You Messed Up, Shonda

If you don’t watch, or don’t like, Grey’s Anatomy, please look away. This post is not for you. I will hear no comments about how TV shows are silly and it’s not real life or anything like that. You can think I’m sad and pathetic, that’s fine. But don’t tell me about it. I have feelings, and I have to share them.

Dear Shonda,

You screwed up. Big time. I’m not talking about killing off Derek. I actually understand that. I hate it, but I get it. He wanted off the show, maybe you wanted him off. There wasn’t a better way to do it. There was no good way to set it up for him to leave Meredith; that would have been even worse. And clearly you weren’t ready to end the show and let them live happily ever after. So fine, Derek has a tragic accident. I get it.

But THEN. Then what do you do? You skip over all the grieving. Within three episodes, there’s talk of everything that gets broken being healed, and Meredith is dancing with a smile on her face. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad she’s healing. We all want her to heal. But you cheated us.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who strongly identifies with Meredith. That’s why the show succeeds, right? You have to connect with the main character(s). In some small way, I *am* Meredith Gray. And my husband is my own personal McDreamy. So when Derek was dying, it felt personal. That could happen to me. That could happen to my husband. It was traumatic and horrible and painful and agonizing, and Meredith struggled to deal with it.

At least we assume she did. We have to assume, because we don’t know. She disappeared for A YEAR and we get nothing. For ten years, we have been through every step of the way with Derek and Meredith. From their first meeting to falling in love to Addison and “choose me, pick me, love me” to Post-it to Zola and Bailey to DC and back. Every single one of those things, we lived right alongside Meredith. This decade-long romance ends tragically, and it’s like a curtain falls. We don’t get to grieve WITH Meredith. We don’t get to see how she finds the strength to go on, even though that’s one of the things we love dearly about her: her will to go on.

I know, I know. This ISN’T real life. He’s just a character on a TV drama. But you can strongly connect with characters whether they’re in a book or a movie or on TV. And Meredith and Derek have been a constant for me for a very long time. This was a rough way to end it. Now, I’m not completely crazy. No, I’m not sad every day about Derek. I don’t cry about him until watching the show makes me cry. But I was invested in her, him, them. I visited them every week for a long time, so yeah, they felt like friends in a really weird way.

And Shonda, you took Meredith from us when we needed her the most. We needed to go through the process WITH her. We needed to see how it affected her, how it affected everyone else. We saw Callie cry a little bit over Derek. We saw Amelia cry over Derek, but that scene was more about Amelia’s growth. Heck, we saw April sobbing after Jackson’s ultimatum. But Meredith loses Derek, and all we get is one mini-breakdown that she cuts short. Seriously? I mean, seriously? Let the girl cry! And let us watch! We want to cry with her. We deserve to cry with her.

These last few episodes have been disappointing. You moved on way more quickly than Derek deserved. Oh, I’ll keep watching. I always do. Of course I want to see where Meredith goes next. But I think the magic is gone.

Sincerely,

A formerly devoted viewer

2 thoughts on “You Messed Up, Shonda

  1. I never liked the way they handled Izzie, when Katherine Heigl left. Or the whole George thing. So… is it any wonder why she screwed this up, too?

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