The "Grey's Anatomy" writers acknowledge last season's ratings decline by offering a parallel plot that finds Seattle Grace's ranking as a teaching hospital suffering in tonight's entertaining and ridiculous-in-the-regular-"Grey's"-ways two-hour season premiere (9 tonight, WTAE).
Patient stories inform the regular character stories as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) continues to fret over her relationship with McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) to the point that Cristina (Sandra Oh) finally tells her to give it a rest only to immediately afterward find herself on the receiving end of karmic retribution.
Characters squabble like school children -- even over open chest cavities -- and professionalism takes a back seat to emotions, but that's the way it's always been on "Grey's." At least this season starts with a sense of business-as-first-season-usual.
An Army trauma surgeon (Kevin McKidd, let the McNicknaming begin) catches Cristina's eye and Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Erica (Brooke Smith) deal nervously with their budding romance.
-- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV editor