddenly became too much of a good thing.

We also want to give a nod to Maggie Welch, the actress portraying Dorie.  What an awesome performance.  When she breaks down in the OR at the end of the show, around here, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  We should also mention our fantastic director Wendey Stanzler.  That scene in the OR was the source of great debate.  Do we show the birth?  How much of it should we see?  Will we be satisfied if we just see Dorie being wheeled into the OR?  We decided the audience needed to see the births, and, thankfully, Wendey figured out a way to shoot it.  It took all day to shoot just that scene.  We did 58 different set ups and takes to get what appears on screen.  But we at least think it was worth it..

What else are good things that can go bad?  We started talking about those TV commercials for erectile dysfunction drugs.  You know, the ones that say “if your erection lasts longer than four hours consult your doctor immediately”.  That struck us as too much of a good thing.  Now how to make it work in the show?  Well, if Meredith is having a series of one night stands, maybe one of  the guys comes to the hospital with an embarrassing problem, not knowing Meredith works there, for treatment of his “problem”.  Stuff like this could only happen to Meredith.

What was really fun about this story line is that broadcast standards and practices won’t let you talk about an erection using most of the terms people are familiar with.  We got to spend some time coming up with TV friendly nicknames for erections.  Two favorites that didn’t make it into the show were “Morning Missile” and “Uncle Upright”.  Feel free to work them into your daily vocabulary.

We also had the dilemma of exactly how we were going to show Steve’s problem.  The old Austin Powers gags are funny but not our show.  After some talks with our director Wendey, we decided that we would utilize a “penis cam” shot.  We would set up the camera from Uncle Upright’s POV and shoot our doctors' reactions, while  examining the patient.

Finally, we came to Mr. Martin.  Everybody these days is toting around some kind of water bottle with them.  It’s become a huge industry. “Stay hydrated”.  “Drink at least eight eight ounce glasses a day”.  Got it. Water is good for you.  Turns out only to a certain extent.  You can drink too much water and exhibit many of the same characteristics as drinking too much alcohol.  Weird, right?  Here, again, Curtis Armstrong, who we’ve been fans of for years (yes, he was Booger in “Revenge of the Nerds”, but don’t forget about “Moonlighting” or “The Chronicle” or “Ray”).  He nailed a difficult role in Martin.  Had to be funny, had to be offbeat, but had to have something underneath it all that made him who he was; a great mirror for Alex to peer into.

And just what about our doctors?   We tried to keep them busy.

Burke’s bold “key” maneuver seems to have worked, for now, but will Cristina be able to clean up her act living in Burke’s hyper-neat space? 

And we know Cristina reads all the medical journals she subscribes to, but do you wonder what other magazines are in that six month unread, will not be thrown away pile?

Poor Izzie just needs some sex and Alex is having performance anxiety issues.  These two just can’t catch a break.  And then Alex, seriously, back to Nurse Olivia, it might have been good but you crushed Izzie.

George is clearly not over Meredith but maybe his “Silence of the Lambs” talk he gave to Meredith in the stairwell will break her streak of one night stands.  Or else she’s probably in for more nightmarish humiliations.

Derek’s heart died a little when he realized that Meredith is moving on, or at least trying to move on, with her life.  But watching Addison in complete control of the choreographed chaos in that delivery OR… maybe, just maybe, stoked a little bit of the old Addison and Derek flame.

Whew.  We pack a lot into these episodes.  We’re tired just reliving it here on the page.  But that’s what makes these shows so much fun to write, to produce and hopefully to watch.  They say “expect the unexpected”.  On “Grey’s” the unexpected is the expected and what you get every week is always something completely different.

PS: Ever wonder what the writers look like?  Harry got to play the MRI Tech in the scene with Derek and Alex viewing Mr. Martin.  We shot that scene at 3 AM.  All the extras had been sent home and we’d forgotten that we’d need someone to work the MRI keyboard.  Rob Corn grabbed Harry told him to get into scrubs and next thing you know he’s typing.  His mom thinks he’ll get “discovered”.  But moms are supposed to think that.

Comments

Patsy O.

