If you know anybody who is an avid "Grey's Anatomy" fan, most of them will tell you that all it takes is one episode, and you're completely hooked. Having never seen it before, but hearing absolute raves about its addictive quality, I finally decided to rent Seasons 1-3 about a month ago, just to see what all the hype was about (plus, I am amenable to watching anything that has Patrick Dempsey in it).
As it turns out, they were right; all you need to do is watch one episode, and you're reeled in forever. As another reviewer has said, this is one of the finest and most satisfying pilot episodes you can possibly ask for. The characters are real, their individual issues are relatable, and the writing is so amazing, you know that it must take absolute geniuses to come up with deep, rich material like this every week. I don't know how they do it, but the situations in each episode are so gripping, you'll want to make sure you have access to the next episode, and the one after that, once you get started with it. Once you start watching one, you won't be able to stop, and if you don't believe me, pop in an episode and try to stop after just one :) Odds are you won't be able to do it!
This pilot basically begins the story of five naive surgical interns at Seattle Grace Hospital, eager to save the world and be the best they can be. There's sweet and timid George, with parents who tell everyone they meet that their son is a surgeon; beautiful blonde-haired Izzie, a former trailer park resident who made it through med school by modeling; ultra-determined Cristina, who is competitive and ready to be the best; and arrogant jerk Alex, who would have plenty of potential in his favor if he would just get his attitude in check. Then, of course, there's Meredith Grey, the show's namesake, the one intern who has perhaps the biggest advantage because her mother is a renowned surgeon (with a dark secret that Meredith is not ready to reveal just yet).
We've also got the current residents and surgeons on staff, including Miranda "Nazi" Bailey (one of the most dynamic, well-rounded, and likable TV characters I've seen in a long time), lady's man Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd, and Chief of Surgery Richard Weber, among others. Each character has issues and connections to one another that envelope you into the episodes, but the diverse patients who come in and out of the hospital are equally interesting to watch. Again, it's that writing that makes you wonder how any human being is able to pull it off.
If you're like me and are considering giving the show a try after hearing all the great things about it, it doesn't get any better than this pilot episode, where all the characters are introduced for the very first time. From the very beginning, you just look at it and know it's going to be great--the kind of show you want to tune in for week after week. Right now, the series just wrapped up a rough fourth season and is prepping for a fifth, and it seems to be going downhill quickly, but with the talent of the writers, I think they have the potential to get it back to where it was in Seasons 1 and 2. This is, after all, one of those shows that has every bit of potential to have a decade's worth of seasons. Note that I said "potential." Some things with the plots and the characters may need to change, but I think they can pull it off. At this point, at the beginning of the series, the heart of it all is the interns, who are just starting out and have to go through all the pain, the guts, and the humiliation before they can prove that they have what it takes. Of course, they will become friends, but there is also a huge amount of competition among them, and once they all get to know each other on a more personal level, it just gets that much messier--and more compelling to watch it unfold. The storylines get increasingly complicated, and mark my words, you'll be shocked and furious at some of the decisions they make with the individual plots, but you keep wanting to come back for more, and that's the magic of it. This is where you get to see where it all began, and you can practically smell a contemporary classic in the making!