The multi-award-winning ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” has captured viewers’ interests for over a decade. Created by renowned director and writer Shonda Rhimes, the show details the professional and personal lives of five surgical interns and other staff at Seattle Grace Hospital. The five interns, Meredith Grey, Alex Karev, George O’Malley, Isobel Stevens, and Cristina Yang, struggle both to improve their surgical skills and to retain elements of love, friendship, and family in their lives as they move up the medical hierarchy.
Since its first televised appearance in early 2005, the show has received multiple awards as well as a viewership of over eight million people over 11 seasons. Breathtaking surgery scenes, creative medical scenarios, and dynamic romances all help the show seize viewers’ attention.
However, the real appeal of “Grey’s Anatomy” lies in its balance between depictions of medical extremities and presentation of personal conflicts. The different patients that appear on each episode present not only medical challenges for the doctors, but also personal conflicts that closely resemble those of the doctors. For example, it is not uncommon for a patient’s last words to be life-changing advice for a doctor dealing with personal problems that range anywhere from sexuality to racism. As such, patients play a crucial role in developing the doctors’ characters both professionally and personally.
“Grey’s Anatomy” is further also able to tackle more universal issues regarding sexuality, abortion, disability, infidelity, and racism by investigating characters, both doctors and patients, who come from all walks of life. For example, the main character, Meredith Grey, struggles to deal with the pressures of being the daughter of a world-class surgeon and attempting to manage a stable relationship with her partner, Derek Shepherd, also a renowned neurosurgeon. Others such as Alex Karev and Isobel Stevens are from “broken families,” and are victims of child abuse and neglect. By dealing with issues that are often stigmatized by society, “Grey’s Anatomy” works to remove the stereotypes that surround social minorities.
Encompassing various elements and portraying characters with diverse problems, “Grey’s Anatomy” is able attract many different types of viewers who may share the same difficulties. Students and faculty members at SIS, who cope with their own troubles, may find it easy to relate to the characters’ inherently human flaws and find comfort in the doctors’ stories of overcoming such hardship. So whether students are interested in surgeries or whether they are interested in the struggle of maintaining a stable lifestyle, Grey’s Anatomy is the perfect drama to kick back and binge watch on a lazy day.