Please don’t mock me if this is true, but I may be the last person in the United States still watching the ABC TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Is there any chance I am not alone in this? It’s OK if you don’t want to admit it. Many, many people believe the show has, as they say, jumped the shark, long ago lost any resemblance to a quality program, but it is one of my guilty pleasures.
In a recent episode* Dr. Meredith Grey, the show’s title character who began almost ten years ago as a surgical intern, was experiencing a streak of good luck. She hadn’t lost a patient or had an unsuccessful outcome in surgery in about three or four months. It seemed like impossibly good luck, and it did not go unnoticed among her peers and subordinates. In fact, she developed a literal following among the surgical interns. The student surgeons would flood her observation galleries as she practiced her craft. Everyone wanted in on one of Dr. Grey’s surgeries or wanted Dr. Grey working on the case for their patients. Defying the odds she seemed to almost miraculously be able to defy death.
When talking to a colleague about Dr. Grey’s new intern-disciples, fellow-surgeon Dr. Miranda Bailey tried to explain, “Don’t you remember what it was like to be a resident and have all this death around you being new, terrifying? Why do you think they care so much about this stupid streak? Death is scary. They just want to believe that there’s somebody out there who can defy it.”