Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Television

Grey’s Anatomy Character Ages

I don’t know why my previous post on this topic, from years ago, is so popular, but I decided to bring that information over into a new post so all the updates and edits read a bit clearer. If you want to struggle through the old post feel free.

I am estimating that in this 12th season, the show has covered just under 9 years of real time. This includes a five year surgical residency for the main core cast (of whom only Meredith and Alex are left), then various career paths that add up to just under 4 years of time. Wikia disagrees with me and thinks it’s been just under 5. You can see my detailed explanation of how Meredith spent her time to see exactly how I’m adding it up.

I wrote the original post in December 2011, during Season 8, right after Derek & Meredith officially adopt Zola. At that time, I estimated Meredith to be around 36 years old.

For this update, I’ll also focus on Meredith Grey. I’m going to say more than I will for the other characters, so you get an idea of how I’m tracking the passing time: Her residency class finished residency and became fellows or attendings in the start of Season 9, where Grey is already 3 weeks pregnant with Derek Bailey Shepherd. She has that baby at the end of Season 9. It seems that she carries her baby to almost-if-not-definitely full term, so Season 10 begins 9 months-ish after Season 9.

We’re to a full year later during season 10 when Matt & April almost get married in the Season 10 mid-winter finale. Derek and Meredith struggle through the rest of Season 10, with her realizing she doesn’t need him, but she wants him. Not too long after that is when Derek comes home for a few weeks/months early in Season 11, then dies a few episodes before the Season 11 finale. In those last few episodes of Season 11, Meredith is gone for the length of a full term pregnancy, let’s just say 9 months because it obviously take a while to find out she’s pregnant, returning to her mother’s house in the season finale.

Season 12 starts approximately 3 months after that.  We lost a few months here and there in single jumps due to Penny showing up, Meredith getting attacked in the ER, suddenly April is 12 weeks pregnant, etc. Total time since Dec 2011:  just shy of 4 years (really like 3 years and ten months), so I estimate Meredith Grey to be 40-ish.

Please see below for the character list, mostly transferred over from my previous blog post about this topic.

CURRENT CAST MEMBERS

Ellen Pompeo: plays Meredith Gray; actual age is [46]; character’s age is around 40-ish (completed college at 25, did nothing for 3 or so years, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, just under 2 years attending, just under 1 year “sabbatical”, currently in her 1st year as general surgery chief)

Justin Chambers: plays Alex Karev; actual age is [45]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 2 years fellowship, few months with Dr. Butthole, currently in his 2nd year as a pediatric surgical attending)

Chandra Wilson: plays Miranda Bailey; actual age is [46]; character’s age is around 41 (completed college at age 24, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 6 years as attending, currently in her 2nd year as chief of surgery)

James Pickens, Jr.: plays Richard Webber; actual age is [61]; character’s age is around 62 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, {1 year residency pre-sleeping with Ellis Grey} + Meredith Grey’s age – 5)

Sara Ramirez: plays Callie Torres; actual age is [40]; character’s age is around 41 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 2 years peace corps, 5 year surgical residency, 6 years as attending, currently in her 2nd year as chief of orthopedic surgery)

Kevin McKidd: plays Owen Hunt; actual age is [42] ; character’s age is around 46 (completed college at age 23, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, joined the Army after 9/11/01, discharged in 2008, 4 years as attending, 1-ish year chief of surgery, currently in his 2nd year as chief of trauma surgery)

Jessica Capshaw: plays Arizona Robbins; actual age is [39]; character’s age is around 38 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, 2-3 years that we know of at Seattle Grace as an attending, currently in her 4th year as pediatric surgery chief, including <12 months accelerated fellowship with Dr. Herman )

Sarah Drew: plays April Kepner; actual age is [35]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, currently in her 4th year as a trauma surgery attending, including sabbaticals to do some Doctors without Borders type situation for at least 12-15 months total that I can calculate)

Jesse Williams: plays Jackson Avery; actual age is [34]; character’s age is around 35 (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 years surgical residency, 1-2 years plastic surgery attending, currently in his 2nd year as plastic surgery chief )

Caterina Scorsone: plays Amelia Shepherd; actual age is [34]; character’s age has to be at least 38, more likely 40 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, 5 year surgical residency, 2 year neurosurgical residency, 1-3 years teaching fellow, 2-5 years as neurosurgeon on Private Practice, currently in her 2nd year as neurosurgical chief)

