to Grey’s Anatomy.
It’s been almost an entire month since I wrote a blog post for a combination of reasons. Work has been more stressful than a retail job should ever be, and my mom had surgery making me a full-time caretaker.
But really, those are just excuses. The reason I haven’t taken time to write a blog post? I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy. And watching, and watching, and watching. In the last three weeks I have watched 2.5 seasons of the thing and am on a role.
I literally cannot stop watching. I watch it on my computer at home, I watch it on my phone before bed, I watch it at my phone at work even though Netflix uses up ALL THE DATA and I’m aware I shouldn’t but I just can’t stop.
It all started about three weeks ago while eating breakfast. I didn’t have long and I didn’t want to deal with the time it took to turn on my computer and find something to watch. So I flipped on the TV and landed on Grey’s Anatomy. Somewhere in season 8.
Now, I watched the show when it originally aired for the first 4ish seasons. But now there were new characters, new things going on, there was a baby and I didn’t know where it came from. A baby that was black and seemingly people shared between white people.
And my brain, in that moment, had to know. But not in the wikipedia, “look it up and move on with my life” way. In the, “LET’S REWATCH THE WHOLE SHOW” way. I was warned not to… but I ignored all pleas saying, “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want.”
And now I can’t stop. I haven’t been this voracious with a tv show since I discovered Bones and then Doctor Who. And I didn’t even get through DW as quickly as this. (Bones, however… well, I finish 5 seasons in about 2 weeks. I wasn’t working.)
So why is Grey’s Anatomy addicting? It’s just another romance doctor drama, right? It’s just another ER, right? Well yeah. But people were addicted to ER too.
1. Attractive People
This is going to seem really shallow, but let’s face it. We like looking at attractive people. And Grey’s Anatomy is a clusterfuck of attractive people. McDreamy, McSteamy, McVet, men and women alike, they are all pretty to look at. I mean seriously, look at these people.
2. Attractive People Dating
Perhaps an unfortunate truth, but I think people would rather watch attractive people make out and have sex than average or unattractive people. There is an episode of Parenthood where the grandparents start making out in a laundry room about to have sex and I was very uncomfortable, where any other of the younger couples wouldn’t have bothered me at all. Maybe it’s the age thing, or maybe it’s the looks thing, but it is fun to watch attractive people date.
It is more fun to watch attractive people date poorly. If any one statement is true about Grey’s Anatomy, it’s that every single couple in that damn show is dysfunctional and fucked up. They have huge problems like one of them being married or sleeping with a nurse in the break room. Or smaller problems like inability to emotionally connect or commit. Or even smaller problems like, “You fell asleep during sex and I am not going to forgive you for 2 episodes even thought we’re doctors who work 40 hour shifts and clearly need our damn sleep!”
McDreamy, his adulterous wife, and his dirty mistress:
3. Attractive People Having Lives as Miserable and Fucked Up as Our Own
Let’s be honest. It is nice to see beautiful people having hard lives. It makes all us ugly people feel better about our mediocre lives. Meredith finds out theman she is in love with has a wife, has a mother with Alzheimers reliving an affair she had in her youth with one of Meredith’s bosses, is estranged from her father who keeps showing up at the hospital with his new family, and has a history of sleeping with all the wrong people. And that’s just one character only 2.5 seasons in. The pictures of all the crying are just too painful and grotesque to put up.
4. Anecdotal Plot Lines and Doctor Stuffs
TV viewers of the world like two things. They like ongoing plot. But they also like anecdotes. That’s why we have sitcoms and dramas that have one problem or issue or murder per episode as well as one Big Bad guy who will finally be caught or kill someone at the end of the season and that’s why we have on going relationship plots.
Grey’s Anatomy does this really well. There will be several anecdotal stories per show, usually 3 or 4, which actually revolve around the patients and their needs. In one episode you might have a guy with brain cancer, another pregnant with sextuplets, and another with a tree branch through his heart. And while all this is going on you get to deal with the on going relationships and friendships and hospital politics that takes up the entirety of the rest of the show. We get doctor drama anecdotes and emotional, character driven plot line. It keeps you hooked. You want to see what the next patient is going to hold just as much as you want to know if Christina and Burke are ever going to start speaking to each other again.
And just like and courtroom or murder drama, the patients are never boring. No one ever just has cancer. No, they also have an aneurysm pressing up against their frontal lobe making them hate their family. They don’t just have a cervical tumor the size of a baseball, they also have unwelcome Amish parents. Everything is so unrealistically interesting that we keep wanting to watch even when we want to close our eyes and make the awkward stop.
So there you have it, why I think I and other people are addicted to Grey’s Anatomy. Now excuse while I go finish Season 3, Episode 13.