Grey’s Anatomy is a medical T.V. series that focuses on surgical interns, residents, and attending physicians as they learn and grow and become seasoned doctors, while at the same time, trying to maintain healthy relationships, keep their personal lives in tact, and still have fun as they work long and stressful hours. The show first aired on March 27, 2005 and is still going today with its 15th season premiering on September 27. Throughout the show's long history, fans have seen many characters come and go.
According to Wikipedia, when it comes to picking actors for the many roles, the creator, head writer, and producer of Grey’s Anatomy, Shondra Rhimes, has made sure to only use a color-blind casting technique. The result of this technique made it so the show could have a racially diverse cast. Each character in the show was written without a specific race, and by doing this, Rhimes’ was able to hire anyone who fit the part, without having to worry about specific races, which in turn kept her vision of having a diverse crew alive.
Some cast members, though, were met with hate, be it their roles, or their acting skills. Some fans found their story lines to be irrelevant, or not need, while some characters who were introduced, seemed to have saved the show and made it more interesting.
Here are 11 casting decisions that saved the show, and 16 that fans did not understand.
27 T.R. Knight (George) won our hearts
George O’Malley was probably one of the most loveable characters on Grey’s Anatomy. T.R. Knight, who played the part of George, did an amazing job and portrayed George perfectly during his time on the show.
According to releasemama.com, the loss of adorable George hit fans across the world really hard. George, who didn’t have much luck when it came to the ladies, was always there for his friends, always made everyone laugh, and just an all around little brother type to his close friends.
Sadly, he was dropped in the season five season finally. The victim of a horrific bus crash, George enters the hospital after having saved the life of a young woman and in turn being hit by a bus in her stead. He is unrecognizable after the accident and his friends have no idea who he is for a while there. Luckily, Meredith figures it out before George sadly passes out.
George’s passing was the first of a main cast member, making the show have to step up and raise the stakes to an entirely different level.
26 Eric Dane (Mark) charmed us all
Mark Sloan was probably another fan favorite that everyone wished didn’t have to go. Mark Sloan, played by Eric Dane, was known on the show as being a player who had in the past had a thing with his best-friend Derek’s wife. As the show went on, we watched though as he grew, became friends again with Derek, fell in love, and even had a child.
According to releasemama.com, he became such a loved inspiration to the lives of those around him, that they even renamed part of the hospital after him when he died, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Thanks to the amazing performance done by Eric Dane, Mark became more than just “McSteamy,” he became a father, a friend, and a all-around great guy and one of Grey’s Anatomy’s most iconic male characters.
25 Chandra Wilson (Bailey) is a boss
Chandra Wilson has done an amazing role as the character of Bailey and the four Emmy nominations she has received for this role can prove that. For fourteen seasons now, she has made her character a powerhouse among the others at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Bailey has been an important character on the show since the beginning. She is committed to her job and doing what is right, no matter what the cost, she is loyal and will fight like hell for all her patients, and even with the long hours, stressful situations, and everything else going on in the hospital, still finds time to fight to try and keep her marriage together, even though it was destined to fail according to releasemama.com.
Though Bailey is known for being hard and not someone you want to mess with, she has proven now and again she also has a soft side and Chandra Wilson has made sure to play her role right to allow viewers to see that side of Bailey.
24 Patrick Dempsey (Derek) will always be McDreamy
Grey’s Anatomy is known for having many surprising twists and tragic losses. One in particular being the loss of “McDreamy,” a.k.a. Derek Shepherd.
The passing of Derek Shepard, who was played by Patrick Dempsey, was probably one of the most surprising on the show and one that no one saw coming. According to releasemama.com, it is also a loss that the show hasn’t been able to creatively rebound back from.
Derek Shepard was one of the show’s most icon male characters. Patrick Dempsey did an amazing job portraying his character. He had such strength, love, warmth, and sometimes pain, and Dempsey nailed each one when he had to.
It is safe to say that the show is lesser without him.
23 James Pickens, Jr. (Richard) gives a sense of comfort
Dr. Richard Webber, portrayed by James Pickens, Jr., is probably the most overlooked characters of the ever-changing cast. Having mentored most of the young residents for the 14 seasons the show has been on the air, Richard has been found to be easily brushed off and not be worth as much attention as the other characters.
However, no matter how overlooked he is in the show, he is always there for advice, counsel and to be an emotional center for his friends and family, which is big, seeing as he has his own struggles with his drinking, his wife’s Alzheimer’s, and his regrets and memories of his relationship with Meredith’s mom, Ellis Grey. James Pickens, Jr., has done an amazing job bringing this character to life.
