The following piece is an assignment for Media and Culture class. The assignment was to follow an aspect of popular culture and keep a blog account each week. I chose to write my entries on American television dramas; I focused on that of the ABC medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy.
For twelve season now, fans of Grey’s Anatomy have watched the doctors as Seattle Grace/ Seattle Grace Mercy West/ Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital go through their surgical residencies, have insanely complex emotional baggage intertwined with their coworkers, change the name of the hospital nearly every season, and go through more tragedies than any person should ever need to deal with.
Personally, I have followed Grey’s Anatomy through all twelve seasons and I am a little fed up with writer Shonda Rhimes. At the risk of sounding dramatic and realizing that the show is completely fiction, I don’t know how much more of this my heart can take. The amount of times my heart has stopped, tears have broken, and I started yelling at my TV in disbelief is outrageous.
Surgery is a huge strain on the body as well as a huge risk in general. Surgeons spend years of schooling, hours of working and researching, to try and perfect their skills and strategies in order to ensure the safety of their patients and success of their operations. The residents at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital spend a good portion of their days leisurely going about their personal businesses, taking frequent trips to the on call room (sex dungeon), along with the occasional ground breaking surgery or two. For some reason, viewers find enjoyment in watching suffering and sadness, but at what point does it become unrealistic? At what point can I ask, “Do the doctors save any of their patients?”
Sure, there are the tear jerking and heart felt moments where the families are reunited, the intern makes a miraculous save on the operating table, and everyone get celebratory drinks. But those moments seem to be tucked in tightly with the sound of the monitor changing from lowering stats to flat lines, and the doctors yelling “Dammit!,” “He’s coding!,” “I need two rounds of EPI” and finally “Time of death…”
Throughout my years of dedication, I feel that I have put up with a lot from the show. Deaths such as Heather Brooks, Reed Adamson, Henry Burton, and Charles Perry were sad and untimely, but fans forgave and forgot.
Other characters such as Adele Webber and Ellis Grey gave fans a peace of mind, that those characters have peace of their own.
But some deaths were much harder to forgive than others, examples being George O’Malley, Lexie Grey, and Mark Sloan.
There was no preparation for those tragedies, I was not told what to do or what to expect, how was I supposed to know what was about to happen? In regards to the COMPLETELY unnecessary, untimely, and cruel death of Dr. Derek Shepherd, it is still too soon to talk about.
I will not complain about the survival of any characters, being that they are all few and far between, but Meredith Grey has survived a bomb, a drowning, a gunman, and a plane crash, without a hair out of place. “The Invincible Meredith Grey,” is both impressive and ridiculous. She held a bomb, still, inside of a patient’s body, only to have it explode after the hands it off, had extended exposure to toxic blood, drown in the harbor after a ferry boat crash, told a hysterical gunman to shoot her, a plane crash in the woods, an emergency C-section without any power, and operated during an earthquake. Meredith simply can’t catch a break.
In order to ensure the success of Grey’s Anatomy, it is obvious that the medical field needs to be dramatized. But it gets to a certain point in every fan when it seems like the headlines for each episode should just say,