Movies and TV shows strive to entertain and in order to do that the characters need to be believable. Some fans don’t think the character of Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, from Grey’s Anatomy, is believable because she excels at almost every task. Is the protagonist too perfect, or do the fans overlook her struggles?
Meredith’s relationship with her mom was always a struggle
Meredith’s first real struggle started in her early years. Her mother, Ellis Grey, played by Kate Burton, literally wrote the textbook most surgical interns study. Living up to that name became the first hurdle that Meredith was faced with. Later on, her relationship with her mother became a burden, especially after it was revealed that her mother was ill. Meredith struggled to pursue her surgical learning while attending to her mother’s needs. They were never close before the illness, so it was difficult for Meredith to see her strong mother struggle.
Meredith is super smart — and maybe a bit too perfect
From the beginning, it was apparent that Meredith was well-educated and could recall facts quickly. However, the smaller struggles escaped some of the fan’s attention. Far from perfect, Meredith botched her first surgery, much like most interns do. Most fans attribute the expansive knowledge base and seemingly perfect actions to the fact she is the main character.
Meredith always has someone higher than her to help her as she navigates the choppy waters — beginning with her mother’s ex-lover and co-worker, the chief, and moving on to her husband and chief of surgery. Her relationships are a helping hand to get to the higher rungs of the surgical ladder.
Some fans find Meredith to be cliché because there is never any doubt that whatever she is doing will work out for her. Instances where it seems she will lose her license or the adoption are hard to root for because you know she will overcome the obstacle. If Meredith had failed school, lost her license, or lost her children, the show would not be able to continue as it has.
Fans would like to see Meredith really struggle and lose sometimes
Looking back over the 17 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, you can see some of Meredith’s biggest failures and how she miraculously overcame them. Some fans expressed on Reddit that they wish she wasn’t so perfect. Her imperfections are small compared to others — from her nervous first surgery, to defying orders, to compromising a medical trial for the benefit of a friend. There are many moments where Meredith seems to fail, but does she really? Meredith learns from the small mistakes but always seems to come out ahead after these instances.
Fans would like to see Meredith really struggle and lose, to prove her intelligence and situation is not as perfect as it has been. Losing her husband and almost losing her license was a tough situation, but the fans knew she would get through it because she had to. Supporting characters are what has made the life of Meredith Grey more interesting.
Characters who struggle are generally more likable
Not everyone wants to follow the story of a person who is either handed every opportunity or overcomes obstacles because they are the story. Alex was not perfect, his bedside manner was not great, and he had a violent streak that never really faded. George learned from the best, but managed to fail his intern exams and be placed with the new interns. Relationships failed or turned sour because of character flaws. Most fans think that Meredith Grey doesn’t have enough failures or flaws to make her a believable character.
Grey’s Anatomy is entering the 18th season, and Meredith Grey continues to prove she is capable of withstanding whatever the writers have in store. Regardless of whether she is viewed as perfect or flawed, Meredith continues to entertain the fans as her story is told.