22 Sandra Oh (Christina) will forever be our person
Cristina Yang once said, “Screw beautiful. I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain.” Fans who love Cristina Yang, will have no problem remembering that saying.
From the beginning, Cristina had one goal, to be uncompromising, bold, brave and brilliant, and to strive for greatness. She wanted to be the very best surgeon she could be, while letting no one stand in her way.
But, everyone breaks sooner or later, and Cristina had her moments while on the show. From her heartbreak after Burke left her at the altar to moments of love with her best friend Meredith.
Thanks to the amazing portrayal done by Sarah Oh of Christina Yang, Cristina has cemented her place as one of the shows strongest and best characters to date.
21 We greatly miss Chyler Leigh (Lexie)
Lexie Grey, portrayed by Chyler Leigh, was probably one of the shows most iconic and loveable characters. Not only did fans love the character though, but they also loved Chyler and her amazing portrayal of the character.
Thanks to Chyler’s incredible performance, Lexie offered a center of light and warmth for the entire cast of characters across entire tenure on the series.
The passing of Lexie Grey was probably the shows biggest mistake, not only because the loss of such a loveable character, but also because of the loss the show suffered of such a talented actress.
20 Kevin McKidd (Owen) showed us a different side to it all
Own Hunt, played by Kevin McKidd, was first introduced to the show in season 5 and has since been a major part of the main cast.
When Owen came to the show, he brought to it a new experience. He opened the show to a new experience as a trauma surgeon who use to be in the military. As the time progressed, we learn that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, which is also a very common condition for those who have serviced to suffer from.
Grey’s Anatomy, before Owen Hunt, had been a show known for focusing on the physically ill side of being a doctor. Which is why when Owen Hunt entered the picture, it was now taking on a new subject to tackle, mental illness.
Thanks to the incredible performance by Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Grey’s Anatomy was able to welcome a new type of audience to the show.
19 Kim Raver (Teddy) is back
Teddy Altman, who was portrayed by Kim Raver, first entered the scene during season six. Throughout her time on the show, we watch her go through being a doctor for the military, trying to get over her feeling for Owen Hunt, dealing with the attack at the hospital, and even marrying and losing Henry.
According to screenrant.com, it was interesting how over time Kim Raver’s character started to have more impact on the show, then others who have been on the show for years.
Thanks to popular demand, Teddy will be reappearing back on the show for season 15.
18 Jesse Williams (Jackson) was a big surprise
Jackson Avery, who is played by Jesse Williams, is one character that seems to have been in the show since the beginning, when he was only introduced in season six.
As his time on the show progresses, we get to watch him grow, not only as an experienced plastic surgeon, but also as person. He finds love with someone he never thought he would be with, had two kids, one that sadly passes away, and goes through a messy divorce.
The character of Jackson has become one of Grey’s Anatomy’s important characters over time. Not only is he a brilliant doctor, but he is also “eye candy" for many fans.
17 Sarah Ramirez (Callie) had big storylines
Fans around the world are so smitten with the lovable Callie Torres that they often forget she was not originally part of the original cast. That’s right, Callie Torres didn’t make her big debut until season two of the show.
When Callie first entered on to the show, we watch as she falls in love with the lovable George O’Malley. Their relationship was a stressful one, but it wasn't long before they rush off to Vegas to elope. Unfortunately, their love is not an everlasting one and they are divorced before we know it, which opens for a whole new experience on the show with Grey’s Anatomy’s first lesbian couple.
In season twelve, Sarah Ramirez, the actress who plays Callie, decided to take a break from her role, which in turn led to Callie moving away to New York.
16 we're glad Brooke Smith (Erica) left
According to releasemama.com, when it comes to Grey’s Anatomy, there are many times when a character is introduced into the story line with the sole purpose of furthering a character’s journey.
For Erica Hahn, played by Brooke Smith, this is exactly what happened to her, but was the least successful. When Erica Hahn was brought on to the show, it wasn’t long before she became a romantic interest to the beautiful Callie Torres. Fans found this choice to be wrong right away, though. Not just because of their lack of chemistry, but because of Hahn’s lack of personality.
It is hard to say if this was the writer’s fault, or if it had something to do with Brooke Smith’s rendition of her character.
15 it took some time to fall for Camilla Luddington (Jo)
When it comes to Grey’s Anatomy storylines, they have made sure to cover many different struggles and social issues, some being addiction, PTSD, and many different conditions and diseases.
