In the second episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “The First Cut is the Deepest”, the writing styles that were present in the first episode come more into play. As it is a show taking place almost entirely within the confines of a hospital, much of the dialogue is brusque and to the point, contributing to the overall atmosphere.
The writer, Shonda Rimes, obviously did her homework into medical jargon and the appropriate terms for procedures and injuries. Despite the professional terminology being a major part of all spoken interactions, this doesn’t take away the enjoyment from a viewer (like me) who has no idea what glomerulonephritis is (after Googling, it’s a kidney disease).
The writing style of the episode reminds me of reading a poem where the poet chooses not to use enjambment, instead having punctuation after every thought. That being said, the chopped articulation and quick speaking matches the pace of work that goes on in a hospital, especially for interns and in the OR. The choice to use this type of language was obviously very purposeful on Rimes’s part as it evokes the feeling of being in the scene along with Meredith and the other interns on a long shift.
Along with brief and to the point language, comes many quick scene cuts. The writing style of the episode actually helps to draw a thread through the entire (relatively scattered) plotline. In this specific episode, Meredith began by contemplating lines with her voiceover saying, “it’s all about lines”. Subsequently, she went on, throughout the episode, to discuss, whether in her head or out loud, the different types of lines that must be drawn. Through the idea of drawing a line, the episode touched on her relationship with Derek, her boss who she slept with and now wants a professional relationship with, figuring out a roommate situation and even tied in her fellow intern’s duty– having to suture wounds the whole day. The episode concludes with taking the line idea in a new way: stepping through boundaries and over lines to be able to accomplish more.
After watching two full episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, I have a lot of respect for a writer like Rimes who likely spent time in a hospital to write these scripts and for also having the wherewithal to draw a cohesive “line” throughout scenes that would otherwise be at odds with one another. This level of writing is part of what’s making me want to watch the whole season in one sitting!