So my Thursday nights are taken up by a group of hot, young surgeons in training at Seattle Grace Hospital, the top teaching hospital, in competition with one another. Each dealing with life,love, and loss on a daily basis and whose problems and lives seem more intense in their life and death world. The doctors of Grey’s Anatomy struggle to be great professionally and personally, the two rarely coinciding due to their overly complicated personal lives.

“I’m leaning into the fear to get a happy ending.” –Meredith

Because all of the doctors are hot, and where would we be without hot docs, the show revolves around their bed-hopping, I mean, relationships. Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) explore the idea of a long term relationship. Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) explore their budding lesbian relationship. Also in the sprawling, ever-changing cast, Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) joins as he and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) explore a tentative relationship as he deals with his demons and history of hurts.

“Reality is so much more interesting than living happily ever after.” –Meredith

The reality is that they are all learning how to deal with the pain of living in a fallen world. They use alcohol and sex to bandage the hurts within them, eventually forging friendships and becoming family as they learn to lean on each other to get through the harsh hands life deals at them. In the process, “little pieces of you get chipped away” or you “shave pieces of yourself” so that you fit better with one another.

They, as well as the cases they encounter, learn that there are no warranties on friendships or any relationships. Friendships can be betrayed by wrong, stupid, and selfish decisions or pride and using people as balms for internal hurts. That no matter how much one might have thought of themselves as good, a person can come into their lives and reduce them to “that crazy person” as a consequence of the wounds people do to one another in relationships.

“I forgot about God.” –Bailey

They also learn to listen with their hearts, to forgive and make things right. Always striving to love better. To be each other’s “person”: the people who know us “darkly, really knows us.” Or, as Meredith sums things up, “it’s important to tell the people you love how much you love them while they can hear you.”

Despite its convoluted romantic storylines, the show is designed with intelligence. The cases comment on the characters, and the characters often comment on the show (like when the chief says, “We’ve been resting on our laurels. … It stops, and it stops now”; and acknowledgement that the show rights itself, as it had rather meandered through the previous season). And it digs deeper than most, getting at some truths about humanity and relationships.