TV shows have currently been playing a game of hit and miss when it comes to gratifying the needs of all viewers and have been swinging at the air more than they’ve been coming in contact with a ball. Television shows should be able to realistically reflect the society it is talking to, every viewer should have a tiny piece of home in a series of 45 minute episodes that may go on for more than ten seasons. They should never only cater to a small demographic, leaving a group of people scrambling over shambles that they have to decode, hoping that at least one shot or frame has a little piece of them in it. Shonda Rhimes has been endlessly hitting home runs as a television producer and writer and her show Grey's Anatomy is concrete proof of her genius.
Shonda Rhimes has been breaking ground and stereotypes with Grey’s Anatomy. With 12 seasons (all on Netflix) and still ongoing, Grey’s has covered much of the world map consisting of political and societal issues.
The show contains heavy feminist undertones, advocating to its female audience to put oneself first before others’ needs or societal expectations. Grey’s Anatomy tackles slut shaming, the false obligation of providing children as a woman, and having to choose between a career you love or a significant other or a family, and how for some there may be no choice at all or how heavy the weight of choosing one over the other. Grey’s Anatomy is filled with powerful female characters who don’t take crap from their male counterparts.
LGBT+ representation in the media beyond the stereotypes are rare. Grey’s tells the story of multiple LGBT+ characters, whether it be patients or the surgeons themselves. The audience gets to see the struggles that the LGBT+ characters face: invalidation of sexuality, lack of support from loved ones, denial, exploring and validating sexuality, families with 2 gay parents and 1 straight parent, and more. The LGBT+ characters are not there to be the basis of tasteless jokes and have no depth to them whatsoever, but are there to tell a story, just like they are supposed to.
Race is a topic that many shows tiptoe around, but not this one. Grey’s boldly tackles racial politics head on from white privilege, to being the “black spokesperson”, to encountering white supremacist patients. Characters learn lessons where they need it and become more wary of their surroundings, their words, and their actions. As a surgeon, it is their job to keep patients safe and provide them with the best treatment possible, no matter what, and that oath is never broken no matter the circumstance. While people claim that racism is long over and just a myth, Grey's proves that racism is alive and well.
Discovering oneself is a concept that everybody struggles with. Even the strongest fall victim to these two words, even the most heroic find that their kryptonite is uncertainty in their being, and Grey’s portrays this exceptionally. Rhimes helps the audience understand that discovering oneself is an endless journey with each joyful and tearful moment. Viewers are reminded that individuality is fluid and should never be stagnant, we keep going despite what goes on, and multiple characters embody this statement. (SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TO MY BOY ALEX KAREV) Emotional and mental stability are thoroughly explored and cracked open within each episode. The idea of happiness forever is torn down and rightfully too. The reality of life is that it has its ups and downs and we should not expect all smiles all the time. Predisposed destinies are often thrust onto all of us, expectations that we can not fulfill, and pedestals we can not reach. It is something many of us are familiar with, including characters from Grey’s, and we see them fight their demons and find ways to defeat or live with them, which makes me and fellow Grey’s Anatomy fans, proud parents.
Grey’s Anatomy has taught me lessons I will carry with me for life. It has taught me to stop being afraid of the unknown. It has taught me to stop fearing big and bright things and wanting it. It has taught me that I have to always put myself first because no one else will. It has taught me to be bold. It has taught me that I have to stop apologizing for who I am. It has taught me to ask others for help. It has taught me to live as I want to, to make choices for me, and to mold a life I would be proud of because time is always ticking and it’s in my best interest not to waste it.
And last but not the least, one of the most iconic moments of Grey's Anatomy and TV History: