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G is for Grey’s Anatomy.

The first three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy are absolutely addictive. I recently re-watched the series from the start due to insomnia, and couldn’t at first pinpoint the reason the rest felt a bit blah until McDreamy died. (Sorry, spoiler-alert.) I know that I stopped watching for a while after McSteamy died and again after Cristina left (she was my favourite). But I didn’t know why I could watch the first three seasons without end and only watch the rest while pedalling away on my stationary bike.

Cast from season 3 of Shonda Rhime’s Grey’s Anatomy.

So, I watched the first three seasons again while pedalling away on that poor stationary bike. (One of these days I’ll be able to do the Argus…) And I figured out a few things that stood out in those first seasons and made it as addictive as ice-cream.

Humour.

Lots and lots of humour. And not in the Adam Sandler way (that’s a whole different kind). Some of it’s subtle; some of it is dark and twisty; some of it depends entirely on the situation and the character’s facial expressions; some of it isn’t even laugh-out-loud funny but more of a smirk and thinking “Dumbass”.

Complex Characters.

Every character has a full backstory. We may not know until we meet Bailey’s husband that she’s married, but all the signs are already there long before she tells Derek that she’s been happily married for years. And there’s a reason Cristina chose to be a heart surgeon long before she was allowed to declare a specialty… Let’s not forget how Karev’s upbringing had shaped him (before he is “trained” by Cristina, Meredith and Bailey to become the awesome guy he is in the newest seasons).

Unpredictable Plot Twists.

I won’t forget Meredith’s expression when she found out that Derek was actually married. Who saw that coming? And then, despite trying to figure things out again with Derek, it turns out that Addie didn’t have a cheap affair with McSteamy – it was real and they were going to have a baby. Wow. Meredith sort of committed suicide via drowning in the harbour (okay, she flirts with death a lot – the bomb, the gunman, the plane crash, falling down the stairs while pregnant… though the last two were acts of fate). And remember when Callie had such low self-esteem that she married George? And then he cheated on her with Izzy (his supposed best friend) before the blonde got delusional from skin cancer and George was taken out by karma in the form of a bus crushing him…

There’s so much to say about the plot twists (like Burke knowing how to cook) and how it relates to the characters being extremely complex (like Addie wanting a baby and yet aborting Mark’s baby) that by the time I’m done typing this, the next season would already have started…

Cast from season 1

So how do we make our own writing as addictive as Grey’s Anatomy?

Probably by incorporating humour (still tricky for those of us who aren’t funny), properly creating our characters with details that we won’t even use but will make the character real (mine are alive and well, and living in my house) and making sure that the plot twists are as strange and unexpected as anything in Grey’s Anatomy or Goosebumps (I still get nightmares about haunted cars and teachers eating their students…)

I’m off to add more twists and turns to my Camp NaNoWriMo project. And you?

 

“You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.” – James G Blikey

 

So, are you addicted to Grey’s Anatomy? Anything else (plot, structure, character, etc.) you can think of that makes it awesome? Do you have strange characters living in your house that no-one else can see?

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