There really isn’t anything quite as comforting as a melodramatic, mid-noughties TV show, is there? Especially when they involve dozens of deaths per season, broken family lives and a high-stress occupation… ok, maybe comforting isn’t the right word.
Grey’s Anatomy – produced by Shonda Rhimes, who is more recently known for Bridgerton – is now on its seventeenth season, making it one of TV’s longest running medical dramas. And honestly, it’s slightly surprising that fans are still tuning in, and haven’t yet become weary of the never-ending chaos of casualties and despair. But weary they are not, as the latest, pandemic-focused season is being binged as quickly as the first sixteen.
For those who haven’t yet paid a visit to the Seattle Grace Hospital, let us explain the show – it focuses on Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who has just started her surgical residency program, and her fellow doctors and their ridiculously dramatic personal lives. As if making daily, life-or-death decisions wasn’t enough stress to deal with, the gang seem to go out of their way to make life harder for themselves, using tactics such as shagging fellow staff and sabotaging colleague success.
It is proper, soapy ridiculousness, and arguably the ideal cosy watch. Yes, we know it’s not going to leave you feeling enlightened, but one thing is for sure – it definitely won’t leave you feeling bored. With the near constant melodramatics and the unrivalled horniness of these not-very-professional doctors, you’ll find yourself sitting down for a quick episode with your dinner, then suddenly realising that it’s midnight and you’re still not ready to quit. And if you ask Must, it’s ok to have guilty pleasures, especially when they’re this good.
The New York Times’s Elisabeth Vincentelli couldn’t agree more, saying: “Stuck on a desert island or confined to a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, I will take the 15-year-old medical drama Grey’s Anatomy as distraction over any of its newer, shinier, more critically acclaimed, more endlessly dissected and meme-fueling competition.” And according to Vincentelli, it’s more than just a soapy drama, thanks to its “matter-of-factly progressive approach to race…sexual orientation and physical and mental disabilities — a tolerance woven into the show’s fabric rather than funneled into Very Special Episodes.” The Telegraph’s Susannah Goldsbrough calls it “perfect trashy viewing,” saying “It may have been billed as a medical drama, but that was a disguise: it’s a romantic comedy about the kind of people who don’t believe in romance.”
These two will be pleased then, that the latest season is more of the same, with Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian saying it “returns in all its melodramatic glory.”
First shown March 2005.