Art Imitating Life

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It is mid morning. Ideal time to declutter, check off items on my to-do list that has been constantly growing since I quit work two years ago. Instead I am in my study watching the drama unfold in Season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy. I missed the show when it first aired stumbling on it one night on Netflix. I started with the pilot episode and I was hooked. Night after night, I stayed up past midnight losing myself in medical trauma and personal drama interwoven tightly. In the early mornings, just as the alarm goes off, I sometimes wake up with thoughts of the twisty sisters or how a particular moment in the series was handled.

Most nights when I decide to finally turn the screen off and turn in, I do so marveling at how well the series has portrayed women, people of color and the realities of balancing work and life. I marvel at the complex relationships, blended families and the things that rip families apart. The show is not without its problematic portrayals (O’Malley, Izzie, Callie) but the wins far outnumber the misses.

I watch as Maggie talks to Richard about not wanting a father and wax eloquent about how she has a family and my heart aches for birth fathers world over who have little say in their children’s lives. I watch Derek broach the subject of playdates with Miranda and struggle with using the term black and I realize I am holding my breath. The show does not shy away from the awkward, from the very real issues of race or how women should be in charge of their bodies.

The best part about this show for me is the relationship Meredith and Cristina share. I watch over each season as they grow and grow apart. I watch personal and professional jealousies tear them apart. I watch them mince no words. I watch them realize that what they have is precious. I tear up as they dance it out one last time.

As someone who is stumped trying to write a story that needs telling, the story arc, the evolution of characters over 11 seasons, the character growth all amaze me. The plot lines, the constant hoops people have to jump through, creating tension point after tension point has me wondering how Ms. Rhimes does it.

Art does imitate life and considering I watch very few shows, I figured I needed to pen down thoughts when a show does get most of it right. More power to women like Rhimes and the stories they spin.

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