Why Can’t ABC Just Let This Show Go?
Personal Note: This is the 900th Post on my Blog. I’ve decided going forward that every 100 posts from here on out will have a more personal touch. What better way to go forward then with one of my own personal bugbears?
I know that Grey’s Anatomy is no longer under the discretion of my arch nemesis Shonda Rhimes and that it would be easier to just ignore it. But given the current circumstances of where the series is, come on, it’s just too good an open to let go.
No one — not even the current showrunner seems to know whether or not Grey’s will come to an end after this season or whether it will be brought back for yet another year to wrap it up. But right now, the writers couldn’t have set up its current status in a more appropriate form if they tried.
As those of you who’ve stuck with the series for sixteen years plus are well aware, Meredith Grey, the protagonist of the show collapsed and has been on life support for the entirety of this season so far. This is a metaphor so clumsy and yet so appropriate for where the series is that I can’t help but think the writers have done it deliberately. Yes, I know the series is dealing with how Sloane Grey Memorial is handling the current pandemic, but they could have done this with any other character. Instead, the writers have decided to put the central character for their series on a respirator, unable to interact with any of the actions that are going on around her. They’re basically saying that the series doesn’t need its main character any more. And the way they’re handling it so horrible that they don’t even seem to recall they’ve done it before.
Way back in the third season, during a crisis involved a crashed ferry at a pier, Meredith somehow fell into the water, went into hypothermia, and died on the table. During that period, she awoke in a hospital in a white void, where certain characters from the past — most notably Denny Duquette (starting a very sad period where Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be playing a ghost) staying between life and death. It was the kind of thing that a lot of series do when they get desperate late in their run, so the fact that it was happening in Season 3 doesn’t say much for where Rhimes was for ideas. The reason we could tolerate it was because it didn’t even last an episode.
Now however, Meredith has spent the entire season on a shoreline, having more personal visits from the dead. McDreamy showed up, (all is forgiven for Patrick Dempsey with the show) and George (ditto for T.R. Knight) and now this week her half sister Lexie is going to show up. All of which I’d find a little more amusing if she hadn’t spent so much of these characters times when they were alive basically ignoring them. I don’t know what it says about the work of Shondaland in general that you only realize characters importance when they are dead, and then only for a little while.
I find this appalling for quite a few reasons. There’s the obvious fact that the series is now being derivative of itself. (A few weeks ago, when another major character passed away, Meredith saw him on the shore just as he passed. The exact same thing happened in Season 3 when her mother died just as she was leaving the void.)
The second, and far more horrible thing, is that this seems to be the epitome of how ridiculous the world of Grey’s in particular is. It’s always been a series that paid a minimum of value on how important characters lives were when they interacted with you. You basically screwed them, and that was it. Friendship, marriage, even life never really mattered. None of the friends of Meredith who are still among the living have returned to help (where are Torres or Steven or Yang, for crying out loud.) And let’s not forget (though God knows the series has) that Meredith is a mother of two children. I didn’t expect to see anybody at the hospital to them, but I’d think even in the void that Meredith, who was abandoned by her parents at a young age, might at least care a little about getting back to them. She’d rather hang out with the father of her children then try to be with them.
I wish I could work up of this rage about Meredith Grey living or dying, but honestly I’m beyond caring. Meredith was always one of the weakest characters imaginable to put at the center of a series and she always seemed someone who people reacted to, then did anything with. All of the interesting characters on this series either died or left long ago. There’s nothing holding up Grey’s Anatomy but… a respirator, literally. It is time to order a DNR on both the patient and the series. For the love of anything you hold dear, ABC, stop keeping this show alive.