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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Do You Know Your Greys Anatomy?

Published: October 7, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

Youre out drinking the night before your first day at a new job and end up sleeping with a guy. The next morning, when you show up for work, Derek from last night turns out to be your new boss.

Sound familiar? Hopefully not, unless youre already watching ABCs standout series Greys Anatomy. The show, which gets its title from the famous anatomy book Grays Anatomy of the Human Body by Henry Gray, focuses on a group of new medical interns who are trying to figure out how to be doctors and still have their own lives. Think of it as the lovechild of ER and Scrubs. On the one hand, it has ERs serious life-and-death medical drama, plus the bloody surgeries (if youre weak like me with gross -factor, theres no shame in closing your eyes). On the other hand, Greys Anatomy has elements of Scrubs humor and witty dialogue, as well as the latter shows ability to enter into the personal lives of doctors.

At the center of everything is Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). As the daughter of a famous surgeon, she has to work twice as hard to prove that shes as good as everyone else. Her misfortune (or fortune, depending on how you look at it) of continuing to sleep with Dr. Derek Sheppard (Patrick Dempsey), a.k.a. Doctor McDreamy, got extra complicated in last years season finale when she discovered that Dr. Sheppard is married. And, in an example of how this show surpasses others, it turns out that his wife cheated on him, which led him to take the job at Seattle Grace Hospital and thus to meet Meredith. Plus, even though hes actually separated from his wife, which makes it okay that hes sleeping with Meredith, not everything is magically solved when Meredith learns the truth. Like in real life, they have issues that they must work through.

Yet, what truly makes the show great is the amazing cast of supporting characters. In particular is the incredibly talented Sandra Oh (who was nominated for an Emmy in this role) as Cristina Yang, the incredibly driven and somewhat detached intern. Of course, shes not nearly so one-dimensional, as this years season premiere shows. Shes been sleeping with her boss, is pregnant with his baby, and only comes to realize that she wants to be with him just as hes deciding to break up with her. Of course, he only broke up with her to further his career in hopes of one day becoming Chief of Surgery. And I thought I had problems! Yet, the show is not just soap opera-esque drama, but has plenty of heart. Cristina continually and gradually learns how to let other people into her life, as in the season premiere when she tells Meredith that shes her person;

literally, she means her contact person for her abortion, but figuratively the meaning is just as clear that Meredith is becoming Cristinas closest friend.

Also in the intern mix are the loveable Isobel Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) who paid her way through medical school by modeling, the nervous geek with a heart of gold, George OMalley (T. R. Knight), who has a rather large crush on Meredith, and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), the arrogant chauvinist who, it seems, will end up winning Izzie over with his sensitive side. However clichd it may be, the complete obviousness of this pairing is my only complaint about the show. While I dont like these two together, I enjoy the characters individually, as well as the unique personality traits they bring to the show.

The character that brings the most to the show, in my opinion, is Dr. Miranda Bailey, or more simply, the Nazi. Like a drill sergeant, she bosses interns around while adding to the comedic value of the show. Clearly she has a softer side, and just as clearly, she loves terrifying new interns. Shes like the type of teacher that challenges her students to do the dirty work and stretches them to their limits so that they turn out amazing in the end and she does it with style.

A little unrealistic? I should hope so! (I mean, if I ever needed surgery I wouldnt want unresolved tension in the O.R. because all of my surgeons were sleeping together!) Thats why we watch TV because it isnt real, so its way more interesting than our daily lives. So go ahead and avoid work for an hour so you can get wrapped up in a good show on Sundays at 10:00 pm on ABC.

If you like Greys Anatomy, you may also like House and ER, both of which merge medical practice with doctors personal lives in different ways.