Meredith Grey Needs to Die
Welcome to Seattle Grace, the fictional hospital and home of the hit show Grey’s Anatomy. Yeah, a lot of people die here, but it’s alright because the dialogue is witty, there’s always hot sex, and the main characters always survive. Unfortunately.
The Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe award-winning show is in its third season and enjoying incredible success which can be attributed to the phenomenal writing of Shonda Rhimes and an immensely talented cast. The story follows Meredith Grey and four other interns as they attempt to save lives and have their own in the process.
Meredith is usually the narrator of each episode, but her intern entourage provides a plethora of pleasing plotlines, making her own ongoing love affair with a married neurosurgeon unentertaining in comparison. Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) is her sassy, overachieving and hilariously bitter best friend who seems incapable of showing emotions. Isobel Stevens, “Izzie” (Katherine Heigl), is a blonde bombshell who grew up in a trailer park and modeled lingerie to put herself through medical school. George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) is sensitive, clumsy, and for some reason unbeknownst to me, spends the first two seasons pining over Meredith. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) is cocky, brutally honest and spreads syphilis around the hospital after a series of flings with some nurses. When the show debuted in March of 2005, Meredith was an adorable, slightly quirky and insightful character. Two years later, she is a whiny, self-pitying annoyance to an otherwise fantastic show. “I need to stay in bed and feel like I am going to die today,” Meredith pouts as Christina drags her pathetic emaciated body out of bed one morning.
One of the best things about Grey’s Anatomy is the complexity of its characters. They defy the boring stereotypical characters many other shows employ, which makes them seem more realistic and the show that much more addictive. They are talented, workaholic surgeons who fight over surgeries, run around the house in Hello Kitty underwear, and cry when they get dumped. Alex reveals a softer side, taking an interest in Obstetrics, giving up casual sex with nurses and no longer making derogatory comments about women. George’s vulnerability is endearing as he awkwardly professes his love for the recently dumped Meredith. She selfishly sleeps with him in an attempt to make herself feel better, sobbing hysterically during their lovemaking. The rest of the cast is just downright hilarious in their banter about blood and love and everything in between. Except for Meredith, that is, which is one of the many reasons why she needs to die.
After her intense romance with the sexy Derek Shepard, “McDreamy,” ends with him going back to his wife, Meredith falls into a depressed state, from which she never recovers. Even later when Shepard professes his love for her and leaves his wife, she is still miserable. All the characters have problems, but she is the only one who whines and continuously harps on her unhappiness. Izzie’s fiancé dies, leaving her devastated, but she bakes some cookies, opens a free medical clinic, and tries to move on. Meredith, on the other hand, contemplates drowning her misery and herself in the bathtub, a few episodes after her mother tells her she will never be anything but ordinary.
Secondly, she is a surgeon, which means that her job to is save lives. And sometimes, she does just that. She saves a young beauty pageant contestant with a brain aneurysm in the first episode. She risks her job to save a sick newborn in the second. Now, it is Meredith who needs to be saved.
She is the only character who is ever put in real jeopardy, and each time I pray that this will be it for Dr. Grey. But instead of offing the main character, someone else always dies in her place. In one episode, the entire hospital is put in danger as they attempt to rescue a man with an explosive device buried in his chest. Meredith ends up with her hand wrapped around the bomb, which is the only thing keeping it from detonating and killing everyone. The explosives expert dies, but Meredith survives and now has even more to whine about.
In third season’s “Some Kind of a Miracle,” Meredith drowns while trying to rescue a man wounded in a tragic ferryboat accident. Actually, she just decided to stop swimming and finish what she started in the bathtub. After being brought to the hospital, she has no pulse or heartbeat. Any other patient would have been shipped off to the morgue at this point, but since she is one of them, they continue to try reviving her.
Meanwhile, Meredith indirectly kills her mother after Derek screams at her, blaming her for Meredith’s unhappiness. This entire time Meredith is in a dreamlike state, between life and death. An ensemble of dead characters from previous episodes (including Izzie’s fiancé and the bomb guy) as well as her mother appear and convince her to fight for her life, which unfortunately, she does. This is particularly unnerving because until now, Grey’s Anatomy, had a realistic quality to it. The ferryboat accident left hundreds of people wounded or dead, yet even the neo-natal surgeon was trying to save Meredith.
Could Grey’s Anatomy exist without Grey? I’m not sure, but I would definitely like to find out.