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The Evolution Of Meredith Grey, In 5 Phases

- Grey's Anatomy -
The Evolution Of Meredith Grey, In 5 Phases

Meredith Grey is fighting for her fictional life, struck down by the pandemic that has claimed many real lives this year. We won’t know her fate until March. Grey's Anatomy's winter finale left us with exactly what we have been dreading since Season 17 began with her COVID-19 battle and several walks on the beach of near-death: our heroine, on a ventilator, barely holding on. If we really do lose her, it will mark a poignantly realistic end for one of television’s most extraordinary female character journeys.

Of course, we have no idea what’s in store in the spring. But as Meredith evaluates her own life on that beach, it’s worth saluting how far she has come, and what she’s contributed to television in the process. When the show premiered in 2005, female TV characters were much more limited. Desperate Housewives had just become a hit by centering some difficult women, but the medium was far more welcoming to damaged men like those on Boston Legal and House. Primetime’s only other female-driven hits featured benign crime-solvers like Crossing Jordan’s Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh and Medium’s Allison DuBois. We hadn’t seen such a flawed, difficult, commitmentphobic main female character since Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw made her first TV appearance in 1998 — and we hadn’t seen anything like her since.

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