Camilla Luddington: plays Jo Wilson; actual age is [32]; character’s age is 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, currently in her 4th year as a surgical resident)

Jerrika Hinton; plays Stephanie Edwards; actual age is [34]; character’s age is 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school,, currently in her 4th year as a surgical resident)

Kelly McCreary: plays Maggie Pierce; actual age is [34]; character’s age is 32 (completed college at age 17-ish, 3 years medical school, 5 year surgical residency, 3 years cardiothoracic surgical fellowship, 2-3 years cardiothoracic surgical head at some other hospital, currently in her 2nd year as cardiothoracic surgical chief… AND we know her actual birthdate)

Giancomo Gianniotti: plays Andrew DeLuca; actual age is [26]; character’s age is at least 28, no more than 31 (completed high school at age 18, 1-4 years as EMT, 4 years college, 4 years medical school, currently is his 1st year as a surgical intern)

Martin Henderson: plays Nathan Riggs; actual age is [41]; character’s age is anywhere between 44-47 based on time spent with Hunt in med school (completed college at age 22-24, 4 years medical school when he met Hunt, 5 years surgical residency, some time with Hunt as an Army trauma surgeon, some time with Kepner while doing her Doctors without Borders thing, currently in his 1st year as a cardiothoracic attending)

Jason George: plays Ben Warren; actual age is [44]; character’s age is around 38-ish (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, 4 year anesthesia residency, came to Seattle Grace from Mercy West as an attending, so let’s say he was an attending for 2-ish years, then attending at Seattle Grace for 2 years, 1 year surgical residency at UCLA, currently in his 4th (I think…) year surgical residency after the transfer home)

OLD CAST MEMBERS

Sandra Oh: played Cristina Yang; actual age is [44]; character’s age is around 36-ish (completed college at 22-ish, somehow completed her PhD and MD in 6 years, she was 28 during her intern year, 5 years surgical residency, 1 year attending, 3rd year as director of hospital in Zurich).

T.R. Knight: played George O’Malley; actual age is [43]; character died at age 29, would be 35 had he lived (completed college at 22, 4 years med school, made it to, but not through his 3rd year of residency).

Katherine Heigl: played Izzie Stevens; actual age is [36]; character left the show at age 30, would be around 35 had she stayed (completed college at 23, 4 years med school, fired during her 3rd year of residency, doing who-the-hell-cares-what is the 6 years since)

Isaiah Washington: played Preston Burke; actual age is [52]; character’s age is 50-something (all they ever mentioned about the character was he is 40-something, and that was during casting, so presumably he’s 50-something as we’re now 9-ish years later in time)

Patrick Dempsey: played Derek Shepherd; actual age is [50]; character died at age 45, would be 47 had he lived (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school, then got married in 1994, 5 year surgical residency, fellowship , etc. Age as of late 2015: deceased at age 45-ish)

Kate Walsh: played Addison Montgomery; actual age is [48]; character’s age is around 48 (completed college at 22, 6 years college + PhD program, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, and some other stuff, but she was 39 in the season 8 finale of Grey’s Anatomy in 2006, which matches her supposed birth year of 1967, and technically another 7 years have passed in time since that season which was basically residency year 2, sooooooo weird timing there, just ignore it) [also, I’m not considering her character as really gone from the show, she could come back for a crazy surgery to assist Arizona at any time, it could happen people!]

Eric Dane: played Mark Sloan; actual age is [43] character died at age 44, would be 48 had he lived (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, basically the same age as Derek and Addison, he ad Derek were friends as kids)

Brooke Smith: played Erica Hahn; actual age is [48]; they never quite got around to her age, but I estimate her as 50-something (completed college around age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, and she was in the same year of school as Preston Burke).

Chyler Leigh: played Lexie Grey; actual age is [34]; character died at age 27, would be 31 had she lived (completed college at age 19, 4 years med school, made it to but not through 4th year surgical residency).