The first episodes of Grey’s had me hooked. Sassy music, fun dialogue, equally interesting characters. But, just when I started to get lost in the fantasy land of interns and doctors the writers dealt us the usual he loves her/ she loves him/they can’t be together drama blow. Grey’s jumps the shark and turns into a classic love/hate television show just like those done before.

If I wanted to watch the same ol’ love story of disappointment I can already turn to The O.C. or E.R., or watch reruns of Ed or Friends (whose writers drove that concept into the ground nearing the earth’s core). Enough already of McDreamy with the sad eyes and longing looks at Meredith. Enough of Alex and the attitude … and then sleeping with the other girl?? Seriously!?, as our dear character Meredith would say.

Despite the statistical facts that men in the vast majority don’t return to unfaithful wives, the story line this season is dragging on and on and the stars of the shows are turning out to be the admitted patients in the hospital. If I want real life ER drama, I can turn to the Discovery Channel and watch the action in Dallas or Atlanta.

As a nearly thirty aged viewer, I don’t want to see the same love story of he can’t be with her, or she’s found someone else now that he’s available plot. Give me something more. Here’s an idea, how about Meredith and McDreamy actually have a full blown conversation on truthfulness about their feelings, and Addison’s real dimensions are revealed when the ex-best friend of Derek’s arrives and tries to win her affections. Just as outrageous as the current plots are going, but at least people are talking. Enough people in this world avoid talking; let’s see Grey’s television characters do something different. Live a little.

Kim

This show is just so awesome! Regardless of the people who may say that it isn't "true to life" or that there is too much "drama" in the whole Mer/Der thing; this will always be a great show if you, the writers continue on the path you have been. Personally, the entire reason I watch TV is to escape from the "true to life" things, and it wouldn't be a good show with out the drama. I am a nurse so the medical aspect is great too. I know that there are nursing "advocates" who think that your portrayl of the nurses on the show is demeaning, but once again it is TV, and let's face it sometimes the doctors don't make great decisions either. That is just what makes for good TV!

Andrew J Filipowski

Great show and the music was outstanding...I am so disappointed that part of the site is not updates as of yet...but it was glorious...

Jessica S.

I really liked this episode. I thought the story line of Steve was great, but still not as good as George getting syph. Derek and Meredith really should get back together. Being his heart died a little do we still have hope? The last shot was great, I loved it. What Alex did to Izzie was horrible, I was really starting to like him and then he turn into Evil Spawn again. Cristina and Burke are so cute together and I loved how messy her aprtment was, and how she just buys new underwear instead of washing them,she is too funny. I live for Sunday nights because of this show. I tape every episode and watch it about 4 times until the next episode comes out. I love it, cant wait until next week.

Ali

Okay, first, let me start off by saying how well-written this episode was (which, with this show, seems to be a constancy). Also, the acting was amazing; everyone's performance was perfect--from the facial expressions to the line delivery. But, seriously (*smile*), the dialogue was fantastic--really poignant, really witty, and really compelling. In short, you two are my heroes.

So many amazing quotes. I love the fact that George had another "Silence of the Lambs" reference (he had one in Season One). That was priceless and so very...George. Cristina's whole key issue: I got freakin' keyed before coffee. Priceless. And I love her rant to Burke about her messy apartment. It was fantastic that she is not a neat freak. Most people that seem like they have it all together, don't; this illustrated that very well. Plus, it contrasted her to Burke, which made it all the more awesome to find that he might not mind her mess, after all.

I loved the two Derek/Meredith scenes (the one that followed the "So, guys, what's up" comment and the tumor-surgery talk). The whole contrast between eventually and actually was very moving...as well as the fact that Derek is hurting a bit. Honestly? I think he deserves to hurt a bit more. I mean, how did he think Meredith felt when he picked Addison? Hmmm? Not all warm and fuzzy, obviously.

