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Grey's Anatomy is an American medical television drama created by Shonda Rhimes and aired by ABC that premiered in March 2005. The series focuses on the fictional lives of surgical internsresidents, and attending physicians, as they evolve into seasoned doctors while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships, centering around the main character, Meredith Grey.  

Plot Edit

The series centers around Meredith Grey, the daughter of renowned surgeon, Ellis Grey. She is accepted into the surgical program at the fictional hospital named Seattle Grace Hospital. She befriends Cristina Yang, Alex Karev, Izzie Stevens and George O' Malley as they try to balance their professional and personal lives with the hectic training schedules given to them.

Meredith grows close to her love interest, an attending and head neurosurgeon named Derek Shepherd, while her friend Cristina starts a relationship with the head of cardio, Preston Burke. Her Chief of Surgery is Richard Webber, an attending general surgeon who had a previous relationship with her mother.

Her relationship with Derek is tested when his estranged wife, renowned doctor, Addison Forbes Montgomery arrives at the hospital as head of OB/GYN, neo-natal and fetal surgery, which is complicated further when Mark Sloan, Derek's best friend with whom Addison had an affair, also arrives. Mark is a plastic surgeon who is a highly respected otolaryngologist. The internship, which is told in three seasons, is guided by Miranda Bailey, who is in her residency for general surgery.

Callie Torres, an orthopedic resident is also introduced and becomes a romantic interest for George. Their subsequent marriage is strained when George cheats on her with Izzie, who had previously fallen in love with a patient and was suspended when she cut his LVAD wire in the hope of securing him a heart transplant under false pretences. Izzie later faces a cancer battle which leads to her marriage to Alex

By the sixth season, there were many cast changes. By then, Preston Burke, George O'Malley and Izzie Stevens had departed the series, while Addison had joined the cast of her own spin-off series, Private Practice. Lexie Grey was introduced in the fourth season as a surgical intern, the half-sister of Meredith. She has a popular on-off relationship with Mark Sloan, and takes an interest in neurosurgery.

Following an administrative merger between the main hospital and Mercy West, Jackson Avery and April Kepner joined the main cast. Owen Hunt became Head of Trauma Surgery and started a relationship with Cristina, while Arizona Robbins joined the team as Head of Pediatric, and later Fetal Surgery. Benjamin Warren, an anesthesiologist turned resident, starts a relationship with Miranda Bailey.

Following a devastating plane crash, Lexie and Mark departed the series and the show introduced new surgical interns, Jo Wilson, who has a romantic relationship with Alex, Stephanie Edwards, Shane Ross, Leah Murphy and Andrew DeLuca. Maggie Pierce is introduced in the eleventh season as another half-sister for Meredith through her mother's relationship with Richard Webber. Derek Shepherd departed in the same season, devastating Meredith, leading to his sister, Amelia Shepherd becoming Head of Neurosurgery.

Meredith later grows close to new cardiothoracic surgeon Nathan Riggs, who has a complicated history with Owen Hunt, while Leah Murphy departed the series in the twelfth season and Stephanie Edwards at the conclusion of the thirteenth.

Development Edit

Shonda Rhimes wanted to make a show that she would enjoy watching, and was interested in seeing smart women competing. Rhimes enjoyed watching surgery programmes and thought that the operating room would be the natural setting for what she wanted. Rhimes pitched the idea to ABC Entertainment and who it the green light and picked it as a replacement for Boston Legal.

ABC were happy with how unique the premise for the new medical drama was, as there were many popular medical drama programmes already airing. Rhimes later stated that while many medical programmes delve into high speed medicine, she wanted to slow things down and explore the personal side of being a doctor.

The main driving force for Rhimes was creating a programme that represented women properly. She hoped to portray real women rather than ideas of what they are. When the series debuted in March 2005, it was a hit and the decision was made to let it continue building, rather than give it the four weeks that it was thought Boston Legal needed, before it would have returned to air.

Prior to airing, Grey's Anatomy was originally named Complications. However, for whatever reason, the name was changed to Grey's Anatomy. The name is a play on the human anatomy textbook, Gray's Anatomy, and the surname of the central character, Meredith Grey.

The company is produced by ShondaLand along with ABC and the Mark Gordon Company. Along with Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Kristina Vernoff, Mark Gordon, Rob Corn and Mark Wilding have served as executive producers. Rhimes continues to serve as head writer, and promotes the show through her social media. The name of every episode on the show is taken from the name of a song, while there is a short narration, normally given by Meredith, at the start of the show which has a connection to the lesson to be learnt in the episode.

Filming Edit

Grey's Anatomy is mainly filmed in California, particularly for interior shots. The hospital scenes are often shot at VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Centre in North Hills.[1] However, the exterior shots of the hospital is Fisher Plaza in Seattle. When an air ambulance lands on the show, they land on the KOMO-TV helipad. The exterior of Meredith's Intern House is in Comstock Street in Washington. The address given in the show of 613 Harper Lane is not a real address.[1]

A lot of the scenes are taped at Prospect Studios in east Hollywood, where Grey's Anatomy occupies six sound stages. Props are used in place of medical equipment.[2]

Casting Edit

Grey's Anatomy uses a color-blinding casting technique whereby the casting is created without prior requirements for a pre-determined certain race. Ellen Pompeo was cast following a tough search as Rhimes was impressed by her work on another project. Sandra Oh then joined as Cristina even though she originally vied for the role of Miranda Bailey. Many actors auditioned for Derek but when Patrick Dempsey auditioned, Rhimes thought he was perfect.[3]

Current Main Cast Edit

Current Guest Stars Edit

Former Main Cast Edit

Former Notable Guest Stars Edit

Seasons Edit


Webisodes Edit

Main article: Webisodes

Reception Edit

Grey's Anatomy was very well received with critics and has a 71% average on Rotton Tomatoes, along with 7.7/10 on the IMDB website. The show has continued to be regarded highly even when entering the fourteenth season and attracts high numbers of viewers each year.

Music Edit

The theme of the show is an excerpt of 'Cosy in the Rocket' by Psapp. When the show started, the excerpt was played during an intro of credits. However, Rhimes decided the intro was taking up too much valuable screen time and changed it. The intro is now a brief shot of the logo, in which a brief tune from the excerpt is played. There is an instrumental, longer version played in the ending credits.

Grey's Anatomy is well known for playing meaningful songs which have a connection to the theme of the episode. They have popularised a number of songs, such as Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, which has become well known and sentimental to fans for the several times it has played when a character had died, or was dying, such as the death of Derek Shepherd. Chasing Cars became a top five hit following it's part in the show.

How to Save a Life by The Fray is another song that gained popularity when it was used in the show, along with Anna Nalick's Breathe (2 A.M). A few of the songs returned in the musical episode, Song Beneath the Song, where they were covered by cast members. A few artists have even allowed their songs to debut on the show, such as White Horse by Taylor Swift.

Since Grey's Anatomy became highly praised for the songs selected, they have released several soundtracks containing them, released by Hollywood Records. The fourth and last soundtrack released was in September 2011 for the seventh season.

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Grey's Anatomy Season 1 DVD: Commentary Feature
  2. Wetpaint - Where is Grey's Anatomy Filmed, Anyway?
  3. Marie Claire - Interview with Shonda Rhimes