The latest season of Grey's Anatomy doesn't match up to its predecessors
Directed by Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy is a US medical drama based in Seattle, Washington. Following the life of Dr Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, the series shows everything from absurd medical cases to the personal lives of the doctors. For over 15 years, Grey’s Anatomy has captured the heart of millions around the globe as viewers become enthralled in the lives of the medical interns, residents and attending’s at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (previously Seattle Grace Mercy West and, before that, Seattle Grace).
The first 10 seasons of the drama were incredible. With nail-biting series finales, including a gunman in the hospital and a plane crash, and great stories, most notably the love story between the title character, Meredith, and neurosurgeon, Derek – played by Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy managed to strike the perfect balance between romance, sex, drama and medicine. However, it is widely agreed amongst fans that the show went downhill after its tenth season, which saw the departure of fan favourite, Christina Yang (Sandra Oh, now famed for Killing Eve), before killing off Derek and seeing the departures of many more adored characters including April Kepner, Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins. Much of the fanbase was built upon the investment they had in the lives of these characters including their “will they, won’t they” romances, their advances and setbacks in their careers and their friendships. Viewership even fell to it’s lowest since the show’s premiere in season 15 to an average of 9.87 million, with only 5.99 million tuning into to the finale. Unfortunately, season 16 only proves that it’s too late for the show to go out on a high – there’s just nothing exciting about it anymore.
The season begins with Jo being dropped off at a psychiatric facility after her apparent breakdown during the end of the last season after finding her birth mother and discovering the details of how she was conceived – rape. Meredith confesses to insurance fraud, prompted by the fact DeLuca had taken the fall for the crime. Jackson and Maggie (an odd relationship anyway, due to the fact they are step-siblings) break up and attempt to move on. Richard and Alex start jobs at Pac North – another hospital in Seattle desperately in need of saving; the latter as chief. Teddy and Owen find their feet as parents of a newborn. Meredith begins court-ordered community service. Amelia and Bailey both get pregnant. Meredith, rather accidentally, publishes a tell-all article the inequalities within the medical system – which ends up dragging the reputation of Grey Sloan through the mud. The list of boring and implausible stories goes on.
The UK has only had 6 episodes released – with two on the schedule every Wednesday night) perhaps due to the lack of new content available as a result of lockdown measures across the globe. However, an online search reveals that the ludicrous nature of the show continues throughout the rest of the season. With stories that have either been done before or sounds sop unlikely it is simply cringey, this season is disappointing to watch.
Sadly this season was also the end for Dr Alex Karev, one of the original cast members. Whilst many fans have hit out at the disappointing end for the fan favourite, I would argue that his departure was exactly what Alex would’ve done. Whilst his last appearance in episode 8, it isn’t until episode 16 that his exit is explained. He discovered that his previous love – Izzie, who left in series 6 – had used some frozen embryos meaning he had two children. So he leaves, despite his love for Jo, to be a father. Which is exactly the type of person Alex is.
However, the lacklustre storylines combined with the departure of this beloved character means Grey’s Anatomy should just call it quits. It isn’t fun to watch anymore. It isn’t exciting. With only 3 original cast members left, even die-hard fans like myself aren’t invested anymore. And, I fear, that things can only get worse.
I will continue to watch the rest of the season, in the hopes of being proven wrong. I’ve found myself laughing when I’ve watched the episodes – though I can’t be sure if I am laughing at them or with them. I’ve been cried because they still know how to play on your heartstrings. But, ultimately, Grey’s Anatomy needs to end. 350 episodes are too much for any show, no matter how good it is. Whilst it can’t go out on a high – it is still remembered for its greatness. Much more will only lead to that changing, too.
New episodes of Grey’s Anatomy are released every Wednesday at 9pm on Sky Witness.