‘Grey’s Anatomy’: This Might Be the Worst Character That Has Ever Been On the Show

Trying to find the “worst” character to ever appear on Grey’s Anatomy is like trying to find the worst character in other large ensemble shows from Cheers to Friends. Since Grey’s is one of the rare ensemble examples with more than 20 active characters, it’s a little easier to at least find some with lesser appeal from the main players.

Based on fan response, it seems there is one character who’s considered the least liked. If you thought we were alluding to Dr. Izzie Stevens, then you’d be right.

Other media have scoped this character out as having a questionable trajectory. Actress Katherine Heigl wasn’t happy about this either, especially since she went through some tough times regarding her career actions.

Why is Izzie so despised?

Grey's Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy | Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

TV Guide did a recent analysis of Grey’s least-liked characters and called out Dr. Stevens at #6 on their list. One of the things they weeded out was how much she seemed to have a Jekyll/Hyde personality. Of course, the writers likely thought this would bring some better character depth.

For Katherine Heigl, the speculation is still rampant about how much control she really had over her character. When Izzie was first introduced, we saw her as a warm, friendly, and transparent doctor. As time went on, we saw she had another side that turned her into a colder human being.

No one likes a character who seems deceptive, just as much as in real life. Fans also turned on her when she cut off a relationship with Alex in favor of patient Denny Duquette. Nevertheless, Heigl defended those actions based on Alex’s earlier abuse.

The logic of the Izzie character more or less imploded after this. Heigl didn’t like it either, leading to her eventual departure from the show. All of this turned fans even more against both, outside of critics embracing the character and garnering Emmy nominations.

Was the character a major writer mistake?

One could argue Shonda Rhimes let the Izzie Stevens character jump the shark, maybe because there was too much juggling of a larger ensemble of characters. When juggling that many pivotal characterizations, one is always bound to fall when Meredith Grey is the star.

Izzie basically derailed when the death of Denny precipitated her to start a romance with George O’ Malley (T.R. Knight). Heigl wanted Rhimes to have Izzie return to romancing Alex since it seemed more right based on their relationship improvement following some rocky times. Izzie and Alex also had much more in common.

Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, leaving Heigl upset with the writing team for ignoring her suggestions. It got so bad that when Heigl was nominated for an Emmy in 2008, she requested the nomination be dismissed because she thought the character was no longer realistic.

You could even find online critics who thought the character had become too passive-aggressive and condescending, something Heigl agreed was a major problem.

There’s no chance to redeem the character now

After Heigl left the Izzie role in 2010, there was far too much criticism about how she handled her departure. She had some other career issues later as well, making her Izzie character almost a surreal crossover into real life.

Later on, Heigl wanted to revisit the character to give an update on what happened to her. The character departure wasn’t due to her cancer (she manages to beat it) and instead due to her breaking up for good from Alex. Izzie’s departure from Seattle for new horizons will have to stay a mystery since Shonda Rhimes says she’s no longer interested in exploring the character.

Perhaps it’s a subtle admittance she made a big mistake with Izzie and probably can’t repair it.

Whatever take fans have, it’s a slight warning tale for future TV producers to assign astute writers directly to individual characters so latter never become a caricature from neglect.