Grey's Anatomy: It's Seriously Relatable

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Derek & George
Often when we're watching Grey's Anatomy, it's like we work at Seattle Grace Hospital. Seriously.

That's the impression Associated Press columnist Carrie Osgood comes away with, and the Insider staff certainly concurs.

We're not surgeons and we never deal with patients, but frequently we feel like the stories on the show eerily reflect our own lives in the way that every Grey's Anatomy medical case mirrors a character's personal struggle and inner turmoil.

Through the hospital staff's professional and extracurricular exploits, the show strikes such a relatable chord that it has become a vernacular for how we deal with our own lives.

For example, Osgood recalls, around the time Meredith and George hooked up, she briefly dated her own "George," a beautiful soul who would have given her the world, if only I was physically attracted to him.

Several months back, she had an ill-fated connection with a "McDreamy," a chemical force of a man who could knock me off my feet with the slightest glance, and who remains the occasional awkward presence in her life.

When caught under her "McDreamy's" spell, all she could think of was the show's line, "I hate how into you I am." This line was not said about Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd. Rather, Callie was talking about her feelings for George, demonstrating in true Grey's Anatomy fashion that someone's "George" is someone else's "McDreamy."

The appeal of Grey's Anatomy goes beyond traditional relationship hurdles of finding, holding onto and losing one's "McDreamy." It also reflects the common struggles contemporary women face professionally.

The show, which returns tonight, is led by creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, a successful black woman who has found a way to infiltrate the ranks of Hollywood, one of many white-male-dominated industries that rarely take women as seriously as men.

Rhimes concocted a recipe with familiar ingredients in the forefront, but served with an underlying richness that deliciously addresses diversity, depth and the evolving roles of women today.

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey
The show's central character, Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo, right), is Ally McBeal and Carrie Bradshaw in scrubs.

A lovely, thin, inquisitive woman, she is successful professionally, but a mess when it comes to men and relationships.

But the similarity to those popular shows' female characters ends there. Ally McBeal was full of eccentrics, and the women of Sex and the City each represented a portion of the female psyche (the cynic, the romantic and the sexual free-spirit). Grey's Anatomy reflects the diversity of real women.

Dr. Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) anchor the show with compelling, unconventional humanity.

Together with newcomer Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez), they give faces to the underrepresented Asian, African-American and Hispanic communities while refusing to succumb to Hollywood stereotypes.

Kate Walsh as Addison Shepherd
Even former model Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens (Katherine Heigl) has a curvy, healthy-sized body, unlike virtually every other designated "pretty girl" on TV.

Dr. Addison Shepherd (Kate Walsh, left) fights the notion that an extremely successful woman must be bitchy, neurotic or masculine when working at the top of the food chain.

What unites these women at Seattle Grace Hospital is their common desire to be strong, successful professionals. They each embrace their sexuality, but they also struggle with how femininity can be a liability for retaining respect and how it can soften them into feeling vulnerable and insecure.

Every member of the cast is deeply flawed, and, as a result, endearing and sympathetic. The more each character transforms into a multifaceted person, the more interesting and enjoyable the show is to watch.

We wait to see what will happen this season. Even as it can so obviously bring out the little girl in all working women today, Grey's Anatomy has shown that today's women deserve to be taken seriously.


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


Wow I didnt think they could make a show that hade such a down to earth. I am kniting a blanket for the same reasons that Mer is kniting a sweater. I must thank the writers for that idea. I have been using the quotes from the show. Like the time Mer tells Denny she comes from nowere that resembels a high horse. got to love all of. Thanks for the great show


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Amelia: I think I'm falling in love with Owen Hunt, and I'm really afraid that it's gonna destroy me.
Derek: It wouldn't be love if it didn't.

When we say things like "people don't change" it drives scientist crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.