The show took on a different situation when it brought in Camilla Luddington to play the role of Jo Wilson. According to releasemama.com, it took a while for fans to learn who Jo really was. Jo, whose real name is actually Brooke, was in fact on the run from her husband Paul.
Though the story line behind this new character is an interesting one and sends a strong message of empowerment and strength for those being abused, many have found it to be difficult to endure due to Camilla Luddington’s acting skills, thus making Jo’s character muddled.
14 Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Denny) shouldn't have come back
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is one actor who takes his job seriously. Be it Supernatural, The Walking Dead, or his part in Grey’s Anatomy as Denny Duquette, he knows how to play his character.
At the beginning of Grey’s Anatomy, when he was first introduced, his relationship with Izzie Stevens had its sweet moments. All those moments were quickly thrown out the window though when the creators of the show decided to rewrite him into the show after his death as a ghost. Not only was he seen now and again as a ghost, but they also added him some romantic scenes between Izzie and his ghost.
Sadly, even though Jeffrey Dean Morgan tried his best to make the character great, no amount of acting could have made that storyline less creepy.
13 Caterina Scorsone (Amelia) can be a little much
Grey’s Anatomy is known for wowing fans with its many different dysfunctional family storylines. One storyline though that was played by Caterina Scorsone, who played Derek’s little sister Amelia, had fans questioning the shows casting decisions.
When Amelia first appeared on the show, she came with lots of baggage. Between struggling with the loss of her newborn child and boyfriend, she was a mess.
Some fans felt as though Caterina Scorsone was not the best actress for the part. According to releasemama.com, being paired with other big time actors such as Patrick Dempsey and Kevin McKidd, made is so she did not stand a chance when it came to properly portraying such a traumatic character.
12 Sarah Drew (April) was too intense at times
April Kepner, who is played by Sarah Drew has been a thorny character since first appearing on the show. She is also known for being persnickety, sanctimonious and judgmental to nearly everyone that she meets.
Throughout her time on the show, April has learned to loosen up. She even had a messy relationship with Jackson Avery, resulting in a failed marriage, two kids, one that sadly passed away, and both of them changing for the worst. One could say that as April grew less reserved, her judgmental nature grew to take its place, along with her melodramatic behavior.
Sadly, Sarah Drew’s portrayal of the young April Kepner has ever been mediocre, and fans find that her acting ranges either from overwrought or underperformed.
11 Jessica Capshaw (Arizona) really upset fans at times
Throughout the shows running, there have been many incidents where characters have messed up and done something so bad, that they have lost fans love for them for a little bit.
One character who did something so terrible that fans are still upset was Arizona, played by Jessica Capshaw.
Not only did she treat poor Callie like crap for the first year after being on the plane crash, being lost for a week, and then losing her leg, but she also betrayed her when they were still married and then decided to engage in a very ugly custody battle that resulted in her winning and taking Callie’s daughter.
10 Kelly McCreary (Maggie) tries too hard
Be it a long-lost parent, a relationship scandal, or even a sibling showing up out of the blue and disrupting everyone’s lives, this is what makes Grey's so interesting. However, when the writers of the show decided to give Meredith not one surprise sister, but two, they kind of ruined it and went a little to far. It was as if they were trying to replace Lexie, who was played by Chyler Leigh, which we all know is impossible.
Kelly McCreary’s portrayal of Meredith’s second surprise sister Maggie Pierce, according to releasemama.com, lefts viewers that Maggie is just simply someone who tries to hard to fit in with everything around her, when in fact, she doesn’t belong there in the first place.
Let’s not forget though the horrible development of interest between Maggie and her step-brother, Jackson Avery.
9 Katherine Heigl (Lizzie) wasn't easy to work with
Izzie Stevens, played by Katherine Heigl, was one character that has been known as the weakest out of the M.A.G.I.C group since the first season.
The character Izzie Stevens was known for being bratty, entitled, and just all around judgmental, but it was even worst behind the scenes. There was so much drama between Heigl and the creator of the show, Shondra Rhimes, that when Izzie left the show years ago, Heigl’s career spiralled downhill.
Between Heigl’s inability to match up performance wise to the other big time actors and actresses, or to the flimsy characterization that Izzie was given, it is safe to say that the character and the actress was probably one of Grey’s Anatomy’s biggest mistakes to date.
8 Martin Henderson (Nathan) came too early
After the passing of Derek Shepard, Grey’s Anatomy introduced a new man that would soon become Meredith’s new love interest, Nathan Riggs, who was played by Martin Henderson.
