How Grey’s Anatomy is Systematically Ruining Romance
Ahhh, Grey’s Anatomy. 16 seasons and more than 300 episodes later, Shonda Rhimes’ breakout hit show is still making us cry, cringe, laugh, and cry. Did I mention it makes everyone cry?
Though I’ve been a fan of Grey’s since the beginning and have kept up with the newest episodes, I decided to use my quarantine time to re-watch it from the beginning. I snuggled down on my couch with a giant bag of popcorn, glass of wine, and lots of tissues, ready to dive into a cathartic cryfest. But instead of shedding tears over lost loves and dramatic saves, I just got mad. Why hasn’t my love life looked anything like this?! Where’s my romantic speech, sultry on-call room tryst, and perfect soulmate? It’s not fair!
Grey’s Anatomy is just setting us up for romance disappointment. Like the horse pulling a buggy to chase the ever-unattainable carrot, it dangles a primetime kind of love in front of us, leaving us to chase after the impossible until we’re exhausted.
Just take a look at these quotes and tell me they don’t leave you dissatisfied with boring, average, non-TV love:
1. "I love you, in a really, really big, pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you.” Meredith says this to Derek when she’s asking him to choose her over Addison. In our modern world of playing it cool, if a girl said something like that to a guy, he would run the other way so fast he’d leave his skin behind.
2. “Every kiss before the right kiss doesn’t count anyway. I’ve kissed a lot of women. The first time I kissed my wife, well, I mean she wasn’t my wife then; she was just this girl in a bar. And when we kissed, it was like — I got to tell you — it was like I never kissed any other woman before. It was like the first kiss, the right kiss.” Derek discloses this feeling to male coworker, but have you ever met a dude who is that emotionally available?
3. "The only time I don't feel like a ghost is when you look at me, because when you look at me, you see me. You see me. This is me." Owen says this to Cristina to convince her to stay with him, but this is just really unhealthy. No one’s sense of self-worth should be solely dependent on their partner.
4. "I can be a better man. I can be a better man for you. I hope, you know, if you'll let me. I can be a better man with you." Everyone knows better than to be with someone because of who they might become, but here Owen is convincing Cristina that he will change. Yikes.
5. "I believe that we could be extraordinary together rather than ordinary apart." While it’s a nice sentiment, Meredith can be extraordinary on her own. She don’t need no Derek!
You know what? I’m not so mad anymore. I’m actually grateful. Looking back at these quotes, I see now that I don’t want drama or cheesy lines. I want honesty and reliability. The simplicity of having a partner that I can count on for the big stuff just as much as I can count on for going grocery shopping.
Sure, Grey’s Anatomy has big romance and knock-you-over speeches but real life? Real life has real love.