Bored ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Claim They Want to Stop Watching, But Can’t

TV shows that know when to leave the airwaves early have always benefited from doing so, even if they’re usually bothered for years to reboot (which some have). Other shows have arguably stayed around way past their prime, yet just become forces of habit with their loyal viewers.

In the minds of Grey’s Anatomy viewers, there seems to be two camps thinking the show is still worthy of its 17 seasons, then others who think it should have ended a while ago.

Is it true some long-running series just continue to chug along based on viewer habit rather than the show truly being worthy of continuing? It’s worth looking at this a little more carefully and how this measures up for past classic shows and those in the future.

Are ‘Grey’s’ fans really bored?

CHRIS CARMACK on 'Grey's Anatomy'
CHRIS CARMACK on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/John Fleenor

If going by fan reaction on places like Reddit of late, a lot of Grey’s fans are merely continuing to watch because they always have. Or, they don’t seem to have anything better to do.

This alone says something about viewer habits and a curious case of people being bored in a time when there are a million entertainment options. Yes, with all the streaming and other things to do, it’s kind of amazing some people say they only watch Grey’s because it’s there and couldn’t seem to find anything else.

Maybe it’s a sign of streaming fatigue and everybody being maxed out on shows/movies watched on places like Netflix. Or, it may also be an indicator of people cutting the cord and maybe watching TV over-the-air for free.

Should this be the case, it’s great news for mainstream networks like ABC where viewership has been hemorrhaging for years.

‘Grey’s’ is like a soap opera in not being able to quit once started

There’s a good reason why soap operas aren’t completely dead either, outside of ratings being lower than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Many of the stories can still be addicting when in serialized format, hence keeping viewers tuning in to see the outcomes.

Grey’s has frequently worked the same way, giving a good explanation for why devoted fans keep tuning in. What does it say, though, when everyone complains about the diminished writing and supposed phoned-in performances on Grey’s?

Should Shonda Rhimes look at those comments carefully and consider ending the show before it starts to become like a zombified TV series? One could maybe argue some shows of the past (and a few other current long-running ones) dealt with the same situations.

What other shows from the past stayed too long on the air?

A lot of arguments have been made about a few classic shows that ran for a decade (or more) sticking around merely because they had diehard fans. Shows like Gunsmoke and Lassie stayed on the air for 20 years, yet it’s worth arguing both went on at least five years to a decade too long.

Cheers and Frasier are more examples of arguably going a few years overboard if still finishing with great writing and ratings. Nowadays, more than a few shows are already surpassing the runs of the above sitcoms and dramas.

The Simpsons is currently the longest-running fictional show in history at 31 seasons, followed by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Nobody can say those shows are running on fumes.

With this in mind, Grey’s may have to make a serious decision if it keeps heading toward a 20th season.

Maybe ‘Grey’s’ should end soon so its groundbreaking aspects will be remembered

Let’s not forget how much groundbreaking the show did in its earlier days. Having three women as the leads was already a major moment for TV, not including the diversity of the cast. Also, the stories have stayed compellingly close to the headlines, not including some experimental episodes never before tried.

All of that should be remembered if the show is truly coasting now. Not all fans think it’s gone downhill, even if Reddit is a stronger barometer than some want to admit.

Before the show does become too complacent, it should go back to doing more innovative things like it did in the beginning so it ends at a high point.