When a television show lasts 11 seasons, it’s generally because of two things: it’s a moneymaker for the network or the ratings are through the roof. With the season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” approaching in the next few weeks, I’ve found myself still captivated by the series 11 years later. A lot has happened over the course of the show. Characters have come and gone, relationships have grown or dissolved, and the high-stakes medical plots have continued to break barriers. Season 11 has demonstrated to me that the series can still reinvent itself after all this time, and it’s proving to be the show’s best season in quite sometime.
When Sandra Oh decided to leave the series after 10 seasons. It was a sad blow and her departure episode was heartbreaking, but in the end it provided the final stamp on a chapter and the beginning of a new one.
The end of season 10 offered a new burst of life by introducing two new characters to the show. First, Kelly McCreary would join the series as Dr. Maggie Pierce. McCreary’s character has been such a welcome to the ensemble cast. Dr. Pierce is a fiery, quirky and brilliantly talented surgeon who offers an enticing backstory that ties into Dr. Webber’s and Meredith’s lives. McCreary’s portrayal of the character is exceptional, and, even in times where she might be annoying, I can’t help but like her and root for her.
Also joining the main cast this season is Caterina Scorsone as Dr. Amelia Shepherd. This makes Scorsone’s first time being a regular in the character of Amelia on the show. Previously, she portrayed Amelia on the “Grey’s” spinoff “Private Practice” from season three to six and had only guest starred on “Grey’s” in season seven before becoming a recurring character late in season 10. I have loved the character of Amelia Shepherd ever since her time on “Private Practice.” She is my favorite of the Shepherd siblings and has one of the best character developments on the series.
Another new cast member this season, though on a recurring basis, was Geena Davis as Dr. Nicole Herman. Her storyline has been one of my favorites in quite a while on the show, and Davis just kills her portrayal of the character. If she’s not nominated for Best Guest Actress in a Drama at the Emmy’s, I will be shocked. I’m not sure how Davis would be able to come on as a series regular next season after recent events in the show, but I really would hate not seeing her.
Going into the season, Rhimes said that this season of the show was going revolve heavily around Meredith and that it has. Ellen Pompeo continues to shine in the lead role of the series. She is the backbone of the show and it’s nice to see after all of this time that the character can still surprise the audience and continue to evolve.
Shonda Rhimes is the lady behind all of the greatness that is “Grey’s” and praise must be give to her. She continues to push the envelope for what modern television should represent. She is unafraid to depict the stories and situations that people are facing currently. If Rhimes created a show about reading the telephone book, I’d watch. Everything she touches seems to turn into television gold, and she continues to work on new television projects. It doesn’t look like Shondaland will be going away anytime soon and that perfectly fine by me.
Still a steady performer in the ratings and the ever-coveted 18-49 demographic, it’s safe to say the show will return for a 12th season. If it continues to evolve as it has this season, there may not be an end too soon in sight for the series. Eleven seasons in and “Grey’s Anatomy” is still one of best dramas on TV. With excellent writing and an awesome ensemble cast, I can’t wait to see what’s next in the lives of the doctors at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs at 7 p.m. CDT Thursdays on ABC.