‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Feel ‘Private Practice’ Was a Significantly Better Spin-Off Than ‘Station 19’ Will Ever Be

Thursday night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy was a crossover event with the spin-off Station 19, and fans are outraged. Most fans of the hospital drama do not like that they feel forced to watch the spin-off. They preferred Private Practice and thought it was a much better spin-off than this new series. 

Station 19 Grey's Anatomy Crossover
‘Station 19’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Crossover Event | Christopher Willard via Getty Images

‘Private Practice’ worked because fans loved Addison Montgomery already

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy indicate that they didn’t have a strong connection with Ben Warren (Jason George) when he went over to Station 19. However, they loved Addison Montgomery Shepherd (Kate Walsh) so much that they smoothly transitioned to watching Private Practice when she made the switch from Grey’s Anatomy

“I miss Ben but not enough to care that he made yet another career change,” wrote one fan on Reddit. “I think they should have used a different character because Ben’s career changes give me whiplash.”

If fans do not miss the presence of his character, it’s a hard sell to get viewers to follow him over to a new series.

“It was a poor way to introduce Station 19,” added another fan. “A proper backdoor pilot makes the new show’s characters the main focus of the current show. They did this well with Addison when she took a trip over to L.A. For Station 19, the backdoor pilot had Station 19‘s characters as background characters still.”

Without the love of the main characters in the new spin-off, Grey’s Anatomy many fans feel that Station 19 does not work for them.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans hate that showrunner, Krista Vernoff is making them watch ‘Station 19’

The other massive complaint about Station 19 is that fans feel forced to watch the spin-off to get the details they need about their favorite Grey’s Anatomy characters. Supporters argue that Private Practice was a solid stand-alone show that fans did not need to watch if they didn’t want to.

“With Private Practice, their crossovers worked in a way without forcing you to aggressively watch the other show,” one Redditor explained. “They provided enough background for you to understand the current episode. And the next episode generally had a summary of what happened if you didn’t watch the other show.”

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Fans do not feel that they get enough background by watching Grey’s Anatomy. There are no explanations of what happened on the other show. A significant problem here is that most fans now stream the shows on Hulu, so they do not have the added commercial reminders to watch both shows. Fans are left wondering what happened in certain plotlines.

“With Grey’s and Station 19, I remember a kid ran away from the hospital and was just never talked about ever again on Grey’s. He turned out to have fallen down a storm drain or something in Station 19 and was eventually saved. But it was a weird cliff hanger that prompted you to watch the other show.”

Many fans did not know where the child went unless they watched Station 19. However, on Hulu, viewers do not see scenes from next week like you do on live television. So, many did not know to stream Station 19 to get the answers they were looking for. 

Do you have to watch both ‘Station 19’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to understand the plotlines?

Despite what fans believe, viewers do not need to watch both shows, according to showrunner Vernoff. 

“Each hour of each show needs to be a whole story [by] itself,” Vernoff told Variety. “And when merged with the other show, when there are crossover elements, it needs to feel like, ‘Oh, that’s a bigger movie.’ So I had to make two-hour movies, [but] if you only watched [either the first or last] hour, you felt totally satisfied.”

The production team for both shows is doing the best they can to ensure that fans of one show do not need to watch the other show to get a complete story. However, they do suggest that to get the bigger picture; it is helpful to watch both.

“The best experience is going to be to watch both,” Vernoff explains. “You’re going feel like you got more stories if you’re watching both — like you have a more complete world.”

So, while it is not necessary to watch both shows, Grey’s Anatomy fans do feel like they are being forced to watch a show they don’t like. If only Station 19 were as good of a spin-off as Private Practice was, fans would be happier. 

Read More: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Fans Feel Strongly That This Was When the Show Should Have Ended