Save Grey's Anatomy
ABC and Shonda Rhimes
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Help. We dont know how else to start this letter besides asking for help. This isnt the first letter that has started like this, but we do hope its the last. This is a call from Greys Anatomy fans to anyone who will listen for a bit of assistance, a bit of help. Weve watched our favorite show go from being something amazing to something we dont even recognize, and we need something to be done to fix the mess it has become.
When Greys Anatomy premiered on March 27th, 2005, fans were immediately drawn in. The first episode was viewed by 16.3 million people and the numbers continued to rise from there. It was an instant hit. And it hit the ground running, with what was to become the most celebrated relationship on TV: Meredith and Derek, a couple who would forever cause women to wonder if there was a McDreamy out there for her, if love as powerful and as strong as theirs could exist. But it wasnt only Meredith and Derek. The writing was strong, sharp and witty. The plots were fun and easy to follow, easy to get attached to and easy to care about. People cared right away about the five interns, one resident, two attendings and one chief of surgery that made up the show. Watching Meredith struggle with Ellis or Izzie figure out the lines between her and a patient made everyone want to keep watching. The patients were easy to fall in love with, their cases were simple but their lives were more complex, like Mr. Levange who needed DBS so he could walk his daughter down the aisle. They were memorable, they were things anyone could relate to. The entire show was memorable and easy to relate to.
The summer after the Season 3 finale a letter like this was written, with the same complaints, the same problems. The show had gotten dark and depressing. The characters were off. Meredith and Derek were being put through hell for the sake of drama. Other characters plots were all over the place. And we were promised a change. Steve McPhereson, Shonda Rhimes, the cast, everyone, they all told us they were aware that Season 3 was depressing and promised big and good things for Season 4. Instead weve gotten much of the same things.
This can only lead the fans to believe that the people who own this show have a complete and utter disregard of the fan base. We understand that it is Shondas and the rest of the writing teams story to tell, but in the world of television they are supposed to be writing for the fans. The fans made it abundantly clear we werent enjoying the direction things were going in, and instead of addressing our issues, we feel we were basically ignored. This leaves fans disgruntled. It leaves fans feeling alienated and unimportant. Which kills the intense loyalty fans used to feel for this show. Which perhaps explains the loss of viewers this season.
Greys Anatomy needs help. It needs someone to take charge and get it back to being the television show all the fans fell madly in love with in Season 1 and 2. Its no secret that television ratings have taken a dive this year but the fact remains, Greys Anatomy is now back to pulling in the kind of numbers that were Season 1. The season 1 finale had 22.8 million viewers, and the highest rated episode this season had 20.3 million. In bigger concern every week this season numbers have gotten progressively worse. While other shows have been able to hold steady, Greys Anatomy loses viewers on a weekly basis, leaving it with 17.6 million in the last episode. Now with the strike stretching in front of us, theres a very good chance numbers will even dip lower when it does eventually come back. Greys Anatomy needs to be fixed before its too late.
Greys Anatomy used to be a critically acclaimed drama, hailed by critics all over as original, sharp, the best written drama on television. Today, the critical acclaim falls as the show turns from the mature drama and into something much more sinister and dangerous. Melodrama is defined as a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause and effect and that exaggerates emotion and emphasizes plot or action at the expense of characterization.(dictionary.com). Almost every plot the past two seasons has followed this formula: destroying a character in an effort to up ratings (which has failed) or to tell an important story, and that is why fans are now rebelling. Who are these people we come to visit every Thursday?
The most affected would have to be Derek, as we now watch the show wondering exactly where McDreamy went. In Season 1, we were introduced to the perfect man. He was that guy that everyone wanted to find, everyone wanted to be with. Now hes a shell of that man. The fans are wondering how someone who would always show up, someone who called Meredith the love of his life, who understood her and wanted a lifetime with her became the man he was on our screens January 10, 2008. It has left us wondering where is McDreamy? And better yet, WHO is McDreamy? A question none of us should be asking four seasons into a show.
But melodrama isnt only forcing the destroying of characters, it is destroying friendships, relationships, and plots of past seasons. We watched this happen with George and Izzie, who had been part of one of the most fun friendships on the show. And then one night they got drunk and had sex. Which was an understandable plot, many people have had drunken mistake sex. The issue is what happened after. Some fans do enjoy George and Izzie together, thought it was cute and had great chemistry but the fact remains how they got together was a plot that just didnt flow, for either character in the situation. And that is just one example.
Perhaps the most obvious choppy plot line is that of Rose and Derek. The fans see nothing there but another forced plot line, another poor attempt to keep Meredith and Derek apart. Its disgusting to watch and a slap in the face to all the fans, mainly women, who watch this show. Not to mention a nurse would not fit in on a show thats about surgeons. Please do not keep her.
Melodrama has also destroyed the title character of the show. Meredith is barely human anymore and has become one of the most hated characters on television. No one can relate to her, no one can feel for her. No one wants to watch a depressed mess of a character who never takes steps to build a better life for herself, and fans are wondering if she is ever going to get a break. As the title character she should have most of the things happening to her, but something good should be coming her way as well. She should be overcoming things, finding some happiness, instead she keeps getting knocked back down. Its not fair to Ellen Pompeo and its not fair to the fans.
Which may lead us to one of the most important points. Some people have speculated that maybe Meredith and Derek were never meant to be together in the first place and the fans can only say please dont let that be the case. We became emotionally attached to this couple in Season 1 and fell for them completely in Season 2. Letting Meredith and Derek break up, permanently or even for a long amount of time would kill a major part of the magic that made this show what it was. After the season 3 finale, we made it clear we had no desire to see Derek with anyone but Meredith Grey. We made it clear we wanted to see this couple WORK, not constantly go back and forth in an adolescent and cheap, over used plotline of: Will they or wont they? Not when weve been sold three seasons on them having this ultimate all consuming love that is supposed to last forever. And you cant ignore the chemistry that Ellen and Patrick have. As Steve McPhereson said on Patrick Dempseys True Hollywood Story that aired in November The stuff that he did with Ellen was really pretty incredible, because thats the stuff that theres just an undeniable magic, you cant buy that, you cant write that, you cant direct that. Meredith and Derek were something special that you very rarely see on television, Patrick and Ellen made that happen and completely wiping that out would be the stroke of death to Greys Anatomy.
We like to have faith in where we stand. We like to believe that Derek and Meredith can start over, actually be able to be a couple that knows how to talk. We would love to see Derek realize he wants it with Meredith only, and for it not to be too late and see them actually slow down and work on their issues together, so they could be the happy couple all the fans have always dreamed of them being. We like to think that the drama can return instead of the melodrama we have been being offered more recently and that the fun can actually come back to this show. We want to see the characters return to who they were in Season 1 and 2, the people that we felt we actually knew. Mainly, we want to know that were valued, that our feelings and opinions do matter to the people who run the show. We would like to stop feeling alienated and start to feel like they are actually writing for us.
We want our show back.