Medical classic brings back fan favorite

Grey’s Anatomy is not shy about showing the trauma of COVID-19 at Grey-Sloane

Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, is dressed in the hospital’s COVID-19 gear, as the show picks up a plot line that veers much too close to reality (Photo courtesy of

Christa Dutton, Staff Writer

I am not an original fan of Grey’s Anatomy as I was too young to watch when the show aired in 2005. Rather, I am one of the many young people that discovered the show on Netflix and binged it in unhealthy amounts. I started watching the show in eighth grade with my sister. I can remember hurrying home from basketball practice to finish my homework so we could finish our day with two, maybe three, sometimes four, episodes of Grey’s. Back then, watching Grey’s felt like immersing myself into an alternative reality that contained endless possibilities. The multitude of complicated romantic relationships and far fetched storylines had me convinced that anything could happen. Furthermore, the show always left me feeling as if I could accomplish anything. After watching a few seasons, I was completely convinced that I would become the next Meredith Grey or Cristina Yang. Each episode had the ability to make me forget about my own life and instead live vicariously through the characters. The characters experience immense tragedy throughout the show, some of which viewers can relate to. But never before have all viewers been able to relate to the story’s tragic storyline. Now they can. This season of Grey’s will not feel like a different reality as it did in eighth grade. Rather, in the same brilliant and creative fashion, it will tell the story of our current reality. 

Grey’s Anatomy is back for its 17th season which will depict the grim reality faced by both the medical community and the entire world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grey’s has been known for its wild and dramatic plot lines, and the craziness of a worldwide pandemic seems to fit right in alongside the bombs, plane crashes and gunmen we have seen in seasons past. This season, however, will be marked by its realness as it dramatizes the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that is emotionally gripping. For every viewer, this season will hit close to home. 

It is a weird sensation watching close to real time events unfold on the television screen. For most people, television is an escape from the real world. People watch television shows so they do not have to think about the real world and the problems that come with it. It was certainly a risky move for the writers and producers to use April 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic as not just the backdrop of their plot, but the leading force of their storyline. The new normal under which Grey Sloan is operating is displayed by Bailey showing Richard, who is just returning to work after recovering from cobalt poisoning, the newly incorporated protocols and procedures. Everyone wears masks or face shields. The OR schedule, once filled with surgeries, is empty, as only emergency procedures are being performed. All hospital employees must have their temperature taken upon entering the hospital. Only hospital personnel are allowed in the hospital, leaving worrisome loved ones in the waiting room, which is now in the parking lot. You can see the stress and tiredness in Meredith Grey’s eyes as she calls code after code. I believe this season will truly open the public’s eyes to the extreme difficulties and emotional hardships being faced by our health-care workers, a community that, in a way, the show has misrepresented and sensationalized for years. This season, however, the show is getting it right. 

As a long-time fan of Grey’s who has faithfully watched every season, I think there is no better way to conclude America’s longest running medical drama. The novel difficulties that COVID-19 presents highlights how the characters have developed throughout the show’s seasons, and the shared tragedy between the fictional world of Grey’s Anatomy and the world in which we live allows for a viewing experience that is incredibly personal and emotional.