The first episode of the series reveals the characters in all their versatility and at the same time remains within the archetypes of plotline design for further development. There are many main characters, and they are for every taste. This paper will focus only on the interns, however, there are other stories involved, such as those of patients and the hospital staff, which are also rich and deep.
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The protagonist, Meredith, is very human and understandable to the viewer. She is not a faceless image but a living, natural girl. Her behavior is not angel-like, and this does not discredit her. On the contrary, she gets closer to the viewer and their lives. Christina Young, at first, seemed biased towards her career, but, looking closer, the viewer can change their mind. She, following the warrior archetype, is a robot girl, a careerist.
Probably, it can be challenging to strongly sympathize with her at the very beginning, but later on, the viewer has an opportunity to see that she has many merits: she is straightforward and supportive. There is another female character, Izzy Stevens performed by the famous actress Katherine Heigl, which the viewer comes to meet in the very beginning. From the first shots, it became clear that she would be assigned the role of a poor lamb in the series. She represents a very touching image: a good, naive girl who fights for world peace.
George O’Malley is a very nice person, a friend to everyone. To have such a man as a friend is real happiness. However, for a surgeon, he seems too soft, since his failures seem to have roots in his personality rather than skills. Derek Shepherd fits the charmer archetype and demonstrates all the traits of this type. The actions of his character are explicable and understandable, but it is rather difficult to watch, how he is torn apart by contradictions. Preston Burke, in turn, is the archetype of the professor. However, the character is quite deep, since his actions appear to be ambiguous, and it is impossible to assess the ethics of his actions with confidence.
Perhaps, the most archetypal character in the series is Alex Karev. Although in this episode he represents a typical bad boy, such a design of a character allows a prediction that he will be further presented to the viewer in such a way, that they should see how his kind heart and tender soul glow through the outer shell of a cruel, narcissistic boor. One can say, that his character reveals the most stereotypical techniques in character design.
To sum up, the first episode establishes the characters successfully since it opens up the space for further expectations and predictions of how they will evolve later on in the series. At the same time, although their personalities are versatile, it is hard to predict which characters will remain static, and which will represent the dynamic ones.
Rhimes, S. (Writer) & Horton, P. (Director). (2005). A Hard Day’s Night.
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(Season 1, episode 1). [TV Series Episode]. Grey’s Anatomy. The Mark Gordon Company. Touchstone Television.