Before someone really original and snarky heads straight to the comments section to query, “This show is still on?” the answer is yes, and it actually continues to be a satisfying hit with a whole lot of heart as it heads into its 11th season. The first mega-hit in the Shonda Rhimes TV empire, in the beginning Grey’s featured plenty of heterosexual action with doctors and interns hooking up in on-call rooms and disseminating the finer points of their relationships over various gaping wounds.
But toward the end of the show’s fourth season sexy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres (Tony winner Sara Ramirez), who’d had plenty of her own stints in the on-call room, found herself attracted to heart surgeon Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith).
The two engaged in a brief affair that had Erica proclaiming her gayness while Callie struggled with her identity. Hahn exited the show but the producers kept with Callie’s storyline and introduced Dr. Arizona Robbins (an out lesbian) as her love interest the following season. Since they first fell in love in season 5, Callie and Arizona have survived Arizona’s move to Africa, a baby, car crashes, plane crashes, lost limbs, breakups, marriage, infidelity, and a musical episode.
Callie came out as bisexual years before the most recent, very welcomed spate of queer characters on TV, and the adorable docs may well be television’s longest-running same-sex couple. And here’s the even better rub — they are actual sexual beings who have sex that gets depicted on the show. ABC is network, so don’t expect any Blue Is the Warmest Color on-call room moments, but the point is that they are a long-term, vibrant, and well-rounded couple.
If the Callie and Arizona storyline isn’t enough to entice queer viewers, Grey’s continues to explore various aspects of LGBT lives with the patients’ stories. On any given episode a viewer is likely to encounter thoughtful, heartrending gay male, lesbian, and trans storylines. — Tracy E. Gilchrist