But...I have to gripe, just for a moment, even if it's just to vent my utter frustration. And I know that it's probably silly to disagree, because you wrote the script, but I need to put in my two cents. Concerning the ending OR scene, you wrote, "maybe, just maybe, stoked a little bit of the old Addison and Derek flame," which made me almost fall out of my chair. For one thing, I'm not an Addison fan; I really loathe the character (which I'm think we're mostly supposed to do)--not the actress, the character. However, I just cannot believe that look that Derek gave Addison was supposed to be some sort of rekindling of their passion/relationship. No. No. No. (To echo George: Bad! Bad images in my head!) I don't see it. And I don't want to have to see it. Derek clearly is miserable with his choice; he seems resigned to being with Addison (in fact, the whole sex thing didn't seem to go all that well).

I could go on and on, ad infinitum. But I'll stop there and leave you with my favorite quote from last night's episode (hopefully, ABC won't block it out, like it does on the message board--since when is correctly naming a part of the anatomy a bad thing?!), "I'm not going down for this--it's not my fault that you broke this guy's penis." Priceless.

Kendel

Man. This show gets better and better every week. Seriously. And I am glad that the "flame" between Addison and Derek got "stoked". I like them more as a couple every week. I think that they have a shot. And I think that if Meredith finds a new guy, a good guy, that people would be more excepting of Addison and Derek.

Kara

Love what is going on with Burke and Christina, Izzy and Alex, and many other things about the show. All of the little things that mean so much and make the show so great and funny: the penis cam is a great example, but I really hate the direction of the last few shows. Addison and Derek trying to work it out got boring surprisingly fast, and it just is not believeable. Having her start as such a great witch flying into town was awsome and kept our attention, but now trying to make her sad and meek is not working. She was so manipulative and self-serving, and now suddenly she's this sad little lamb, uhh. From her crying outside waiting for him to seeking approval from him. The turn her character is taking seems wrong. What happened to the stong woman she started as? There needs to be one uber strong woman in the show, instead of them all sulking around now due to their problems with men. Also, I don't think most fans care about the "old flame" between Derek and Addison, or why they once loved each other. People are more interested in the other side - what drove them apart; and extremely interested in Derek's best friend that Addison slept with. Also where did the story lines go that at one point seemed to be leading somewhere, Meredith's mom was such a huge part of the show, and what about her and Dr. Webber? The show I thought until recently was about the interns' lives and everything THEY deal with, not about the Drs. Shepherd.

Katherine

Gabrielle and Harry, I LOVED this episode -- the plotlines, the dialogue, the sexy scenes, the humor, EVERYTHING! Especially, thank you SO much for pursuing and developing Burke and Cristina's wonderful, sexy, infuriating, sweet, frustrating relationship --they're our absolute favorite couple (I watch with 7 girlfriends every Sunday night). No doubt, there will be more conflicts between them but please keep them as a couple -- they're great individually but they're absolutely AMAZING together. Best line of the night? Burke to Cristina: "There is nothing you can reveal about yourself that I wouldn't want to know." If she doesn't want him, can we have him? There are 4 lawyers among us, 2 doctoral students, and 2 teachers, all educated women, but we all sighed when he said that to Cristina. Yes, five of us are married but we're not immune to beautiful words and sentiments like that!

Although I know that Meredith/Derek/Addison trio is the main romantic focus of the show, we're much more fascinated by the intriguing and strong chemistry between Preston Burke and Cristina Yang. Please don't let them fall by the wayside in the show's pursuit of Meredith's angst-driven drama with Derek. They can be the "angst", just let Burke and Cristina be the "smooth"!

Also love the close and banter-filled friendship between Meredith and Cristina. They're so funny and touching, almost like sisters and very believable.

Keep up the great work and thanks again for the wonderful episode last night!

Barb

I love this show, every week something else. You just never know. I have to admit that at the end of last weeks show, I fast forwarded Der/Add kiss. PLEASEEE! UCKKKKKKYYY! Bad, bad. I lose sleep every Sunday, only because I work a second job and get home after GA. Sure, I could wait and watch at my leisure, but then I have to avoid my co-workers every Monday as our weekly Dept meetings have turned into GA meetings. I love it!!! I totally get why Alex did what he did. He doesn’t want to admit to himself that he likes Izzy as much as he does, and that is why he can't perform. So he was hoping to prove he just had a problem, but with someone he is emotionally unattached to, well, we know how that worked out!! Christina and Burke are a scream. PERFECT for each other, because they are so different. I can only hope for George to find someone like Mer to love and have a relationship with. You guys are the best writers around. Thank you.

