How is the audience involved in Grey’s Anatomy?

If you have ever watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy there is a 99.9% chance that your now emotionally involved in this show.


The way Shonda Rhimes, creator and writer of Grey’s Anatomy, keeps the audience involved  is by using emotional events that the audience can relate to. The target audience for Grey’s is the 18-49 demographic, therefore many of the viewers can relate or are going through similar situations as the characters in the show which keeps the audience involved and interested.

I feel as though the audience is involved in Grey’s because 9 times out of 10 the person watching can relate to what is going on. Every episode there is a new story about a new character. The whole episode tells the story about each patient and the patient usually has something going on that could happen to anybody.

From the beginning seasons we learn that Meredith’s mother has Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer’s is also known as Alzheimer disease, or just Alzheimer’s, accounts for 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.[1][2] It is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time.[1][2] The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events (short-term memory loss).Meredith’s mother, Elis Grey, is known for being a great surgeon so when Meredith comes to Seattle for her internship many of the other interns refer to her as Elis Grey’s daughter. Meredith is one  of the main characters and the beginning seasons really cover events from her life.

Meredith has a hard time adjusting and dealing with her mother and her illness because she starts to forget who she is and other people in her life. I could relate to this part of the show because my Nanna has Alzheimer. My mom never had a great relationship with her and before she was diagnosed my sister and I did not have a great relationship with my Nanna either. When we go see her she often forgets a lot and doesn’t really remember who I am. When watching Grey’s and seeing Meredith dealing with her mom it reminded me of my Nanna and my families history with Alzheimer. Meredith struggles with Alzheimer throughout the seasons because she gets nervous that there is a possibility she can get it later on in life. As a viewer of this episode it got me thinking if Alzheimer runs in my family and if there is a possibility my mom can get it and then if my sister and I could. This is how I am involved in the show because I can relate to what happened in this part of the show to my own life.

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While watching Grey’s there are a million different emotions that you as a viewer and audience can express. Even in one episode you can go from being really really happy to then feeling very sad and wanting to cry. Most episodes leave you hanging and they  do that so you want to keep watching to find out what happens. I personally cry a lot when I watch Grey’s because I can relate to many of the events happening and it can be very sad. A buzzfeed article talks about the emotional stages of watching Grey’s. I honestly agreed with all of them and this article couldn’t be more true. Some of the emotional stages listed in this article are excitement, anticipation, denial, teariness. These feelings are so true and apply to every episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  I feel as though if you can experience all of these emotions during one show, that is how the audience is encouraged to be involved with the show. Grey’s Anatomy really plays with your emotions and it gets you emotionally involved.

In every episode of Grey’s Anatomy there is a moral or life lesson that is presented.These  moral lesson are presented throughout the episode when things are happening. Then the overall lesson is usually presented at the end of the episode with a quote or one of the characters summarizing what happened. This buzzfeed article shows 23 life lessons that we have learned from Grey’s. Some of my favorite life lessons from this article include when it says “your actions don’t define you” The article shows a picture of Dr. Bailey that says “you did a terrible thing, that doesn’t make you a terrible person.”

Your actions don't define you.

As a college student you are constantly learning about life and you are bound to make mistakes. This life lesson that is explained in this Grey’s episode I really could relate to and I feel as though it relates to many other viewers as well. While watching this episode and hearing Dr. Bailey say this quote teaches me and others watching about life and that bad things will happen but it does not define who you are. This keeps the audience involved because they can relate what is happening to their own lives and these real life issues are relateable.

Another life lesson from this article that I can personally relate to is when Dr. Weber says “its good to be scared, being scared means you have something to loose.” Watching this episode and hearing him say this quote really made me think about my life and how this quote relates to my life. This quote is so true and I think that many people our age can relate to it because growing up can be very scary.

Don't be afraid to be afraid.

I also think that Grey’s Anatomy teaches people a lot about the medical part of it. My sister is a nurse so she watches it and I felt as though it attracts those types of people. I was hesitant to start it because I didn’t realize it was about more than just about being a doctor. Though Grey’s isn’t just about being a doctor I think this show keeps its viewer interested because it teaches the viewers about medicine. Watching this show has honestly made me want and wish that I could be a doctor.

There are many examples of Othering in Grey’s Anatomy. According to the class text book
“The Other” is “Person(s), group(s), social class, community, race or nation who are not “us” and who are defined by their differences from us, yet who by that difference contribute to our concept of self, as individuals, members of groups etc.” (page 214) Grey’s Anatomy has a very diverse cast which may lead to “Othering”. Grey’s Anatomy uses a color-blind casting technique, resulting in a racially diverse ensemble.In our class text book it says “Shows like Lost and Grey’s Anatomy feature diversity in their characters.” (Page 154) As well as having a diverse cast ranging from many African American doctors (Dr. Bailey, Dr. Burke, Dr. Weber) to Asian (Dr. Yang) to Latina (Dr. Torres) Grey’s Anatomy also has two characters Callie and Arizona who are gay which would put them in the Othering category. Although gay marriage and being gay is more accepted now a days both Callie and Arizona had a hard time with their families about being gay.


I think all of these videos are really  good examples of how challenging it was both Callie and Arizona with being gay and I think it is great that they talk about these issues like gay rights and the challenges of being gay on Grey’s because I think it needs to be talked about more.

I think that there are many multiple meanings in Grey’s. Everyone who watches the show gets a different perspective of what is happening.

From watching Grey’s and from talking about it with friends, a majority of the audience feels the same way about this show. Many of the viewers get emotionally involved with the characters and the events that happen to them. Grey’s Anatomy teaches life lessons that many of it’s viewers can relate to. Also it spikes interest in the medical field and that keeps people interested because you are learning while watching. I believe that the emotion that the audience has while watching Grey’s Anatomy is truly what makes it such a good show!



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