Kim Raver: played Teddy Altman; actual age is [47]; they don’t say her age, but her character was at least 40 when she left the show, would be 45 had she stayed (completed college at age 22, 4 years med school, 5 year surgical residency, 2 years fellowship, joined Army after 9/11/01)

Gaius Charles: played Shane Ross; actual age is [32]; character’s age is completely a guess at 30 (completed college at age 22, 4 years medical school 2+ years surgical residency at Seattle Grace before leaving with Yang, currently in his 4th year of surgical residency at the Klausman Institute for Medical Research)

Tess Ferrer: played Leah Murphy; actual age is [30]; character’s age is a guess at 28 (they identified her birth year as 1987, which makes her four years younger than Pierce, so she completed college at age 21-ish, 4 years medical school, fired during her 2nd-ish year of surgical residency, hopefully working in that research Webber sent her to since then)

 


On Forcing Myself to Watch Reality TV

It isn’t honest of me to say that I don’t like reality TV. I like some of it. Pretty much anything on Food Network interests me. I also religiously watch Dancing with the Stars, America’s Next Top Model, and American Idol.

But I tend to stay away from reality TV shows that are just following someone around with a camera all day. I’ve only ever seen half of one episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. I’ve never seen an episode of Real Housewives of anything, and proud of it. I’ve been out of loop on shows like this since the Real World became a phenomenon on MTV (or was it VH1?)

I noticed that my co-workers are always discussing something related to one of these shows. People act like they know celebrities if they are exposed to personal information about their lives. But for reality TV stars, you really do get personal details about their lives. It’s still framed however the producers want it to go, but it’s a glimpse into these people’s world. It’s the type of glimpse I’ve never really be interested in.

Seriously, my only interest in reality TV is maybe participating in a show one day myself. And the only reason for that is that if the show is successful, it’s pretty much my only shot at ever competing on Dancing with the Stars. Derek Hough would be my partner, and we would totally win that Season. But first, I’d have to be on a reality TV show because I’ll never be famous otherwise.

That being said, I realized I was missing out on a whole cultural phenomenon by not watching these types of TV shows. So when one of my best friends came up with the bucket list idea, I thought reality TV would be the perfect thing to choose for the category titled, “All the Kids Are Doing It”.

I’ve already discussed my efforts to find a soy/tofu dish or food item that I really genuinely like. That’s still an ongoing process. I’m taking Catskill Blogger‘s advice, and I’m going to try chocolate flavored soy milk next.

But since this post is about reality TV, let’s discuss that. I took a poll amongst people I know who watch these types of shows. They seemed to think Love & Hip Hop would be the best, but I just couldn’t do it. I had decided I was going to watch an entire season of whatever show I picked, and I just couldn’t commit to watching an entire season of that show. Nothing about who I am as a person could allow that.

So I went with a second choice: The Bad Girls Club. This show is still awful. It jams 7 women from different backgrounds into a house where the only thing they have in common is a desire to “turn up” and a willingness to “pop off” if the feel offended. I’m putting it in caps only because I feel like they took those two terms to a whole new level. They said the words turn, up, pop, and off at least 100 times each episode.

When I decided to just deal with my hesitancy and watch the damn show already, they were in the middle of Season 12, which was filmed in Chicago. I really didn’t want to watch all that rachetness in my hometown, nor did I want to commit to having to keep up with episodes for an ongoing season. So I just watched all of Season 11, which was filmed in Miami, in about a week.

There were some moments that I loved, like when they did a fake commercial for 1-800-kick-a-ho-out. I still chuckle when I think of that. But these girls were so mean. And they were boring. If they were drinking or plotting to kick another girl out of the house, there was nothing going on with them.

I have to admit that I wasn’t bored while watching the show, I was mostly just nonplussed. Why these women would want to go on national TV to show the most stereotypical versions of themselves, I will never understand. But they made some pretty good friendships, and they had a lot of fun together. I get the appeal, and I get why the reality TV show industry is still growing.

People like to see other people living. I get it. It’s not for me really, but I’m glad I put it on the bucket list. Otherwise I would never have experienced it. And I would never have seen all that rachetness up close and personal. And really, what’s your 20s without a little bit of rachetness?


And We’re Still Together

Does anybody watch the TV show Pysch? I love that show. It’s so hilarious and absolutely ridiculous, but I’ve seen every single episode for all 7 seasons. A very recent episode of Psych made me think more than that show ever intended.

I’ve been following these characters for seasons, so I was feeling very emotionally invested when one of them finally got married to a woman who was perfect for him. No dramedy is complete without a possible breakup at a wedding, so when that happened, I got really introspective.

