You all know my love affair with Grey’s Anatomy. I mean, I literally have an entire section of this blog dedicated to episode reviews (which will pick up this weekend for season 14!). But, before we get back on schedule with those reviews, I wanted to talk about what’s going on right now.
Today, Grey’s began filming its 300th episode. Do you know how insane that is? That many episodes in a television series is basically unheard of, but here they are, making it happen.
I couldn’t let this day pass without writing at least something. So, I decided to make a list of the 300 most important things…
HA no I didn’t. There’s no way I’m sitting here at this desk for that long. I’m just going to be sentimental and nostalgic for like ten minutes and call it a day. Sound good?
Well on its way to being the longest running TV medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy is within 32 episodes of beating ER, which cashed in at 331 episodes over 15 seasons.
But I’m not here to talk about the numbers and the charts and the ratings and all the other technical things that come with such a long-running show. I’ll save all that for another time.
Instead, I want to talk about the impact this show has made on me. And it’s a big one.
(*I have been watching since 2005 but most of what I’m about to say are things I learned during high school, when I rewatched the show from the beginning. 8-year-old Jordyn didn’t pick up on these things…)
For years, I watched women shrink themselves and lessen their wants, desires and ambitions for those around them. And I thought that was normal and okay. Then I watched the women on Grey’s do the opposite and something clicked inside my head. That wasn’t normal and it wasn’t okay.
I watched Meredith Grey declare to Derek Shepherd that her career was just as important as his. I watched Cristina Yang become the best of the best on her own terms. I watched Miranda Bailey become the first female chief of surgery. I watched Ellis Grey pioneer medical procedures AND NAME THEM AFTER HERSELF!!!! I could keep going, but you get the point. These women were, and are, the best of the best in their professional lives. They taught me that women can be the boss, that women who work are not less than any man who works, and that it’s commendable to be ambitious and hungry for success.
I learned to not diminish my ambitions and drive for the sake of someone else’s success.
I watched Cristina Yang decide to have an abortion not once, but twice. That’s when I realized that her body means she gets to decide. Not her doctor, not her husband, not anyone. Her body, her choice. Period. The same goes for everyone else. Not your body? Then it’s not your choice. That’s when I learned how important women’s health is and decided to start fighting for it.
I watched Meredith Grey struggle to cope with the death of her husband. I watched her grieve, I was there when her world crumbled around her, and I was there when she rebuilt it and came out even stronger. That’s when I learned that I can get through anything and not be ruined. There is no ruining me, I’ll come back stronger every time.
I watched as Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins became one of the most loved couples on TV. I watched as my generation opened up about sexuality, and embraced each other in ways I’d never seen before. I explained to my little cousin that yes, Arizona and Callie are both girls, but they loved each other, and that love is love.
But I was also there (and paying attention) to what you couldn’t see on the TV screen.
I paid attention to everything Shonda said. From loving yourself first, to being a doer, not a dreamer, to saying yes. I started saying yes, and look where it got me. I stopped dreaming and started doing, and look where it got me. I started loving myself a little more, and look where it got me. I became the best version of myself. And I am forever grateful for that push I didn’t know I needed.
I marveled at how diverse Shondaland was (and is), something so rare in Hollywood. The women are not seen as less than, they are seen as equals. The women are the actors, the directors, the producers, the writers, and the crew members. There is representation in Shondaland. Representation for everyone. That’s not easy to find these days.
I decided that one day I will sit in a writers’ room and write a TV show that will impact someone as much as Grey’s has impacted me.
Happy 300th, Grey’s, and here’s to 300 more.