Representation of Reality

If you are a Grey’s Anatomy junkie, it is likely that you tune into ABC Family now on Thursday nights at 8 PM, to find out what is going to happen next at Seattle Grace Hospital. Season 1 and 2 of Grey’s aired on Sunday at 10:00 and then for seasons 3-10 it was Thursdays at 9:00 and seasons 11-12, Thursdays at 8:00. I thought this was interesting how it moved times of when it was aired.

Grey’s Anatomy is one of the highest-rated dramas in the key 18–49 demographic. Although the ratings have fallen over the past few seasons, it was once among the overall top 10 shows in the United States.

The indented audience is people in the 18-49 demographic. I know this because of when the show is aired and what night the show is on.In the class text book it says “For example, Grey’s Anatomy at one time drew a 9.4 Nielsen rating, meaning that almost one in 10 potential viewers in the 18-49 age group tunes in. Grey’s Anatomy drew about 23% of the 18-49 year old viewers who are watching television at that hour on Thursdays.” (Television Criticism pg 27) Also prime time is from 8-11 on weekdays and that is when Grey’s is being aired.

Did you know that nearly a quarter or Grey’s viewers are male?? I thought that this was interesting because I feel as thought a lot of girls watch it because of the attractive men doctors. I mean that is a big reason why I watch it and am obsessed with it.

 How can you not love that?

This is a chart of the Neislen Ratings of Grey’s Anatomy.


There is a lot of controversy and many different opinions when it comes to the reality of Grey’s Anatomy. I believe that although Grey’s is considered to be a “fictional show” many of the events and tragedy’s that happen can happen in real life and I believe that it is inspired by real world events.

 Like Izzie having cancer… or the ferry boat accident

 or the plane crash.

Unfortunately all of these tragedies could happen to anyone at anytime so I think this is a the reality that Grey’s is trying to represent.

However, there are many parts of the show, whether it be what the surgeons are able to do and what they do in their social and personal lives that would never happen in real life.

While watching you often think to yourself “can they really do that? How are they not getting fired or in trouble?” Questions like these make the viewers question the reality of the show.

I find this happening when they literally all sleep with each other…AT THE HOSPITAL. And mostly all the other coworkers know about it too. You definitely cannot do that as a doctor at a hospital.

The topic of sexual harassment comes up a couple times when Dr. Mark Sloan sleeps with pretty much all of the nurses. Marks character is suppose to be the hot doctor who sleeps around and that all the girls love. I wonder why he was the only one who got sexual harassment complaints when everyone in the hospital has sex with each other as well. You wouldn’t be able to have sex with your co-workers at the hospital at a real hospital.

There are a few examples that pop into my head when the reality from the show is absent. First, all of the interns got to scrub in to many surgery’s and sometimes got to help with the operation. My older sister is a RN at Mass General Hospital and she told me that you rarely every see the inside of a OR when you are an intern. I also read this interesting article that a med student wrote about the reality behind Grey’s Anatomy. She talks about her experiences and compares real life to how life as a surgeon is portrayed in Grey’s.

Another example that comes to mind is the doctors getting involved with their patients having unprofessional relationships with them. Dr. Alex Karev falls in love after he saves a women from the ferry boat accident. He starts to date her and see her regularly after she leaves the hospital. This is very unprofessional and I’m pretty sure that you sign a contract before you start to work saying you won’t have relationships with your patients.

Another doctor that has a relationship with a patient is Izzie. She falls in love with Denny and puts her job on the line to try and save his life. She has a really hard time after he dies because he has asked her before to marry him. This would never happen in a million years at a real hospital or be okay.

Although these parts of the show are unrealistic, I read an article about Shonda Rhimes, the writer of Grey’s. It talks about how she used a “color blind” technique when it came to casting. Color blind casting means Non-traditional casting, or integrated casting is the practice of casting a role without considering the actor’s ethnicity. I thought that this was really important because the show can be very unrealistic but I think having a diverse cast is a reality now and is more accepted now. Each role was cast without the character’s races being pre-determined, keeping Rhimes’ vision of diversity.

Now black and other ethnicity’s have more opportunities to get jobs and are more accepted and can be great doctors like it shows in the show. I think that this is also important because of issues with racism and some of these issues appear in the show. Dr. Bailey who is a black women and a black doctor has a patient who does not want her to operate on them because of the color of her skin.

This is a video of George defending Dr. Bailey when the patient does not want her operating on him. This is important because it shows that Grey’s Anatomy shows that racism still exists which I think is a huge issue still in our world. Yes it is great that Dr. Bailey, Dr. Burke, Dr. Weber and all the other non white surgeons are able to be surgeons but this patient really proves that racism still exists and how that it is still a real world problem.

I also feel that the show does a good job making the doctors seem like normal people. Many people think that doctors are these heroes that never make mistakes but in Grey’s and even in the world we all know that is not true.

There are many different issues addressed in Grey’s Anatomy weather they are realist or not. I think that is what keeps people watching the show because if it was like real life all the time it would be really sad and not as good to watch!


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