For Fans, Meredith is a True Grey Area

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Some viewers feel sorry for her, others want to throttle her. But there's one thing upon which all Grey's Anatomy fans can agree, observes TV critic Chuck Barney of the Contra Costa Times:
Angelic Meredith

It isn't always easy to warm up to Meredith Grey.

The first-year surgical intern is a loving, compassionate soul. She's also an emotional train wreck. Not to mention self-absorbed, whiny and rude at times. She knows what's right, yet makes bad decisions and sleeps around. The show's growing number of fans face off on Meredith's merits (or lack thereof) constantly. Who better to assign credit (or blame) for Meredith's complexity than Shonda Rhimes, the writer/executive producer who created the Seattle Grace world.

"She's a little screwed-up. She's not always nice. She doesn't always do or say the perfect thing," Rhimes said. "She is somebody without a home, without a family, without ties. She's a woman who, on many a bad day, goes to a bar, gets drunk, picks up a boy and brings him home. I remember thinking (while creating her), 'She's every woman I know -- maybe a little heightened -- but that makes her more interesting.'"

On the February episode "Yesterday," Meredith shattered the heart of her roommate George, after the beloved character poured his heart out to her. Upon hearing him profess his love, Meredith impulsively had sex with him until realizing it was a horrendous mistake and crying during the act. All the while, she pines for Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd, with whom she was romantically involved before discovering he was married.

Janice Lewis, a hair stylist and devoted Grey's Anatomy fan, said that "my jaw pretty much hit the floor when she slept with George. I was unhappy with her and more than a little disgusted." But she isn't willing to write Dr. Grey off altogether. Lewis says she likes Meredith "most of the time," in spite of the fact that she can be "off-putting." And, she adds, "I enjoy that she's not all fluffy."

Not everyone is as forgiving. After Meredith's awkward encounter with poor George, Rhimes' blog was bombarded with protests. Rich Heldenfels, a TV critic for the Akron Beacon Journal, scornfully condemned her on his own blog, proclaiming "I Hate Meredith Grey." He lambasted the writers (plus the acting of Ellen Pompeo), and suggested the title be changed to simply Anatomy. No female TV character has polarized TV fans this way for some time.

Yet Meredith has her supporters among the show's predominantly female fan base. Grey's Anatomy fans often point to her sensitivity and concern for her patients, and consider her emotional baggage par for the course given her tumultuous background. Her mother, Ellis, once a renowned surgeon, is now stricken with Alzheimer's. She went 20 years without speaking to her father, Thatcher, though he has recently appeared twice on the program.

Elisa Bongiovanni, a public relations worker from Alameda, Calif, believes that Meredith gets a raw deal from many fans, and that she is the most realistic, young and single female character on TV since the Sex and the City foursome.

"Yes, she has problems with self-esteem and she makes bad choices when it comes to men. But I think any woman in her 20s or 30s who is single and actively dating can relate to her," she said.

"I like the fact that she's not perfect," concurred Kelli Trent, a San Francisco investment banker. "Someone her age is making that difficult transition from school into the real world, and you're trying to figure life out. Sometimes you make a lot of mistakes along the way."

Whether you love her, hate her, or find yourself somewhere in between from week to week, it's clear that Meredith's depth and complicatedness have captivated viewers from coast to coast. Don't expect that fact to change anytime soon -- much like Meredith's recent claims of celibacy.

Come on, girl. Who are you kidding?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


katarhu, i don't think Ellen was bragging, what she said was true. There would be no Grey's Anatomy, had it not been for the Grey in it. She's a great actress too, I think. I LOVE MEREDITH GREY! I think she's the one I can most relate to. She's real, imperfect, flawed,compassionate, smart, a little bad,and that's what makes her Meredith. Meredith isn't perfect, and I hate it when she gets drunk and picks guys up, I hate that she's a mistress, but most of the time, she's very likeable and extremely genuine. She's kind of immature, because of her past, but I think most of us are like that. Maybe those "I hate Meredith" are just jealous because they don't have their own show! Get a life, people! You don't tell the writer to kill off the main character just because you and a bunch of followers hate her! Make your own show, if that's what you want! Not everyone should adjust to your feelings. Your watching is appreciated, but not indispensable. There are millions out there who watch and SUPPORT Grey's, and you won't be such a big loss.


Ya, everybody should love Meredith, she's the heroine in that show. As ellen said in TV guide without Meredith there is no show. Sound kind of arrogant to me, her acting isn't that great compare to Patrick or Sandra.


i've been through most of her pain. so i know how she feels. but when she found out about her siter she has a cast. i has a wall. and i made a hole in the wall. medium sized but deep. her whole love issues i haven't been in cuz i avoid boys as lovers always. only as friends. you know what messed up tho. it's that i like her when she sad. but i still luv her like a sis. meredith rocks. i never realized how tall she is. i met her a few weeks ago and she's tall.


I think Meredith is great! The whole blaming Meredith sleeping with George is so not fair! George has a brain, he could of stopped it before it got any worse, but he didn't. Like Meredith said, " It takes two people to make a sexual decision." And why are her friends mad at her, I mean come on you have your own life. Yes, I know they were worried about them at the start( well at least Izzy) but it's not your problem! Anyway George seems pretty occupied with Callie.


i dont write on these things often but..i like mere and with them sleeping together. things got wierd between happens..i think george, in away is better because of it. hes not so annoying!! he finally grew a pair. I LOVE IT:)

Avatar know what really gets me? The fact that everybody is blaming Meredith for everything and saying she is whiny. Ok...what about George? Hello? That little idiot feels sorry for himself and never does anything about it and will complain to anyone who will listen to him who can stand him for 5 minutes. And what about Christina? She is always ticked off about something and has to say something about it. I think Meredith has a right to be the way she is. I mean, she loved a guy who had a wife, she almost dies by getting blown up, she had to give her dog away, her mother has alzheimers, she lost her friend (George) and he won't forgive her even though she's apologized (he is such a jerk). C'mon people give her a break. Wouldn't you be a little bit messed up if all that happened to you? Poor girl I feel sorry for her. She does the best she can. I really don't even think she whines all that much if at all. Leave her alone and go pick on someone who deserves it.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.