'Grey's Anatomy' After Derek

It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point that I am very much obsessed with Grey's Anatomy. And to that end, of course I was devastated when Derek died at the end of season 11. I mean, we’re talking curled up on my apartment couch, ugly crying, yelling "no" at my laptop screen (i.e. the usual). So while there was no way I would ever consider ditching the show (Shonda Rhimes is still my queen — SLAY, SHONDA, SLAY!), I was definitely feeling down going into episode 1 of season 12.

But, by the end of that first episode, I thought: "this is okay." In fact, I was excited. Meredith was still alive; she was okay. Alex was there. Bailey, Richard, Callie — not to mention a slew of young, hot, slutty interns. And the show was actually holding my attention. Making me excited for the week to come as it had constantly done in its prime (think: the first 7 seasons).

I had a thought, though. When George died at the end of season 5 (the first big character besides Denny, I guess), I was kind of surprised that a bigger deal wasn’t made of it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I, in particular, wasn’t all that broken up over it. George was a little whiney for my taste. BUT, after the funeral, it was like the characters had all but forgotten that their best friend had DIED. Was gonzo. Had bitten the dust.

Grey's Anatomy After Derek

However, over the years, after people started dying like it was nobody’s business, I realized that you just can’t dwell on death on a TV show. TV isn’t meant to mimic reality — if anything, it’s a heightened depiction of reality. And if the writers spent the requisite amount of time forcing a show’s characters to mourn every single death, that’s about all the characters on Grey’s would do.

Obviously that’s not a possibility. You wouldn’t have a show. And once I had that realization, I was able to move past individual deaths as well as be open to the opportunities that a death would afford any remaining characters. Meredith Grey is the title character of this show — and she, aside from a few oopsies, has been with Derek from the outset, more or less exclusively. And there’s nothing wrong with this because they were Meredith and Derek — the Ross and Rachel of Grey’s. We, as an audience, wanted them together. We liked them together. We rooted for them.

But by killing off Derek (and making a decision we could likely never have fathomed), Shonda has opened the show up to a world of amazing possibilities — ones that I think we should be receptive to and excited for. What is the next stage of Meredith’s life? Does she soar professionally? Does she regress to her former ways? Do we get to see her explore love interests we may never have dreamed for her? I mean, is there a Meredith and Alex in our future? A Meredith and Avery?

See, that’s what’s so thrilling about this twelfth season. We’re in completely new territory, and the writers have the opportunity to absolutely surprise and thrill us as an audience. And so I’ll say this: why don’t we go all in with them? I, for one, am excited about this new Grey's Anatomy, and even though a world without Derek is one I never thought I’d want to be a part of. Shonda, once again, has managed to prove me wrong.

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Nov 17, 2015 3:11PM EST

Very true and well wrote. Derek was thought of as my end all be all, but in reality Meredith is. Just glad that Shonda really is a exceptional director, writer and producer.

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Nov 18, 2015 12:44PM EST

thank you, i think i'll watch the 12th season too now.

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