Grey's Anatomy

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Grey's Anatomy TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Medical soap is gripping -- and occasionally graphic.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 80 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 308 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show portrays doctoring as a tough business that brings up difficult ethical dilemmas, and the takeaways are rarely black and white. That said, the doctors often act heroically to save lives. Themes include compassion and empathy. Many storylines also promote awareness of conditions like Alzheimer's, etc. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are intelligent, ambitious and dedicated to their jobs, and there's good diversity among the cast. They make mistakes, but they're also aware that -- when they do -- the stakes are higher than they are for most people. Negative actions (such as cheating on partners, having a drinking problem, etc.) usually bring about negative consequences, but not always right away.


Scenes aren't always graphic, but are occasionally gory and can involve surgeries, blood, critical injuries, and even death. Some episodes deal with shootings, explosions and other violent incidents.


The show puts a lot of emphasis on the characters' personal relationships, most of which are sexual in nature. There's plenty of bed-hopping between co-workers, including some same-sex pairings. While the characters kiss, embrace, and have implied sex, no sensitive body parts are shown.


Some language of the "ass" and "damn" variety.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters meet regularly at a local bar to de-stress after work. One character uses alcohol to the point that it negatively impacts his career, and he's temporarily suspended. But he eventually goes through rehab and makes positive changes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grey's Anatomy is an addictive primetime drama meant for an adult audience and that has many adult themes, including sexual relationships among most of the show's characters, in addition to copious blood and occasionally graphic surgeries. There's some mild language, too, and characters often turn to alcohol to relieve occupational stress. For adults who like medical soap operas, it's an excellent choice; just make sure the kids are asleep first.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymichellebrooks May 4, 2020

Is it a good tv show?

This is a great medical drama! You would be missing out. It's a great show with great morals and life lessons! It makes you laugh but teaches you right and... Continue reading
Adult Written byDr.KevinMeyers June 25, 2018


It's A pretty good show with a little bit of sex, drama, and medical knowledge. Though, I don't find it very accurate medically (I'm a doctor), I... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 25, 2016


Having finished the 9th season, I know my review may seem hypocritical, as I am only 11. I believe that age doesn't matter really, when it comes to Grey... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bygreysfan123 July 29, 2016

Grey's Anatomy should be aged 13+

I love grey's anatomy. I think that it should be aged 13+. Sure, it has sexual content, graphic images, and more, but 13 year olds are mature enough to kno... Continue reading

What's the story?

GREY'S ANATOMY is a hospital-set dramedy that follows the lives of five interns (who, over the course of the series, become full-fledged doctors) as they adjust to their new surroundings at Seattle Grace Hospital. The series' opening scene takes place during the awkward morning after a one-night stand between the show's namesake, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), and neurosurgeon Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) -- who, as it turns out, also works at the hospital. From there, the story evolves to include other interns, tenured doctors and the various patients they treat.

Is it any good?

The show's writers have proven that they're not above ridiculous plotlines involving ghost sex, a patient who wants butt implants, or a crazy man walking around with a bomb inside his body. But aside from the soapy, sexual overtones, what has so many people hooked on Grey's Anatomy is the complexity of its characters. So while Meredith is beautiful and smart, she's also remarkably flawed -- and as the series goes on, her story only deepens.

The same can be said for other ensemble members: For example, while Cristina (Sandra Oh) provides most of the comic relief through cunning wit and side-splitting dialogue, she, too, goes through life-altering moments. Over time, these are characters you become attached to -- and grow to love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about relationships that take place in the workplace (or in high school or college classes), like those on Grey's Anatomy. Are these types of relationships a good idea? What are the negative consequences of getting romantically involved with someone you work closely with?

  • How accurately does the show portray the medical profession? Do you think the bed-hopping and personal problems are overblown for the sake of ratings, or is it rooted in reality?

  • How does this medical soap compare to others like it on the air, or even those that have come before it, such as ER?

  • How do the characters on Grey's Anatomy demonstrate compassion and empathy? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

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