It’s one of the most popular shows on Netflix. Maybe one of the most popular shows of all time. For 14, going on 15, years Meredith Grey and the rest of the doctors at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital have enchanted viewers.
From love triangles, to shocking deaths, to obscure medical cases there is no shortage of reasons to watch “Grey’s Anatomy.”
For me, a “Grey’s Anatomy”-super fan – I can tell you the title of any episode off the top of my head and give you a full episode synopsis – my love for the show stems from Ellen Pompeo’s titular character, Meredith Grey.
Since I was in the third grade, I’ve watched Meredith struggle with everything from her boyfriend having a wife, to finding out that she has numerous half-siblings, to losing the love of her life, Patrick Dempsey’s Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, to losing her “person” Cristina Yang.
In the course of the shows monumental 14-year run there have been 317 episodes. That’s 317 hours of television. And with the upcoming season 15, which premieres September 27, the show is now tied with medical-drama predecessor “ER” for number of seasons on the air.
That’s a lot of death. A lot of dark and twisty moments. A lot of shots of tequila at Joe’s bar.
And maybe… after 15 years with (nearly) the same cast of characters… that’s enough?
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve shed more tears over the deaths on Grey’s than I have for anything else and I’ve seen the show all the way through probably three times. I love Meredith Grey. I love her ridiculous opening monologues that I can never fully pay attention to and I love seeing all the doctors in their pretty blue scrubs – but eventually, all good things must come to an end, right?
When the show began in 2005, Meredith was an intern at the hospital – then named Seattle Grace. Since then, Meredith has gone from intern to resident to attending to the chief of general surgery to Harper Avery Award winner (a fictitious award aiming to inspire surgical innovation).
That’s a lot of ground to cover. Of course, when a show has been on the air for so long it’s easy to get there. But at what cost? There’s really no denying that in recent years the quality of “Grey’s Anatomy” has gone downhill. A show that was once up for award after award has gotten zero Emmy-buzz since 2008. The characters, as much as I love them, have seemingly begun to become parodies of themselves.
And after bombs, ferry boat crashes, active shooters, plane crashes, people getting hit by semis… how could they not become parodies of themselves?
Even the storylines are going downhill. This most recent season the hospital fell under the control of a cyber-terrorist who was requesting millions of dollars to return control of the hospital’s computers to them and who can forget season 14 episode 20 “Judgement Day” when a handful of our favorite doctors accidentally ate edibles and acted completely ridiculous for 45 minutes?
No, “Grey’s Anatomy” is not what it used to be. At its core, yes, Grey’s is still about the ups and downs of Meredith Grey’s increasingly sad and soap opera-y life, but when you pair that with a group of the male doctors playing hookie for a day to hang out on a yacht or the cringe-worthy musical episode it’s hard to remember that we’re supposed to be watching these people save lives.
Like I said, I love Grey’s with all my heart. I plan to watch until the very last episode, because after committing over half of my life to watching this show it doesn’t really make sense for me not to see how it ends. Hopefully though, after season 15, Meredith chooses to hang up the scrubs.
Although some may feel it’s time for Meredith to hang up her ferry boat scrub cap, Ellen Pompeo has allegedly signed a contract that will take her through season 16, which really just proves that nobody knows where Grey’s might end up.