Goodbye, Grey’s Anatomy

May 6, 2024

Has it really been almost 20 years since Meredith, Derek,Christina, Bailey, Izzie, April, Jackson, Dr. Webber and the other original cast members appeared on my screen and riveted me to their stories on Grey’s Anatomy?

And almost 10 since Sandra Oh, who played my favorite, Christina Yang, left the show? Oh, my heart broke! I loved that character so much and knew the show would never be as good. As sharp. As interesting.

Then a new class of interns appeared: Jo, Lexie (was she an intern?), deLuca, Cross–and other now forgotten characters whose class assignment also fades in memory. Not everyone stuck. But those who did grew up on screen and became attendings. They married, had kids, divorced. They went through tragedies. They fought with each other. But I stuck to them, even as I heard rumblings that Meredith would leave Seattle. Actor Ellen Pompeo was ready to do something else.

Fantasy TV

I loved the characters’ inter-relationships. I fantasized about what it would feel like to belong to such a dedicated friends group. In some ways, I found the show aspirational, at least at first. But as plots became more convoluted and even predictable, my interest began to wander.

Meredith Grey left in Season 19. After all the wonderful drama associated with her character in the past? Her departure was anti-climactic.

I did not tear up.

In came yet another rotation of interns, including Simone, Lucas, Kwan….

Unwatched episodes built up on my DVR. One, Five. 10. 20.  And still I couldn’t watch.

Finally, the other day, I hit PLAY because, well, I was running out of DVR space.  I watched Mer leave, and then saw another episode. By the end of that Season 19 episode I knew that it was over for me. The storylines were a stale version of Seasons 1-9. I couldn’t get attached to the interns. I’d already seen their stories some 20 years earlier happen to characters I cared about.

Days gone by

There was a day when I thought Grey’s Anatomy was the best written series on television and for many years I stuck to that. The characters seemed a little different from other shows and their interactions fresher. It was brilliant, really.

The show began to change when Sandra Oh left. And then, actor Patrick Dempsey who played Derek ticked off showrunner Shonda Rimes and was suddenly killed off. Poof! (Oh, Patrick, don’t you know you should never tick off the one in charge?) Derek was another of my favorites, now gone with the wind.

Jackson and April’s storyline got less and less believable. And so did all the others, too many to enumerate. And yet, I stuck with the show. Until I couldn’t.

It was time to bid a fond (and permanent) farewell to the series I’d loved so much.

I was in my mid 50s when I started watching. I am now almost 73. It’s a long time to love a show, but it was surprisingly easy to hit the X and delete all the remaining shows from my DVR. I didn’t even tear up, not even a little.

There’s a consolation, though.

Meredith, Derek, Christina and all the rest will forever live in my memory. And On Demand.

I can always go back and watch those first few seasons, remembering their youth ….and my own.


5 comments on “Goodbye, Grey’s Anatomy
  1. Beth Havey says:

    Great post, though for me, I watched every other medical show that ever existed…(I went back to school in my forties to become a labor and delivery RN) but never got hooked on Grey’s. Shanda Rhimes actually lived in Park Forest South, Illinois around the time I did. She is SMART. A major medical text that all young doctors study is actually GREY’S ANATOMY. I never missed an episode of ER and their presentation of medicine was pretty accurate. I NEVER watched SCRUBS. My son loved it. CHICAGO HOPE was good, because of the actors. And I could go on. The one comment I will cling to is that any medical show can teach…but it is how it does is what matters. Some run to the ER and when asked WHY THEY ARE THERE…well this happened to a person on Grey’s. Yup. Maybe not. Thanks for your post.

    • Yup. The title is a play on that, so clever. But yes, I also loved the medical shows (probably because I grew up in that world, Dad was a physician) but this one is over for me!

  2. Laurie Stone says:

    Have to admit, I never watched the show, but know so many people who loved it. Will have to check it out.

  3. Diane says:

    My daughter and I binged the first (and, in our opinion–best) seasons. Oh, how we loved this show! We worked out while we watched. And usually we were both in tears by the end. Husby used to stare at us in confusion and ask why we did that to ourselves! Oh, the ignorance! But when Derek died, something died for us as well. Then my daughter got married (how could she do that to me?! 😉) and I found it just wasn’t the same without my viewing partner. Thank you, Grey, for those happy years! (P.S. We loved Scrubs. Not for the medical info, but for the fun Interactions!)

  4. Alana says:

    I’m probably one of the few people in the United States that has never watched one minute of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s too bad that some shows don’t know when to quit (after all, that’s where the expression “jump the shark” came from). I do know what it’s like to get hooked on a show and watch it jump the shark. Northern Exposure, I’m looking at you!

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