I feel that it is time to address something that has been the elephant in the room for a while now. I’m not going to apologize about it, I’m not going to make excuses, I’m just going to talk about it. It’s been going on for several years now, and I don’t really think it’s hurting anyone. It’s really quite innocent—except that it happens every week, almost without fail. I try to never miss it if I can help it. It’s part of my weekly routine, and I really look forward to it, so don’t judge me. I won’t defend myself, I’ll just shrug and admit that it is a vice, but a vice that I’m not quite willing to give up yet.
All right, here goes:
I love “Grey’s Anatomy”.
I do, I admit it. I’ve loved it ever since I saw the last episodes of season 2 as a sophomore in high school. You know the ones. The ones where Izzie went all berserk to save Denny because he was the love of her life and then she cut his LVAD wire and they put on a prom for the Chief’s niece who had cancer and Denny died. It was an intense ending to that season. And I saw it and I was hooked. It took a while to convince my parents that I should watch it. I remember them objecting to the sex and gore and immoral nature of some of the characters. “You’re only sixteen”, they said. “You don’t need to be watching this garbage. It’s too mature for you.” And maybe they were right. But all I knew was that I love “Grey’s Anatomy”. I loved the show and its characters and its writing (sometimes spectacular, mostly mediocre) and the medical cases. The sex wasn’t the reason I watched. I watched it for the people.
Meredith, Cristina, Alex, Izzie, Derek, Mark, Callie, Arizona, Lexi, Owen, Bailey, Webber. They are the reason I watch. I’ve watched for four years now and I have to find out what happens to them. I have to find out if Cristina and Owen will make it like she didn’t make it with Burke, if Callie and Arizona continue to be hardcore surgical rock stars I want to find out if Meredith and Derek will have children, if Alex will find love after Izzie, if Bailey is ever chief of surgery and what specialties all the residents chose. It is totally escapist entertainment. For one hour on Thursday nights, I get to leave my life and all of its craziness and watch other people, fictional people, screw up their lives and save lives and keep on surviving at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter that they killed off my favorite character, George O’Malley, and keep bringing back Izzie, one of my least favorites. Izzie, the messed-up chick who I cried with when she found out that Denny was dead in the very first episode I watched. I didn’t like her when she slept with George, but I did feel for her when she had cancer. And then they killed off George, who was always wonderful and was growing into such a good character. Dude, he joined the army as a trauma surgeon, and in one early episode he barely shot anything when he went hunting with his dad and brothers. I’m thinking that shows growth.
I know, I know. It’s weird. It’s weird that I care what happens to these fictional people who work in a made-up hospital saving fictional lives. But maybe I appreciate it because there are real people all over the world who work in hospitals who save real lives, and even though they probably don’t get into as many shenanigans as the doctors of Seattle Grace who I know and love, this fictional hospital reminds me of those real people. My life isn’t exceptionally difficult. I do pretty much the same things every day, I make pretty mundane decisions. There are small events and moments every day that stand out, but my life is pretty ordinary. I’m working on making it exceptional, but right now, it’s just good. Thursday nights give me something to look forward to when my week isn’t going all that well, a time to spend time with my friends and just laugh. Or cry, depending on the mood of the episode. I’ve designated Thursday nights as Grey’s Night since my senior year of high school, when I used to race home from dance class to catch the episode, calling one of my best friends every commercial beak to squeal about what just happened.
Now, Grey’s Night isn’t just another night. It’s special. It’s a girl’s night, when we get to watch a silly show only 17 other people watch and just be. We watch “Grey’s” and its inferior spin-off, “Private Practice”, and muse about life, liberty and the pursuit of chocolate chip cookies. This has been so for the residents of Zoe and Zoe II ever since last year, when I informed Jude that I watched “Grey’s Anatomy” on Thursday nights and she was welcome to join me, but I was going to have to kidnap our remote for an hour or so. And so I converted her and then later Liz Fudge and Junie B. And now it’s our weekly ritual. I wouldn’t trade it for the bottomless pit of peanut m&ms I’m always rambling on about, although it would really add to the party. It’s familiar, and comfortable, and it’s something I can always depend on. No matter what, unless previously announced, at 9/8c on Thursday, ABC will air an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”. My week may have been stomped on, thrashed, shredded like old credit cards and set on fire, but Thursday nights are constant. And I like that. Knowing that Thursdays will come again reminds me of other things, like the fact that tomorrow is another day, it’s not over til it’s over, everything will be okay in the end and I should live in the moment. I don’t obsess about what happens on the show except on Thursdays. I don’t write fan fiction and I don’t plan to marry McDreamy. But I do care about what happens to these characters, irrational as it is. It gives me something else to focus on besides my life, something that I can forget about until the next Thursday, 9/8c. “Grey’s Anatomy” has taught me to be persistent even when being ignored, to do something that you love and to dance it out when things seem rough. So my guilty pleasure? Not guilty about it at all.
Grey’s Night isn’t mutually exclusive either. Others who would like to join the Order of Fans of Seattle Grace are always welcome to BYONP* and curl up on Jude’s bed to view an hour of fantastic television and sometimes another hour of just-okay-sensational television. No one here will judge you. We’re too busy judging the life choices of high-strung fictional doctors. Trust me.
*Bring Your Own Nail Polish
P.S. While doing *ahem* research for this post, I discovered “Grey’s Anatomy” webisodes. Oh yeah.
“They say practice makes perfect. Theory is, the more you think like a surgeon, the more you become one. Better you get at remaining neutral, clinical. Cut, suture, close. And the harder it becomes to turn it off. To stop thinking like a surgeon and remember what it means to think like a human being.” –Dr. Meredith Grey, “Grey’s Anatomy”