Although I was a bit reluctant when I started watching Grey’s Anatomy, I have been absolutely hooked. To be honest, I finished a season and a half in one night! Grey’s Anatomy is shot in Seattle at the Seattle Grace Hospital. It is a lesser known fact that Seattle has, statistically, the most suicides in a year in any US city. This may seem like a random fact but it is actually very important to setting the tone in this show. Research shows that because it rains so often in Seattle and because the sky is often grey, it causes Seattle citizens to subconsciously feel gloomier. And coincidentally enough, the main character’s name is Grey. This setting factors in to allow the viewer to share the gloomy and scary reality of working at a hospital: the 48 hour shifts, the helplessness of losing one’s patient who you were talking to just an hour ago, breaking the news to family, giving up social life, etc. Furthermore, the doctors wear shades of dull blues to add to the melancholy and serious vibe at the hospital. However, whenever there is a scene where a patient miraculous defeats the odds and survives the background colors are always noticeably more vibrant and brighter. It’s amazing how a simple play of colors can affect the viewers’ experiences so greatly. Generally, the show has longer cuts, especially during medical procedures to show how the tedious the work can get. For example, they removed a 20-pound tumor and the long cut showed how difficult and uncomfortable it was for intern doctors to hold up the tumor while surgeons operated. In these specific scenarios, quick cuts would undermine the amount of diligence and patience required from these doctors.
Above are the somber colors typical of the normal day at the Seattle Grace Hospital (SGH).