Grey's Anatomy official season 18 poster

Adventures in Binging: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Before binge-watching all of Private Practice, I started Grey’s Anatomy. Which makes sense since Private Practice is technically a spin-off. But Grey’s Anatomy is now on its 18th season, which is insane. So to say it took a while to binge-watch the whole series is an understatement. For those who don’t know, Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama that follows Meredith Grey through her medical career. She starts as an intern at Seattle Grace but after 18 seasons, she’s now the Head of General Surgery.

The Characters

Character portraits (from left): Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pomepo), Miranda Bailey (played by Chandra Wilson), and Richard Webber (played by James Pickens Jr.)

Throughout the years, people have come and gone. In fact, only three characters have stayed since the beginning: Meredith Grey, Richard Webber, and Miranda Bailey. Over the years, characters either left or died, unfortunately. However, I feel fortunate enough to say that most of my favorite characters didn’t die. Addison is a clear favorite of mine (if you couldn’t already tell by my Twitter page) but I think I’m like most Grey’s fans when choosing favorite characters. The same goes for least-favorite characters. Namely, my favorites are Arizona, Cristina, Alex (even though I hated how he left), Mark, Lexie, Stephanie, Jackson, and many more. My least favorites would have to be Owen, Preston, Penny, and Adele.

The Drama

Arizona (played by Jessica Capshaw) sitting by the plane after the crash holding her phone in one hand and a cloth on her leg in the other hand.

Part of what made this show so popular and long-running was the drama. And boy was there a lot of drama over the years. To name a few, there was a bomb in a chest cavity, a hospital shooting, and a plane crash. And somehow Meredith’s survived all of it. And I didn’t even mention everything that’s happened. But it has left a lot of characters, understandably, with PTSD. But with all that drama also came a lot of death. Meredith’s essentially lost her entire family over the years. The only family she has left are her children, her half-sister, Maggie, and her sister-in-law Amelia (who starred in Private Practice before coming to Grey’s).

Furthermore, the hospital’s gone through a lot of change as well. And not just because of doctors dying, leaving, or getting promoted. After a big plane crash in season eight, the survivors sue the hospital. Long story short, Owen (chief of surgery, at the time) switched airplane companies to save money. Unfortunately, the company he chose has a bad track record in terms of safety. But Owen didn’t realize that and only picked the company based on how much it cost. Consequently, the crash survivors won big-time. Each survivor won $15 million in their suit. However, it also bankrupts the hospital. They almost get bought out by a company but later the survivors decide to buy the hospital themselves. With some additional financial backing from the Avery Foundation (Dr. Jackson Avery’s rich family foundation). Ultimately, it turns the hospital into an innovative hospital and becomes Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

My Favorite and Least Favorite Couples

Derek (played by Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith (played by Ellen Pompeo)

At this point, almost everyone’s dated/slept with each other. Some were surprising, some weren’t great (in my opinion), and some were iconic. Meredith and Derek’s relationship was really the core of the show for a long time. But after his character died, it gave room for other couples to shine. My personal favorites include Callie and Arizona, Richard and Catherine, and Jackson and April. While everyone loved Derek and Meredith, I personally was never as big of a fan. But that could also be because I never liked either of their characters all that much. But that being said, I wasn’t against them being together either.

However, there have been plenty of couples that I did not like together. Some of which are controversial. I never liked Owen and Amelia together. In fact, I thought it was a little random that they got together, let alone married, at all. But many people agree with me there. Cristina and Owen were also a long-lasting couple (much like Derek and Meredith) but I didn’t think they were good together. While both helped each other through their PTSD, they also clearly wanted different things. The same goes with Cristina and Preston (from the early seasons), minus the PTSD. Denny and Izzie were also an iconic couple (even though he died) but I was never a fan of them either.

Season 18

As I said, the show’s now on its 18th season. And its third episode is about to air on TV with none other than the iconic Addison Montgomery coming back to Grey Sloan. As she’s my favorite character, I’m very excited to see her return. After a Covid-filled 17th season, Grey Sloan needs to up their surgery game. The hospital became a Covid center so there weren’t many surgeries in general. So interns definitely didn’t get in very much surgical practice. But Richard’s determined to get them back on track so he brings back Addison to help. I just hope the writers don’t screw up her happy ending from Private Practice.

Final Thoughts

Grey's Anatomy season 18 promotional photo: (from left) James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber, Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, and Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey

Overall binge-watching all of Grey’s Anatomy took me a while. And not just because it’s now 18 seasons long. I found certain episodes or certain seasons to be riveting. But I also found some seasons to be boring and just something to get through to get to a better one. But all the drama and the relationships over the years prove its popularity. However, if Grey’s Anatomy wants to keep me as an avid watcher, they’ll need to make the story interesting again. Bringing back Addison for a few episodes is a good start, but I’m going to need more.

Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC on Thursdays at 9/8c.

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