By Nasheed Choudhury
“Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest running prime-time medical drama, returned for its 17th season on November 12 for a two-hour-long crossover episode with “Station 19.” The premiere of this season was highly anticipated after production for season 16 was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What was originally meant to be a 24 episode season became a 21 episode season with a finale that left fans grasping at straws because many storylines and relationships were left untied.
Like many shows that have resumed airing, “Grey’s Anatomy” has integrated the COVID-19 reality in their storyline. Most shows have not strayed much from the original plot and have been working in conjunction with the pandemic storyline; however, the Golden Globe award-winning series has completely transformed to center around the coronavirus.
“...I love how they are portraying struggles undergone by healthcare workers. It can give information to others on why wearing a mask and maintaining safety precautions are important...”
Showrunners Shonda Rhimes and Krista Vernoff took the opportunity to showcase many pressing matters and real aspects of working on the front line. In the first episode alone, topics such as overfilled hospitals, shortages of PPE for staff, the reluctance of people not wearing masks or social distancing, and the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on Black and Brown people in underprivileged areas have already given the show’s viewers another perspective. The show is notorious for bringing all the difficult conversations on the big screen, and so far this season is no different. Season 17 has demonstrated the raw difficulties from a perspective many are not familiarized with. Many tears were shed by the characters in the first couple of episodes, illustrating the genuine frustration medical personnel were feeling.
"Many don’t like how they included COVID-19 in the storyline but I feel as if there was no other way to keep the show running. I feel that viewers are more interested in this storyline and I love how they are portraying struggles undergone by healthcare workers. It can give information to others on why wearing a mask and maintaining safety precautions are important,” said senior Lulua Hamdani.
Rumors have been flying that this season of “Grey’s Anatomy” maybe it's last since lead actress Ellen Pompeo has not renewed her contract and the show has yet to be renewed for its 18th season by ABC. Due to this, many fans have been sharing their season 17 predictions and speculations. Viewers have noticed that appearance dates for characters that are no longer on the show have been updated to 2020. This has led many to believe several fan favorites will be brought back on the show, perhaps for one last time.
Source from Aarti Devjani
Many fans of the show are very excited to see what this season of "Grey's Anatomy" will bring.
“I’m really excited for what this new season of ‘Grey’s’ will bring on because it might potentially be the last season and thus, they will be bringing back characters from the past. It made me really upset seeing the harsh reality of COVID-19 as they are showing everything the front-line workers have been going through but I completely understand why they had to cover this storyline. I think it is great that they are doing so because I appreciate our medical workers now even more than I did before,” said senior Sarah Razzaq.
Season 17 has just begun, and it has only touched the tip of the iceberg in showcasing what the new normal is supposed to look like in hospitals. The revival of old characters has been a highlight of the season that indicates to many that the season may be coming to an end. Regardless, “Grey’s Anatomy” continues to dish out extremely relevant episodes while emphasizing it's notorious relationships. The future of the show remains unknown because after all, nobody knows where the storyline might end up.