Elizabeth

I am not an Addison fan. I fell in love with a incredible, diverse cast in Season 1 with no Addison. Now we are being forcefed this woman as the all mighty godly woman. You have such a number of good characters that deserve the limelight(Bailey, Burk, Christine)over Addison.

You introduced this character and now have made this triangle the focus of the show.

I guess I expected something more than the same old "love triangle".
I just saw this as a show that showcased a character and in my opinion you alot more pleasant options than the one you choose.

bethp

Ok,the shower scene really really made everyone on the message board,at least at TWOP,confused!So we only have one question,WAS IT MERE OR MCD IMAGINING THAT SHOWER SCENE WHILE SLEEPING WITH SOMEBODY ELSE?please explain it to us..thanks!or yeah we know you writers like to mess up with our brain!

Cutrice

Words just can’t express how much I love this show, but I missed the first part because of a power outage (tornado warning). Reading everyone’s comments are great because it helps fill me in on a little of what I missed. If anyone out there knows how I can or when I can see a rerun of Nov. 27, episode please let me know. My power came back on just as Christina was showing Burke her apartment. Can anyone fill me in on ALL the details leading up to that scene?

Allie

I loved this episode, my favorite of the season! I loved Meredith's fantasy of her and Derek in the shower, very cute. I hope George can find a nice girl to appreciate, he seems so lonely. Poor Izzie, I felt so bad when she walked in Alex and Olivia. Burke and Cristina were really cute last night. Awesome episode, keep up the great work!

Megan

I abosolutely loved sunday's episode. I have seen every single GA episode and have been watching since the premiere. I am really hooked. This episode was one of the best ones this season.

After reading your ps about Harry being the MRI guy I went and rewatched that scene(I tape every episode).

I really loved the scene when Meredith and Derek are performing the "One Night Stand's" surgery. The dialogue was amazing and I could just feel the emotions between them. I can't stop qouting Derek's "Eventually feels a lot different from actually..." I absolutely loved that. Also Derek's reaction to Meredith's one night stand was priceless though I wished we could have seen a more jealous side of Derek (to contradict his "I don't get jealous" when he saw Meredith and Viper kiss in the first season). As you can tell through my on going rant I am a huge Mer/Der fan. Please make them get back together. Hopefully there will continue to be little moments and slices of hope for this couple.

Love this episode. I can't wait to see what happens with the quints next week!

Terra

The dialogue in this show is so brilliantly written, it captures relationships and all their layers of love and difficulty so perfectly. I am brought to tears each week. Thank you.

Lauren

I really think the show has changed and not for the better. I don't like Addison. I don't care why Derek fell in love with her to begin with. Please give us Meredith and Derek back.

Please let us find out about Bailey, Burk, George, Christine. Anyone except Addison.

You took a great show from last season and totally changed the chemistry and not for the better.

Mary Anne

I agree that the best friend from New York needs to join the staff. (Doesn't they need a trauma surgeon?) Think of the conflict potential! Didn't Addison say it only happened once? Yet it was at the marital home? Oh please.

We already know that Derek would have some real issues with the guy based on the past.

How about issues based on the future? We already know that the best friend and Derek share the same taste in women so -- if best friend ran true to form, wouldn't he arrive and pounce on Meredith? And how would that affect the good Dr. McDreamy?

Come on, give us a Dr. Delicious to turn up the heat a bit -- it'd be fun to watch McDreamy sizzle!!

Nicole

Ok. Love, Love, LOVE GA as a show. Seriously, superb. Can't get enough. However, several thoughts go through my head.

Izzie and George = ??? Thoughts to ponder. I think they'd be quite spectacular together.

Addie and Derrick. Please, you knew they had to do it. As Merideth herself said, McDreamy wouldn't be McDreamy if he didn't try. He's too good not too. That's what makes him so...McDreamy.

