I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy from the very first season. With regard to its treatment of issues around single life and marriage, it has been a mixed bag. I thought the early shows were the strongest in that regard. Two themes were central – the characters’ friendships with one another, and their total, utter devotion to and love of their work.
Remember that early episode when Izzie’s boyfriend from her modeling days had come to Seattle to visit, and she excitedly told him about how incredible it was to hold a human brain in her hands during an intense surgery? That did not compute for the boyfriend, and that was the end of him.
The show turned matrimaniacal over time. I think there was even one episode featuring three weddings. I know, I should be ashamed of myself for continuing to watch, but there have always been redeeming features – such as the bond between Christina and Meredith. “You are my person.” That’s what they say to each other. It is the platonic equivalent of the most romantic thing ever.
But with Mer getting married and having kids, things are changing. Another huge change is guaranteed to happen – Christina is getting written out of the show. So how will that happen? I have been trying to figure that out and so far, I can’t. (If you have not watched the latest episode, then take this as a spoiler alert.)
But the most recent episode (10-31-13), as of this writing, had Christina wondering whether she should bother going to the kiddie-focused Halloween party that Mer has been planning – and forgot to invite Christina to (or just didn’t invite her until things got awkward). Ultimately, she decides to stop by and drop off the cupcakes Mer asked her to bring, and stay to have a beer.
When she gets there, though, the kid frenzy is in full gear, and Mer doesn’t even notice that she has arrived. So she puts down the cupcakes, pivots, and leaves.
Of all of the big-bang ways that shows often use to write out their most significant characters (e.g., they die of some horrible disease, they get killed), wouldn’t it be fascinating if Grey’s used as its exit script the hard feelings that develop between people who are single and those who marry and have kids?
But is it even true that as single people move into coupledom and kid-land, they start socializing more with other couples and parents and less with single people? And if that is so, who is ditching whom? Every time I have written about this in the past, debate erupts. The definitive research has yet to be done. There are some relevant studies, though, and you can find discussions of some of them here (scroll down after clicking).
Ellen Pompeo image available from Shutterstock.