The first time I started watching Grey’s Anatomy, it was 2017 and I binge watched it all, spending every minute of every day glued to my phone and laptop. I saw Meredith grow from being an intern to an attending to chief of general surgery; a scorned girlfriend to a wife to a mother and a widow, and finding love again after losing Derek.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a show, with heartbreak surging through the episodes as we get involved with the characters—the doctors and patients, with their lives both in and out of Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital, previously dubbed Seattle Grace. I’d watch it all through the night, until the soft sunlight would filter through the curtain, casting its light in gentle blocks across the ceiling and walls. Some days, I’d have a packet of white chocolate and raspberry cookies from Sainsbury’s and a few mugs of tea to accompany me whilst seeing Cristina and Meredith totally kick ass, Alex have an amazing (the best, actually!) character development and everyone familiar and loved either leave or die.
Because Grey’s Anatomy is synonymous with heartbreak and tragedy.
The last season, though great, wasn’t as amazing as past seasons. Despite this, Grey’s Anatomy is a show I will always watch because of the diversity, the social awareness and love binding the characters and their lives. But while we know that people always leave and people always die, we also know that this show is progressive in ways others aren’t and raises awareness about a variety of issues affecting every day life.
This show, even with the hard-hitting truths and difficult-to-watch episodes, has moments that can make you feel relaxed and be able to cope with the disappointments and the ‘downs’ in your life. Watching Meredith and Cristina dance it off is the epitome of support from friends who know and understand and will help you in the moments you need them to—sometimes, after a hard day, all you need to do is dance. Even if your movements are similar to that of a rusting robot (like me.)
So the reasons I love Grey’s Anatomy, in no particular order:
Season 15, episode 19 -- (trigger warning: sexual abuse) is one that broke me into millions of tiny pieces and this episode made me fall even more in love with the show. The raw emotions encapsulated within "Silent All These Years" is harrowing, heartbreaking; dealing with such vital conversations surrounding consent, abuse, and rape. It was an accurate depiction of the lifelong recovery of assault, still trying to heal and mend yourself from that moment of awfulness. It is, in my opinion, the most powerful ever episode to date and it made me sob, so much, whilst watching. There were a number of times I had to press pause, to gather myself and my thoughts and feelings together, to keep myself in check from falling down a rabbit hole of emotions. It was hard to watch, as Jo learnt the truth behind why she was given up by her mother, and seeing the impact of rape on a patient, hours after it had happened. The rape kit administration is so well done, with consent from the patient, and the obvious care and attention from both Teddy and Jo.
What got to me the most, the scene so moving and wholesome, was all the women lining up the hallway when Abby (the patient) was being taken to the OR for surgery. All these women were standing in solidarity for her, though they may not have known the exact reasoning behind why--but it was a show of womanhood and strength, and standing for one another. It was one of the most powerful, and striking, scenes of all time. I can't even begin to put into words how much this scene, this episode really, spoke to me. It tugged and pulled at my heart, reducing me to a mess of tears and heaving sobs, tissues crumpled up into balls on my bed. Women lifting up women, building each other up, is so important, so vital, more so within this society we're surviving in, trying to find our place and gain more freedom and our rights over choices and our bodies.
It was a brutally honest, powerful, heart-wrenching and difficult episode, but it was so needed.
Please also seek help and reach out to someone for further help and support, if you need to talk. Also note, though I am in no way a professional, my door is always open for you to speak to. I'm always here to help, listen and support you.
Like season 14, episode 9 -- 1-800-799-7233. This episode deals with domestic violence, as Jo comes face to face with her abusive ex husband. Like "Silent All These Years", it is women supporting women, and powerful beyond any explanation. It is giving a voice to the voiceless, affecting a change so needed, with the power to convey the realities so many of us have lived. There is also an episode speaking on police brutality, season 14, episode 11 -- Personal Jesus. It is an episode ending with Bailey and Warren giving The Talk to Tuck, about what to do when stopped by the police--a conversation they shouldn't have had to have, but with the way racism and prejudice works in America . . . they had to. Jackson's words, when speaking to the cops in the hospital, are so memorable and heartbreaking.
OFFICER: It was a high-pressure situation. The officer made a judgment call.
JACKSON: No. There was no judgment in that call, it was just a reaction. You see skin color, we all do, but the reaction that you give to a white kid versus a brown kid in a split second...that's a measurable, fixable difference. Bias is human. You have guns. You're using guns. So yours is lethal.
OFFICER 2: We aren't racists. We just never know who has a gun.
JACKSON: I didn't say anything about racist. I said bias, and lucky for us, bias is fixable. You have protocols in place, those can be adjusted. You can fix it, or you can keep pretending that it doesn't exist at all. Kids are dying. This kid is dead. For what? So many people who look just like him are dying. For what?
Grey's Anatomy is not a show to shy away from tough conversations and that's what I love about it. It's tough and intense, and impossible to step away from the show without loving it.
The powerful women -- I've already spoken briefly on this above, but the women in this show are empowered, strong and amazing. From Meredith to Bailey, to departed Cristina, Arizona and Callie, even April, and Amelia. I wasn't a huge fan of Amelia earlier, but in the past two seasons, I've come to adore her and her strength is admirable. She's overcome so much, from her father, brother and son's death, to addiction, to her fiancé's death, and now with a gorgeous baby with Link, happy and flourishing, not even half of everything she deserves. Meredith is one of my favourite leads, because of everything she symbolises: power, strength, coming out better and happier in the end, after all the shit life throws at you. She resonates with me in a number of ways, from the mental health battles, to the love and romance and heartbreak, to seeking distractions via meaningless sex, to finding her people, her family, in her friends. The women in this show are symbols of strength and love, of trying and not giving up, no matter the tragedies, or the people who die and the people who leave.
Bailey -- do I even need to elaborate on this? Like, really? Bailey is fucking fierce and wonderful. Full stop. That's all there is to it.
I will continue watching Grey's Anatomy til the last episode, even if it ends up leading to another 15 seasons. This show is everything to me and I rewatch it from the beginning every so often, when a season ends, falling in love and crying and laughing not really liking Derek because he's a toad but loving how happy he makes Meredith all over again.