Alex. Really conflicted character. I think he'll be the one that doesn't make it through the program.

Merrideth and Derrick. Please, once again, in the end, I have no doubts they'll be together. How could they not?

What happened to Derrick's best friend? That's what I want to know.

Will Christina and Burke last? I wish. However, I have a bad feeling...they won't. They're amazing in an operating room together..and even between the sheets. But long term? I just don't see it.

One final note: McDream Me.

Baylink

Wow. Even the comments are worthy of comment.

I'm with Ali, for what it's worth.

To Patsy, I would observe that you have two choices: don't care, and
move along, or admit it matters to you... and cope with where the
writers go.

I had the interesting insight recently that arced series dramatic
television is roughly akin to the classic novels _Naked Came the
Stranger_ and it's humourous counterpart _Naked Came The Manatee_ (by
Dave Barry, Elmore Leonard, and a host of writers in what Barry refers
to as the "bunch of South Florida whackos genre") -- each writer does
something to the characters and their lives, and then hands them all
over to the next one.

> We did 58 different set ups and
takes to get what appears on screen. But we at least think it was
worth it..

I watch TV as a production tech. Except Grey's. You guys are so good
at it, that I didn't notice the 58 setups.

> Stuff like this could only
happen to Meredith.

And it leads directly to comments about "Innapropriate Facial Hair
Guy", which make me think y'all have someone detailed to read fan
mailing lists. ;-)

> What was really fun about this story line is that broadcast standards
and practices won.t let you talk about an erection using most of the
terms people are familiar with.

Shame you're not on Fox, where their slogan is "Viewer Discretion is
Advised".

> .penis cam. shot. We would set up the camera from Uncle Upright.s POV
and shoot our doctors' reactions, while examining the patient.

The producers of MASH would be proud.

> Got it. Water is good for you. Turns out only to a certain extent.

Seriously?

> Had to be funny, had to be offbeat, but had to have something
underneath it all that made him who he was; a great mirror for Alex to
peer into.

Did I miss something, or was there no denouement to his thread?

Or was I just ducking too much to avoid getting hit by the Falling Anvils?

And why don't the Falling Anvils *annoy* me? Normally, I feel like my intelligence is getting insulted. But here? No.

> And just what about our doctors? We tried to keep them busy.

Good thing you don't have a doctor named Naomi...

> Burke.s bold .key. maneuver seems to have worked, for now, but will
Cristina be able to clean up her act living in Burke.s hyper-neat
space?

If he can make love to her on that floor, then maybe there's hope.

But what a shame that Bailey loses her standing to criticize McDreamy
*just* as it no longer matters. Or is Addison scheduled to walk in
front of a bus?

> Poor Izzie just needs some sex and Alex is having performance anxiety
issues.

And *bad* producers; no donut, for the massive mislead in last week's
"next week". :-) Izzy and George *indeed*...

> These two just can.t catch a break. And then Alex, seriously,
back to Nurse Olivia, it might have been good but you crushed Izzie.

Moron.

But at least we got to see Ms. Heigl in her mostly-together.

I read an interview with her about 8 months ago in Maxim. What I took
away from it was that she (the actress) is... well, *fun*. I love
people (women especially, being both male, and straight) who are *fun*.

This ep did a better job demonstrating that than any other one I've
seen yet; I hope we get more.

> George is clearly not over Meredith but maybe his .Silence of the
Lambs. talk he gave to Meredith in the stairwell will break her streak
of one night stands. Or else she.s probably in for more nightmarish
humiliations.

Or, maybe she'll end up in bed with George. Excuse me; that was a
couple episodes ago. "...having sex" with George.

> Whew. We pack a lot into these episodes. We.re tired just reliving it
here on the page. But that.s what makes these shows so much fun to
write, to produce and hopefully to watch. They say .expect the
unexpected.. On .Grey.s. the unexpected is the expected and what you
get every week is always something completely different.

Yes indeed.

Sophomore slump can be bad. Just remember that the
reason it's so popular is because it is what it *is*, and ignore the
little voices (from S&P, the network execs, etc) who whisper in your
ear to make it something else.

