‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Do Fans Still Watch the Show Because They Are Too Invested to Stop or Do They Still Enjoy It?

Grey’s Anatomy is half-way through its 16th season and still going strong. Many people would like to know how the show is still on. From the ratings, it is evident that fans still watch it, but why? Roughly 6 million people tune in every week. Are the fans so invested in the series after 15 years that they can’t stop watching, or do they still love it? 

James Pickens, Jr., Justin Chambers and Ellen Pompeo
James Pickens, Jr., Justin Chambers, and Ellen Pompeo | Jessica Brooks via Getty Images

Some fans miss the good old days of ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ but can’t bring themselves to stop watching

Throughout 15 and a half years, many characters have come and gone. When Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) left the show, viewers swore they would stop watching. However, those same fans came back for more. Every time a character departs, fans debate not tuning in, but inevitably they do.

“I actually stopped watching the show for years after Cristina left,” wrote one fan on Reddit. “Now, I have somehow gotten myself pulled into it again, and I don’t know why I do this to myself.”

There are a few fans who wish it would just end so that they could stop watching. Fans are so invested that they want to watch the entire series to completion.

“Me too,” agreed another Redditor. “I kinda just wish it was over, so we didn’t have new material to be disappointed in to be honest. But I can’t stop. I’ve invested way too much of the last two years of my life into this show to just give up now.”

The same fans who complain about the show do enjoy rewatching it from the beginning. However, streaming earlier seasons does pull up new complaints.

“I started season one again last week, and I know it’s been said to death, but I really miss when the people just looked like people,” complained one fan on Reddit. “Even the hospital looks like it’s been taken out of Architectural Digest now, I liked the old ugly curtains and the regular charts.”

Many fans still enjoy the show, despite the loss of their favorite characters

For many fans, there is a weekly ritual of watching Grey’s Anatomy that they can never change. They may view it with a particular person or group of friends. No matter what happens, they won’t stop tuning in.

“I’ve been watching it with my mom since the beginning,” wrote one Redditor. “We both know it has flaws, and we both know it’s been better, but it’s still Grey’s. And even if everyone is dead and the storyline is crazy, and nothing is believable, I’m still gonna watch and call my mom and be like, ‘man, they’re really taking a weird direction this season, but what did you think?'”

Grey’s Anatomy certainly has its share of diehard fans who will never stop tuning in. Several others voiced that they do, in fact, still enjoy it.

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“I’ve been watching for so long, and despite how different it is from when it started, I still enjoy it overall and want to see how it ends (when it finally does),” added another fan. “It’s just one of those shows that is a staple in my TV-watching, and I can’t imagine not watching it.”

Many fans do not know how they could ever stop tuning in. They have stuck around this long and want to see how it wraps up. These fans also do report they still enjoy the series.

“I have watched since the beginning,” added yet another Redditor. “I love this show. Yes, it is different than when it started, and yes, I absolutely have angles of the storylines I dislike. But I love the characters, I love watching it every week, and I will miss it greatly once the series ends.”

‘When will ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ come to an end?

With the Feb. 28, 2019 episode, Grey’s Anatomy officially became the longest-running medical drama on TV. The series celebrated its 350th episode on Nov. 14, 2019. It currently is renewed through season 17. 

“Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show,” creator Shonda Rhimes told E! News in 2017. “So, the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping. So, I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So, we’ll see where that takes us.”

There is no end in sight for Grey’s Anatomy at this point. Diehard fans can rest easy knowing they have at least one more season to enjoy after this one. You can catch new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy Thursday evenings at 9 PM beginning Jan. 23, 2020, when it returns from the winter break.