Not too many television shows last long. Audiences get bored and the creativity of the storylines tends to drop significantly. These shows get cancelled or the writers decide to end the show before it gets too drawn out. This hasn’t been the case for “Grey’s Anatomy.”
The popular ABC medical TV drama “Grey’s Anatomy” is currently in its 17 season. But, as of now, there has yet to be an announcement that the show has gotten renewed for season 18. This has left many in the media guessing what this may mean for the outcome of the show. Could this mean the end for “Grey’s Anatomy?” More importantly, should it be the end?
“Grey’s Anatomy” first aired in March of 2005 and since then, it has become the longest-running medical drama on TV. Many beloved characters have come and gone and each one had an important role in the show’s development. Sixteen years later, with new episodes still airing on ABC Thursday nights and a looming decision for another season, nobody knows what the future holds for “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Set at Seattle Grace Hospital, “Grey’s Anatomy’s” season one premiere introduced the audience to many beloved characters — Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Izzie Stevens, George O’Malley and Derek Shepherd to name a few. The show revolves around the interns and surgeons who work at the hospital and the endless drama that surrounds them.
There were many times over the seasons when the show could have ended. For example, when Meredith almost drowned in season 3, when the plane crashed in season 8, when Derek died in season 11. With a show that has lasted as long as “Grey’s” has, it’s inevitable that main characters will leave. Unfortunately, this happened with almost everyone from the original cast. Somehow, “Grey’s” has managed to overcome many hurdles that would have gotten other shows canceled, but thankfully it’s still going strong for now.
Season 17 is different from any other season so far since it focused around the real-life COVID-19 pandemic. One of the main characters, Meredith Grey, who the show is named after, contracts COVID-19. The illness causes her to fall in and out of a coma and have dreams where she is visited by past characters of the show, who have died in earlier seasons.
The impact of COVID affected the quality of the writing and the show has been difficult to become invested in this season. Grey’s dreams have been one of the only interesting storylines so far. Unlike seasons from the past, season 17 doesn’t keep fans invested in all of the character’s lives, only Meredith’s. If this is the last season for “Grey’s Anatomy,” it will be disappointing.
Unlike seasons from the past, season 17 doesn’t keep fans invested in all of the character’s lives, only Meredith’s. If this is the last season for “Grey’s Anatomy,” it will be disappointing. For a show as beloved as “Grey’s,” it deserves at least one more season to send things off properly.
“‘What story do we tell?’ To end a show this iconic, how do we do it? – I want to make sure we do it right,” Pompeo said in a CBS news article in February.
Hopefully Pompeo doesn’t feel that Grey is getting the right send-off this season. Grey certainly isn’t. Her character has been the cornerstone of “Grey’s Anatomy” since it aired. If she dies from COVID-19, if that’s what they decide to do, that should not be the way a popular character’s story should end. Grey deserves a happy ending. She deserves a season 18.
A Bustle article, “5 Clues Grey’s Anatomy Won’t Actually End After This Season,” mentioned that the showrunner Krista Vernoff is planning for “either a season finale or series finale.” But in the article, one important clue is revealed that season 17 probably won’t be the last. Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey, denied that the show isn’t ready to end.
“The network’s not ready, the studio’s not ready, the fanbase isn’t ready, the numbers are too good,” Wilson said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Whatever the future holds for “Grey’s Anatomy,” whether it ends this season or next season, the show has done remarkable things over the past two decades. There’s a reason why it’s lasted so long, it is a great TV show. It’s influence and impact on television will continue to live on long after it ends, whenever that will be.