Shocked, excited, upset, anxious, perplexed— all of which are just a few of the whirlwind of emotions that hit you while watching Grey’s Anatomy, or as fans coined it “Grey’s”. Created and written by Shonda Rhimes, the medical drama just finished it’s 13th season run— and let’s just say that Rhimes never fails to have us on the edge of our seats— following Meredith Grey, her peers, and other doctors as they navigate their careers at Grey-Sloan Memorial hospital.
The term medical drama may be an understatement for Grey’s Anatomy. Not even Shakespeare’s Hamlet can live up to the amount of drama that these characters live through. Rivals at the workplace? Grey’s has it. Messy love triangles? Check. Patients dying left and right, because of unsuccessful procedures? Obviously. Take your most dramatic high school experience, multiply it by fifty and— boom— you now have accurately found the drama level that is Grey’s.
Drama is the show’s greatest gimmick, one can’t not be entertained by all the scandals. Watchers like myself can’t seem to peel their eyes away from the screen as we watch in anticipation of the next big confrontation. It’s like giving heroin to a drug addict— the more conflict Rhimes presents us with, the more we just can’t seem to stay away.
The Netflix binge watches of the show immerse you into the lives of the entire hospital gang and before you know it, you’re sobbing along with Meredith as she professes her love for Derek. Her pain is now your pain, which hits you like a ton of bricks. Cristina leaves Burke at the altar— you feel that too, hard. Richard relapses and starts drinking again— might as well stab yourself in the stomach, because that’s how you’re going to feel.
Now this is good, right? It means you like the show? I mean yeah, it’d be great except for the fact that just about every season ends with a fiery inferno. And what goes best with a fiery inferno? Death. That’s right, the characters that have become part of your family are now dead. Just like that— poof they’re gone without even the slightest warning. The devil might as well have risen from the ashes, plunged his grimy little claws into your chest, and ripped out your heart in a slow and agonizing motion, because that’s the minor leagues compared to Rhimes and the other writers.
There’s almost no point in having a favorite character as they’d have better chances of survival if they were in the Hunger Games arena rather than at Grey-Sloan Memorial hospital. A bombing, a shooting, a sinkhole, an earthquake, two plane crashes, and so many automobile crashes we’d have better luck counting the sand at Venice Beach.
No one is safe from the curses that fill the halls of Grey-Sloan. Patients are typically on the show for multiple episodes, Rhimes really giving us, as the audience, a chance for this patient to be the latest addition to the family of characters we love so much. By the end of their second episode, she has us all really rooting for them to make a speedy recovery. It’s just a routine surgery, what could go wrong? Apparently everything, because nine times out of ten the patient is the newest cadaver in morgue downstairs. Aka, get ready for another heart rip out.
One might ask, why don’t you just stop watching Grey’s? To that I have to say, does telling a drug addict to stop doing drugs actually get them to stop doing drugs? I didn’t think so.
As a watcher, you spend so many hours getting deeply invested into the show and the characters. Just to let it all go, because you have have a case of Taylor Swift “Bad Blood” with Rhimes and the plot direction she chose, seems silly. No matter how much Grey’s makes you want to slam your head up against a wall or stick some brightly colored push-pins into your eyes, you always tune in for the next episode. Sure, you might vow to never watch it again after that ever-so-depressing episode, but by the same time next week your body is shaking, you’ve broken out into a cold sweat, and you give into your craving.
The reality of it is, yes, there’s times when as a watcher you’ll love Grey’s Anatomy. Yes, there’s times when it’ll make you want to throw your tv out the nearest window. But regardless of your emotions towards the show at any given moment there’s the undeniable fact that Rhimes is a brilliant writer, who has cultivated one of the greatest shows currently on tv. It’s the show you’ll love to hate— the scenes always keeping your mind turning and you wanting more. If Grey’s can run for all these seasons with this many tragedies, well then move over science, Rhimes may have found the secret to immortality.