There are a handful of shows that trigger the response “that show’s still on?”
For example, there’s The Simpsons, Family Guy and Criminal Minds, but none are like the medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy.
On Sept. 30, 2021, Grey’s Anatomy started season 18. Some think since the show is ongoing, it’s lost its touch and isn’t worth watching but that couldn’t be more wrong.
Grey’s Anatomy follows the lives of five interns as they adjust to their new surroundings at Seattle Grace Hospital and eventually become full-fledged doctors.
The recent season premiered with 4.6 billion viewers and has an outstanding 50 awards won since it first premiered on March 27, 2005.
The series Grey’s Anatomy by Shonda Rhimes takes its viewers on an impactful journey through its unforgettable episodes and casting.
The show writers have an incredible ability to make it culturally current.
For example, season 17 was solely based on the hospital tackling COVID-19. Protocols that are implemented like wearing a mask and vaccine rollouts were displayed throughout the episodes making it close to the reality most people are living in right now.
The writers have made smart decisions based off their cultural awareness because the show is watched by billions. An excellent example of this is in season 17 episode 12. This episode depicts racial profiling, police brutality and protests influenced by the 2020 death of George Floyd.
Episodes like this make the show important and relevant. It handles societal issues that lead to having uncomfortable conversations in a way that still flows with the show in its entirety.
The show is also recognized as one of the most visibly diverse casts. It uses its platform to encourage casting of different ethnic backgrounds and representation of all kinds.
When the show first premiered, the cast was 55 per cent white, 27 per cent Black and 9 per cent for both Asian and Latino/a populations. In season 15, nine main characters were people of colour, which shows casting is still encouraging ethnic diversity.
The show does an amazing job at promoting representation without allowing this to be the only aspect of the characters.
Season 15 episode 19 is an excellent emotional-driven example. The character Jo Wilson finds out she was conceived from a rape and ends up bonding with a woman who was a victim of sexual assault. Wilson and Teddy Altman informed her about rape kits and supported her.
The episode ended with an unforgettable scene of women from all races, ages, job positions etc. supporting her as Wilson wheeled her down the hallway.
She was a woman of colour who was sexually assaulted, but the episode did not focus on those labels – rather the power women have when they come together to support one another.
Grey’s Anatomy has a way of modifying its episodes to relevant and current cultural circumstances in an entertaining way. The characters are tasked with real-life situations that make viewers feel like they’re growing and overcoming it with those characters.
The diversity of the cast and the characters themselves all work towards taking steps to building a better world.
The legacy of Grey’s Anatomy will go down as one of the most impactful medical drama series ever.