Picks and Pans Review: Taking the Temperature of Grey's Anatomy

updated 11/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/05/2007 01:00AM

NEW SEASON!

• WHITE-COAT ANXIETY. ABC's blockbuster enters its fourth season with two formidable performers no longer walking the halls: Isaiah Washington, now at Bionic Woman, and Kate Walsh, who's gotten her own spin-off, Private Practice. As if to distract us from this power vacuum, recent episodes have been crowded with new interns flopping around like baby seals hoping for anchovies from a trainer. So far the only thing they accomplish is to make the series regulars, now mostly advanced to residents, look as old as the cast of Friends.

• GREY ON GREY. Actually, there's one intern I like: Meredith's half-sister, Lexie Grey, played by Chyler Leigh. Fresh, slender and tremulous, she could hide behind get-well bouquets as camouflage.

• DIZZY IZZIE. Finally—Dr. Stevens seems to be over her bathetic mooning for dead Denny. In fact, Katherine Heigl's performance now has a lot of the same softly insistent comic timing she showed in this past summer's movie hit, Knocked Up. Would a doctor as harried as Izzie waste time trying to save a deer hit by a truck? Well, no, but Heigl breathed sweetness into the scene.

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