Nathan first appeared in season twelve, and right away, it was obvious that the writers of the show wanted Meredith Grey to find love quickly and move on, even though Derek’s shadow was still lurking around every corner. Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith, had this to say during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “I couldn’t believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a [man] in there. We brought in Martin Henderson, but they didn’t love the storyline, so that ended.”
7 Geena Davis (Nicole) didn't win everyone over
Nicole Herman, played by Geena Davis, was a real love it or hate it type of role with the fans of Grey’s Anatomy. Some fans of the hit ABC television show love her, but then there are a group that absolutely despise her.
Geena Davis’ character appeared in and out of the show between seasons eleven and fourteen. She had a total of thirteen episodes and throughout them, we see her struggle, with what she thought, was an inoperable brain tumor and trying to teach Arizona everything she knows before she dies. In the end, the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital are able to save her, but she was left blinded.
6 Robert Baker (Charles) didn't connect with fans
When Seattle Grace Hospital merged with Mercy West Medical Center, it brought a whole new line of characters to the show that we as fans never saw before. One character being Charles Percy, played by Robert Baker, who many fans have considered to be the worst character decision yet.
Fans around the world, according to screentrant.com, have commented on not only did his character hurt the show, but he was also just outright mean to the other doctors and staff that worked at the hospital.
Thankfully, he did not last long as his time on the show came to end during season twelve when his character was written off.
5 Samantha Sloyan (Penny) was a fan-favorite
Penny Blake, played by Samantha Sloyan, is a character that fans of the show know as Derek's doctor. The writers of Grey’s Anatomy have tried to redeem her since her involvement with the passing of Derek, but no matter what they do, fans will never forget who she is.
When Penny first entered back into the scene it was the creator’s way of trying to redeem her as Callie’s new girlfriend. We soon learn though that she is not only her girlfriend, but also is coming to work at the hospital. Penny quickly tries to redeem herself and show everyone that she is a good doctor, and she deserves to be there.
Luckily, fans who despised her, did not have to deal with her for very long. The show found a way to escort out of the picture and to some other hospital.
4 Jerrika Hinton (Stephanie) didn't have a huge effect
Stephanie Edwards, played by Jerrica Hidman, is a perfect example of a character the creator’s brought in, but didn’t know what to do with once they were written in.
The character of Stephanie was first introduced as in intern. She was soon thrown into a relationship with Grey Sloan’s own hunky plastic surgeon, Jackson Avery, but was left at the alter you could sort of say when he took off with the bride, April Kepner. Her ultimate departure from the show though came when she became a central figure in a fire that was started inside the hospital.
For five years, the creators could never find her place in the hospital among the cast and instead was pulled in all different kinds of directions. She was one character the show could have done without.
3 Hilarie Burton (Lauren) caused too much trouble
Lauren Boswell, played by Hilarie Burton, had one major storyline her entire time on the show: be the woman that Arizona would be with while married to Callie. Other than that, she served no purpose to the series. For most fans that hated her, she thankfully was not in the show long and departed right after she broke up one of the most loved couple in the show.
Thanks to Lauren, a crack formed between Arizona and Callie, a crack in their marriage that they just could not overcome. They later divorced and went through an awful custody battle when Callie moved on and moved away.
2 Tessa Ferrer (Leah) didn't add anything special
When the two hospitals merged in season nine, we saw a lot of new faces come into the show as new interns. One face being Leah Murphy, played by Tessa Ferrer. Leah proved that interns were not just funny and smart like we had learned from the past interns but could also be a major headache and great annoyance.
Leah Murphy was founded to a lot of fans of the show, to be the most annoying intern in the history of Grey’s Anatomy. When she left the show due to not having what it takes to be a good doctor at the hospital, we thought that was the end, but sadly, the show decided to bring her back in season thirteen. She is one character they should of left gone.
1 Gaius Charles (Shane) was written off quickly
The character of Shane Ross, played by Gaius Charles, was another intern that was ranked worst intern in the history of the show along with Leah Murphy. After the passing of Heather Brooks, Shane’s presence in the hospital revolved around his guilt for her passing. The thing is, while sympathetic, his guilt never developed into anything else, causing his character to be just pointless in the show, according to screenrant.com.
The character of Shane Ross proves to fans how Grey’s Anatomy, while an amazing show, has a hard time coming up with good storylines for so many different characters at once.
References: releasemama.com, screenrant.com