I began thinking of how much it must hurt for the guy breaking up to watch the people not breaking up. I remembered what it felt like to want to be past dating and just be with the person God intended for me.

I was happy being single because I found things about it I liked, but I have never been the type of person who preferred being single over being in a relationship.

Remembering that feeling made me feel a longing for the safety of a happy relationship. When you are committed, bad things can happen, and it’s okay.

Are there things bad enough to blow up even a very solid relationship? Well, yes, there has to be. Otherwise, the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high as it is.

But in that moment watching a couple ending juxtaposed against one taking a next important relationship step, I was so happy I was couple #2. They were happy and solid. They had quite literally dodged bullets on their way down the aisle to get married.

Luckily, there aren’t any bullets involved with the husband. Just lots of live music. And nothing about his talent is fake, so we’re a step ahead of all the couples on Psych at least.

I’m sure there is something wrong with me to become so thoughtful because of an episode of Psych. James Roday would either be highly offended or complimented.

I’m just thankful I’ve got my solid thing going. I much prefer the comfort of a happy relationship over anything else. For as long as it lasts, this is where I’m staying.

God-willing, it will last forever.


I Hold In My Hand

An Easter Egg

-Easter was fun this year. My brother’s birthday fell on the day, as it does every handful of years. Making a birthday dinner fitting his tastes while also making our typical Easter food was a fun challenge. Before dinner was a great church service. I had a meeting at work in the morning before church, so I was on time to church for the first time in months. Perhaps if I went to church seven days a week, I’d actually leave work at a reasonable hour.

The praise team and the choir were pretty good. The new drummer at the church does not like to let a song end. He isn’t entirely new, but I work a lot of Sundays, so he’s new to me. But imagine any Tyler Perry movie you’ve seen. We don’t have anyone back-flipping down the aisles like Mr. Brown, but there’s definitely some Holy Ghost party stuff happening when the drummer hits that reprise.

After church was crazy because the Sunday School, of which my mother is superintendent, made Easter baskets for all the children. Imagine over 50 kids age 0-18 running around hopped up on sugar. I was standing in a corner with my fingers crossed as if avoiding a jinx. All those children running around scared me. I felt it might be contagious, so I avoided anyone too young for school and definitely all those with parasites pregnant women. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies and I read all the mommy blogs, I just like to watch from afar and avoid joining the ranks for now.

Your Job

-This weekend was full of meetings and evaluations. I’m still getting adjusted to this part of being a supervisor. Almost everyone who knows me will tell you I’m a bossy person. I like to tell folks what to do. But I’m no Donald Trump. Saying you’re fired doesn’t come easily for me. I haven’t had to fire anyone, but I’ve had some get-it-together-so-you-don’t get-fired talks.

I like people to keep their jobs, so I focus on the meetings where I inform someone they’ve earned a raise. I suppose this part of it will get easier with time, but I was happy to get back to work today and escape to my spreadsheets and reports. The numbers never need to hear “get it together.”

A Glass of Champagne

-As I said earlier, Easter was also my brother’s birthday. It was his 30th birthday. It was nice to have a party with close friends and family there. My brother isn’t really big on family, so it was nice when he wanted to have a party that included family. His godfather came with his family. The older daughter of the family was one of my best friends when we were children. She was there with her husband and son. Even though her son is only 3, I made an exception to my earlier rule and uncrossed my fingers to hang out with him. Although I did have to tell little man to stay away from my husband once the husband hugged him and said, “I want one!”

We had a really enjoyable time, and the drinks were flowing. Mimosa, beers, and champagne gave everyone a happy buzz. Nothing goes with lamb, crab legs, turkey wings, ham, pot roast, and prime rib like champagne. We had a few vegetables as well. But only a very few.

The TV Remote

-I feel like I will never catch up with American Idol. Why they insist on having no way to view episodes after airing other than DVR is beyond me. I have 22 episodes queued up to watch on the DVR at my parents’ house. I only managed to watch one on Sunday after dinner. What crazy person decided they should take up 4-6 hours of television every week. I’ll never catch up. So I’m avoiding all news and media reports of who the Top 10 and Top 8 are and all that. I’ll probably be purchasing the CD of the winner before I even finish watching Hollywood week. There must exist some bootleg website (THAT I WOULD NEVER SUPPORT) that can help me so I can watch this show without taking over my parents’ TV.