‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Some Fans Feel ‘Robbed’ of a Good Follow-Up to Season 16

During its 17 seasons, the characters of Grey’s Anatomy have dealt with traumatic events that most people will never face.

It’s unlikely that many viewers will ever be in a plane crash or have to perform a delicate surgery to remove a live bomb from a patient, after all. But this year, the people of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital are deep in a struggle that’s touched almost everyone in the world: Covid-19. 

The series has worked hard to show what medical professionals have been going through the past year. The result has been a season that’s different from any other. And viewers aren’t entirely happy about it. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ during the pandemic

ELLEN POMPEO | Raymond Liu/ABC via Getty Images

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As a show set in a hospital, it would have been hard for Grey’s Anatomy to ignore the pandemic. But as NBC reports, the show’s producers have always leaned on plot lines that are “ripped from the headlines,” and Covid-19 has been no exception.

The show’s producers have worked to show what frontline medical workers are going through during this crisis. Not many people are able to see what doctors and nurses are facing, and Grey’s Anatomy has done what they can to show the exhaustion, isolation, trauma, and grief many of them live with.

The series has also touched on the grief so many have experienced this year. People on the show have lost loved ones, and even its central character, Meredith Grey, contracted the virus and is fighting for her life. 

Although everyone involved with the show would agree that the real doctors and nurses have the biggest burden, it hasn’t been easy on the actors either. 

Struggles behind the scenes

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Like every workplace, the cast and crew had to figure out how to adjust to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. According to US Magazine, they’ve made huge changes to how they work, changing how long they are together, wearing masks during rehearsals and between takes, and frequent testing for everyone who meets in person. The cameras have even been altered to make people appear that they’re standing closer to each other than they actually are. 

“It changes the feeling of the show,” showrunner Krista Vernoff said. “It changes the pacing of the show. It is what it is.”

Ultimately, everyone involved with the show believes that it’s the responsible thing to do, but they acknowledge that it alters the experience. Viewers feel the difference too. And they wish it could be different. 

Fans feel “robbed”

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Recently, fans took to Reddit to discuss season 17, and they admitted that they feel like they lost something.

“I just finished rewatching season 16 and I kinda feel like the pandemic robbed us of what could have been a good season 17,” one person said. 

“I’m not saying the season completely sucks as is,” another agreed. “I’m just saying–especially once you see how season 16 ends off and everything–i think the season could have been so much better.”

For some viewers, the problem is that their life is already steeped in this crisis, and they’re looking for an escape. They’re experiencing pandemic fatigue. 

“I can appreciate it being touched on but at this point I really don’t want to be reminded of this crappy last year while watching a TV show meant to be part of my relaxing downtime. I want to go to the Grey’s Anatomy world for an hour not this one lol.”

“Do we know if the rest of the season is going to be about the pandemic? I’m over this season. And I never thought I’d come this far to say that.”

Everyone has lost something during this pandemic, and Grey’s Anatomy has chosen to reflect those losses. Unfortunately, some viewers just want to get away from what’s been happening. This certainly isn’t the only time people wish life could go back to what it was like before Covid-19 changed everything.