Or, perhaps more accurately: Why can’t I stop watching Grey’s Anatomy?
In mid-November, I decided I would watch Grey’s from the very beginning. We were coming up on finals season and suddenly I just had to do the whole thing. And so, I went to Netflix to get it done. I’ll go ahead and let y’all know that I finished the first seven seasons in less than a month and all of the first nine in less than six weeks.
I’ve laughed and cried, loudly, alone in my bedroom, my lights off and my roommates judging me. I’ve grown passionate about Mark Sloan’s face, Jackson Avery’s eyes, Callie and Arizona, and everything Bailey says. Cristina has grown on me, because one-liners and her dad, and I still roll my eyes at Karev’s man-childishness. And I’m blown away by how many actors from Grey’s have shown up on Scandal (hey there, Sally, Cyrus, Mellie, James, Jake, Quinn, Reston!).
The show is soapy and wild and kind of graphic. So what has brought me to the point where I watched season four in one day before realizing I maybe have a problem?
1. The Actors
Y’all, I don’t even care. These people are artists. You’ve got Ellen Pompeo with her perfect narrator voice, Patrick Dempsey with his crow’s-feet and luscious locks (thank heavens for his season 4 haircut though), Sandra Oh with her dead pan awesomeness, Chandra Wilson with her abrasive comic delivery… Also, Eric Dane’s face (/emotional delivery) and Jesse. Williams’. Eyes.
This show does an excellent job of making the viewer care about all the characters. None of them feel like dead weight (except Karev on a personal level, but he makes up for it with his peds work). And even though Dane in particular is incredibly good-looking, the rest of them are hot in a “not the average real person but still potentially a real person who might really go for my personality” kind of way. Plus, they make me believe that they’re actually doctors! Which brings me to…
2. The Possible Suspension of Disbelief
I don’t know any surgeons. I’ve only had three surgeries: wisdom teeth removal and two for a broken toe (a story for another day). I have no idea what it’s like to be a surgeon or even to work at a hospital. I’m just kind of trusting Shonda on this one. I remain skeptical about the on-call room, the very lax codes of conduct and ethics, and the amount of influence surgeons have over the hospital as a whole. Again, this could all be super accurate. After all, that medical lingo sounds perfectly legit.
Even as I’m writing this, the thought strikes me that I could probably Google up some answers. What I’ve found is that Grey’s is, in fact, problematic as well as simply inaccurate. And a lot of criticism actually falls into my first two concerns: Grey’s, like a number of other workplace shows (which I mean loosely – anywhere from a hospital to police station to an office) , exaggerates the “fraternization” between co-workers. Moreover, medical shows apparently have an insane tendency to overuse organ donation storylines, and, even worse, they allow for a lot of rule breaking on the part of the doctors.
At least my eyebrow raising makes sense. But, oh well, because it’s all in pursuit of the drama. And nowhere has drama like…
3. Shonda Rhimes Is Batshit Crazy.
Everyone who watches Grey’s Anatomy knows things can get weird. Everyone who binge watches Grey’s Anatomy no longer knows what in life makes sense.
Do you watch Scandal? Of course you do. That show is totally off-the-rails – but is Grey’s really that much tamer?
It should be. After all, the entire world is at stake some weeks on Scandal, because Jesus has yet to take the wheel from Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III. There’s torture and intrigue and espionage. Maybe Grey’s can’t top that, but it sure does try.
The show’s about surgeons doing surgery and each other, which should be far more basic, and yet… Main characters drown, get hit by buses, get cancer, get syphilis, and, most importantly, die. Though most of those actors wanted to leave, the audience generally doesn’t see it coming. And even when we know the actor’s getting out, it’s hard to foresee who will be written off and who just won’t make it.
Then there are the storylines. In addition to sex everywhere between everyone and plenty of alcoholism, everybody’s always stealing organs and accidentally killing people and breaking so many laws, all without messing up their hair. There are shootings and explosions (shout-out to Coach Taylor!) and train/plane/boat crashes. And they don’t stop! I mean, it should have quickly become a rule that Isobel Stevens has no business near a transplant surgery. Also, the Denny sex, guys. The Denny sex.
4. The Musical Episode
Y’all know what I’m talking about.
LOLJK WHY DID OWEN KEEP SINGING/RUINING SONGS I LIKE?
Honestly, I hoped Callie (a.k.a. Tony winner Sara Ramirez) would do all the singing, since she was unconscious, but no such luck.
Anyway, Grey’s has something for everyone. Sex, violence, spot-on jokes, and a lot of crying. If you need to join me in catching up, go ahead. I’ll wait. Let me know how it’s going!
If you’re on track, you might want to head over to Netflix anyway, because we won’t get any more of this crazy until season 10 returns on February 27.
Sound off below on your favorite/most hated Grey’s moments – I know I forgot some of the ridiculousness!