‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Gets a Lot Wrong, But It Totally Nails Good Parenting

Grey’s Anatomy often veers so far into melodrama that the thought of nuance is a foreign concept altogether, but it doesn’t mean that everything goes down that rabbit hole.

Shonda Rhimes’ long-running medical drama has everything from explosive patients to patients skewered together by trees, but it grounds things when it matters. One place where fans notice this trend is in the portrayal of the many parents. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: All in the family 


Grey’s has dealt with family since the earliest days when it was less a cultural phenomenon and another medical drama trying to find life. The series’ namesake, Meredith Grey, is a legacy whose mother made her name by saving lives within Seattle Grace’s corridors. However, the familial bond between people goes far deeper than the series namesake. 

Bustle even noted the strange family dynamic in a 2019 list. From Derek Shepherd’s bond with his sister to O’Malley’s family issues of the early years and enough marriages, divorces, flings, and break-ups to fill a Grey’s encyclopedia, the family takes on many forms. Family is not just blood. It can be friends, co-workers, partners, and enemies. While we often see the doctors in their natural habitats, we also see them at home, where they have to turn off the doctor’s face and face the ones they love away from work

This is where the fans believe that Grey’s succeeds beyond everything else. After all, we have seen sibling rivalries that boil over into unspeakable acts, more infidelity than a day at divorce court, and the complicated ways people react to tragedy incarnate, but parenting is another issue. Here, fans laud the series to show that parenting deserves the love, care, and compassion that the doctors show their patients despite the other baggage. 

Fans appreciate the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ school of parenting

Many of the doctors have families at home. From newlyweds to Miranda, all of them have backstories that either play out in front of the camera or are talked about while saving lives at work. However, when the focus shifts to kids, the patented Shondaland drama goes to the wayside, and the audience experiences genuine and touching moments. Reddit user u/Brina_22 discussed this on the thread. 

“I will give Grey’s lots of credit for how loving and responsible parenting the characters are written. All the parents are good parents, and the inclusiveness of parenting types is good also( bio parents, step-parents, adoptive parents, LGBTQ parents, older parents,” the user wrote. 

Others agreed. However, u/hotcheetopuffs went even further, speaking about how many of the characters, including Meredith Grey herself, are the products of their parents in ways both good and bad. 

“They did a great job portraying bad parents too (like Meredith’s, Callie’s, Jo’s, Alex’s) and how that damaged the main characters well into adulthood,” they wrote on the forum. 

Grey’s may be where relationships go to die, and the people of Seattle go to ensure that they live, but parenting affected everyone inside those walls. The series makes sure that it portrays this with a delicacy they cannot treat the latest far-out accident. Perhaps, this will go even further for season 18, t00. 

When is Grey’s Anatomycoming back? 

Grey’s has been on the air for 17 years and shows no signs of slowing down. While the uninitiated can catch the series on Netflix, with the newer episodes on Hulu, the Grey’s family will likely experience more shake-ups, breakups, and familial drama when, according to TVLine,  the 18th season premieres on September 30. There, the complicated bond between parents and their children will, once again, be on full display for the audience at home. 

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