If you go to iTunes and download the My TV Podcast Grey’s Anatomy Special, you’ll hear me and my co-host Tessa in early 2008 talking about a Grey’s Anatomy that is 4 and a half seasons old and a Private Practice still hobbling its way through its first season. There’s a point at which we try to determine our favourite characters in the world of Seattle Grace then spend quite a substantial bit of time proclaiming our love of Addison Montgomery.
I remember, back in 2008, an Addison who was strong and funny and smart, who was quirky and compassionate and mature. The Addy I remember was a teacher, she put others first, she tried to overcome her faults, she had a head firmly on her shoulders. Kate Walsh came into Seattle Grace as the season-ending twist that broke up Grey’s central couple and by the time she left for LA she’d made Addison one of the most beloved characters the series had. At least that’s how I remember it.
But these days I can’t stand the Addison of Private Practice. Every decision she makes, every revelation she shares (boy, this week’s was a doozy- or did we know about her NY pregnancy before and I’ve just blocked it out?), every preachy speech she makes makes me like her even less (even her hair is less likable these days).
Now it’s no secret that I just don’t like Private Practice as a show and it’s also perfectly clear that I’m not a Meredith fan so maybe I was cheering more against Meredith than for Addison in the early days. But I have a sneaky suspicion that Addison hasn’t undergone some horrible character transformation. I’ve got a feeling that she was never the girl I thought she was. Could it be me that’s changed? Maybe what I valued in Addy before just isn’t as important to me now as the virtues that she never possessed. Or is it true that she’s grown pathetic over the years, trading in her salmon-coloured teaching scrubs for an easily-removable business skirt and a set of un-sensible pumps?
Either way, as I made my way through this week’s Private Practice I found myself thinking about that old podcast and the days when my favourite character was Addison Montgomery, wondering what is was that changed my mind.