> PS: Ever wonder what the writers look like? Harry got to play the MRI
Tech in the scene with Derek and Alex viewing Mr. Martin. We shot that
scene at 3 AM. All the extras had been sent home and we.d forgotten
that we.d need someone to work the MRI keyboard. Rob Corn grabbed
Harry told him to get into scrubs and next thing you know he.s typing.
His mom thinks he.ll get .discovered.. But moms are supposed to think
that.

Except Ellis.

Keep up the good work, folks. You put 'em down; we'll pick 'em up.

Cathy

Quote ~~

"but I really hate the direction of the last few shows. Addison and Derek trying to work it out got boring surprisingly fast, and it just is not believeable.

Having her start as such a great witch flying into town was awsome and kept our attention, but now trying to make her sad and meek is not working. She was so manipulative and self-serving, and now suddenly she's this sad little lamb, uhh.

From her crying outside waiting for him to seeking approval from him. The turn her character is taking seems wrong.

Posted by: Kara" (End Quote)

Couldn't have said it better Kara!!! Love the storyline with the other interns ~ very interesting ~ but the whole Addison/Derek thing is a snooze and Meredith seems to be fading into the background.

Here's to hoping for a new direction!

Kim

I wish like hell that the show would take what I consider to be an uber-conventional route by letting the Shepherds stay together permanently. I love Kate Walsh's and Patrick Dempsey's onscreen chemistry and find the Addison/Derek reunion plausible in that it's awkward and tense at this point. I don't expect those two to act like nothing ever happened, and the small details, including the look on Derek's face before the quints' births, reveal small glimpses into what may have attracted the Shepherds to one another in the first place (their ambition, shared passion for work, etc.), which is just what I expect from a show of such high caliber as GA. I think it's completely unfair to just ignore the feelings that Derek once shared (and that he may still share to a certain degree) for Addison. If he hated her, there would be no point to him trying to work out the marriage. I don't believe anyone feels that deep a sense of obligation to their spouses, esp. when there's another person one could be with so easily.

The Addison/Derek/Meredith triangle is one of the best I've ever seen portrayed so kudos to all the writers for fleshing out each character in the triangle as well as they have so far, esp. Addison, who so many are willing to believe is just a heartless bitch. She can be just as hurt and vulnerable as either meredith or Derek, and I'm glad the writers have let that show more starting with "Thanks for the Memories." Kudos to you all!

William Hays

I don't want to make things more difficult for the writers. I really don't. However, the binge drinking and alcohol abuse has gotten out of hand. We desperately need an intervention.
Do you understand what sets doctors apart from pro football players? Professional athletes sacrifice their bodies, knowing the rewards for top players is astronomical. Doctors have two things going for them: professional training and intelligence.
Alcohol destroys brain cells. Binge drinking destroys intelligence. Doctors don't need anyone to explain that to them.
I think a female trustee of the hospital should come in for a check-up, a speech accepting a charitable donation, whatever. She goes over to the bar to evaluate her new interns outside of work, and she lays down the law. Either they all to to a retreat - the same thing Sandra Bullock did in "28 Days" - or they won't be working at Grace Memorial any more.
It's gotten to the point where we sit around joking that the show is written "By Alcoholics, For Alcoholics." If these people intend to be great doctors, they should be too smart to abuse alcohol.
All the best, Bill

poody

this is the best-written show on television today. a great, GREAT combination of wit and tremendous insight into the human condition. i don't believe there has been one episode that i've watched in which i haven't laughed, cried, and truly felt my heart was touched. the burke/christina storyline is sweet and funny. you're doing a great job developing all of the character's personalities, keep up the good work!

ds hendler

Big thumbs up to the person who pegged the Greenskeepers Music song 3 minutes before George's speech. I stopped the DVR, explained the song to the wife while Izzie was giving Alex her talk, laughed my ass off... and then a few moments later in the stairwell? Money. Pure money. Thank you thank you thank you.

Oh yes. I do need to give mad shout outs to the writers. You folks do excellent excellent work. GA is the only show we make sure to have the captions on for, so that we don't miss a line.

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