"Wait, That Show's Still On?" & More Things Never to Say to a 'Grey's Anatomy' Fan
As far as movies and TV are concerned, I like to consider myself pretty high-brow in my tastes. I don't watch reality shows; I see every Best Picture nominee; I've never had a desire to check out a movie whose first word is Jackass. Yet none of this seems to matter the moment someone finds out that for the past 10 years, I've spent Thursday nights sitting in front of my TV screen, watching Grey's Anatomy .
For some reason, Grey's, the Shonda Rhimes-created drama about doctors at America's most disaster-prone hospital, has always gotten flack from non-viewers for being "crappy TV." The fact that the show has great ratings, shelves of Emmys, and 10-seasons-and-counting on the air, not to mention high-quality writing and acting, seems not to matter. The only things they care about are ferry boat drownings, ghost sex, and the unlikeliness of all those tragedies striking Seattle at once (PEOPLE. IT'S A TV SHOW). To them, Grey's is nothing but a tired old soap opera that should've been off the air years ago.
True fans, though, know the truth: Grey's is a genuinely good show, one that's sustained its drama and ratings over the years so successfully that it's managed to get renewed every season since 2005, and will likely keep doing so until Shonda Rhimes says otherwise. Yet until that happens, we'll have to keep dealing with those irksome, ignorant remarks from non-viewers who just don't understand, such as:
"How is This Show Still On the Air?"
This is typically said in a disgusted tone, like the asker can't believe something as ridiculous as Grey's Anatomy could get renewed year after year while Dads got cancelled after one season. My answer: because unlike Dads, Grey's Anatomy is a) good and b) successful. "But no one watches it!" you say, to which I remind you that Grey's is one of the highest-rated shows on the air and that if no one was watching it, ABC would've cancelled it long ago.
"Well, I Stopped Watching Forever Ago"
Well, good for you. You may have missed out on a couple of weaker seasons, but you also didn't get to see that amazing mass shooter episode, George's touching death, and the introduction of the 8th Wonder of the World, Jackson Avery. And since when is saying you stopped a show midway through a point of pride? If anything, it should indicate a serious lack of commitment.
"It's Just So Unrealistic"
Yes, because that other Shonda Rhimes' you watch, Scandal, is so relatable with its screwdriver-torture and every-other-week assassination attempts. Grey's Anatomy has been on the air for 10 years, and to come up with plots week after week for that long requires some stretches of the imagination. Are exploding bombs and mass murders normal occurrences in a hospital? Probably not. But they do make for great TV, and when a show's been on for a decade, it's totally understandable.
"Katherine Heigl was So Out of Line"
Heigl got a lot of flack when she said that she didn't submit herself for an Emmy nomination because she wasn't given good enough material, and while one can argue that she shouldn't have said anything, the fact is, she wasn't. While the other characters got typically juicy plotlines all season long, Heigl's Izzie had nothing to do but sleep with George and whine to her friends. And don't get me started on season 5...
"I Heard There was Ghost Sex?"
Unfortunately, this question is legitimate. Yes, there was ghost sex on Grey's Anatomy, and most fans are still trying to forget that it ever happened. But it was one episode. When people ask it, it's as if they think the entirety of Grey's Anatomy revolved around Izzie sleeping with her dead exes, not a single scene. Still, true fans will admit that the plotline was misguided, and while it paid off in the end, there were certainly other ways Rhimes and her writers' could've gotten us there.
"Didn't Everyone Leave the Show?"
If by everyone, you mean a handful of cast members who left for various reasons over the course of 10 years, then yes. Like any long-running show, Grey's has seen its fair share of exists, some due to plotlines, others due to actors' requests. Plenty of new people, too, have signed on, keeping the show's large ensemble full and diverse. And while it's hurt to see a few of the original cast members, like Sandra Oh, move on for new things, it's understandable; being on any show for that long must be tiring, especially an hour-long drama like Grey's. But implying that the series is just a revolving door of actors and that no one wanted to stay on is just incorrect.
"It Stopped Being Good After Like, Season 2"
The most popular sentence uttered by non-Grey's fans to current viewers couldn't be more wrong. Sure, the show got a little shaky during a couple of its middle years, but it was never bad, and rarely even close. You wouldn't say that Friday Night Lights was terrible just because of that crappy season 2 Landry/Tyra plotline, would you? Of course not. Besides, in its later years, Grey's reinvented itself, introducing plotlines and characters as interesting as anything seen in those first seasons. The Grey's of today may not be as exciting as it used to be — there's only so much drama a series can show before becoming repetitive — but it's just as good, filled with intimate storylines that highlight the characters' decade-long growth. 10 seasons in, Grey's is a quieter show than it used to be, but just as good as it ever was. Ask any fan.
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