8 times McDreamy was actually a McNightmare!
These days, it seems like every day you wake up to a different scandal which makes you sort of hate a celebrity you once used to love. There is, of course, Matt Damon, the perfect example of a celebrity whose tendency to put his foot in his mouth made us question what seemed to be a “nice guy” façade.
This time, the outrage is directed at the revelation by Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, that her co-star, Patrick Dempsey, did not support her when it came to negotiating her pay. Pompeo rightly felt that she deserved to be paid more than Dempsey, or the same at least, given that she plays Meredith Grey in a show called Grey’s Anatomy. However, neither the network, nor her on-screen partner was interested in making this happen.
A similar instance occurred recently, when it was revealed that while Michelle Williams was paid less than $1,000 for the re-shoots for her upcoming film, Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for the same. The disparity in their pay only highlights what we already know – women are more often than not paid differently and lesser for the same job compared to men.
In Pompeo’s case, she is unquestionably the star of the show, as evidenced by the fact that the show’s ratings and reviews improved after Dempsey’s exit. However, seeing Pompeo’s struggle and Dempsey’s disappointing behaviour has only reminded us of the many times his character, Dr Derek Shepherd, was actually the worst (and a complete jerk), and not worthy of being called “McDreamy”.
1. When he didn’t tell Meredith he was married to Addison
This is one of the most unforgivable things Derek has ever done. Despite knowing that he is her boss’s boss and that this could affect her career at the hospital, he pursues a relationship with Meredith. They fall in love and are officially together, but the entire time he somehow fails to mention to her that he is married and has a wife. He may have had his reasons, but no excuse is good enough to justify the heartbreak Meredith suffers as a result of unwittingly being labelled the ‘other woman’. Unless his entire marriage was a drunk one-night stand he did not remember or he had marital amnesia, Derek comes out of season one as the least likable character on the show, and that includes season one’s Alex.
2. When he persistently pursued Meredith, but then changed his mind and chose Addison
Not only can this guy not make up his mind, he deliberately leaves both women hanging as he tries to decide which one he should pick. He keeps pursuing Meredith, telling her that his marriage is over and that he is ending it, but then chooses to not sign the divorce papers and instead work on his marriage. The turmoil this causes to both women – both of whom are strong, intelligent and independent – as they wait for this indecisive man with his dreamy eyes to make up his damn mind, torments us for the entirety of the second season.
3. When he slut-shamed Meredith for trying to move on after he repeatedly broke her heart
By now we’ve established that Derek is clearly the one with agency in the show. He decides when he wants to be with Meredith, when he wants to give his marriage a try, and when he wants to pursue Meredith again. When we see Meredith make one drunken mistake after another as she tries to move on from Derek, instead of being there for her as she goes through a crisis, Derek ends up slut-shaming her. In a fit of anger, he implies that Meredith likes to sleep around, and Meredith shutting him down for his comments will go down in history as one of the best moments of the show.
4. When he cheated on Addison
Yes, we were all rooting for Meredith and Derek to get together finally. And yes, Addison cheated on Derek first. But none of that justifies that, after a while of trying to “work” on his marriage, Derek decides he simply does not want to anymore. However, instead of telling Addison first, he chooses to sleep with Meredith.
This isn’t even the first time that Derek has done this on the show. He is in a relationship with Rose, but chooses to get back together with Meredith before letting Rose know that they are over, for which she (rightly?) stabs him. To call a spade a spade, all of this is cheating, and McDreamy really needs to stop with the McCheating!
5. When he took all the credit for their clinical trial
While they were both equally responsible for the clinical trial, he ended up with all the credit, with it being promoted as the “Shepherd method”. Not only does he not see anything wrong with this, he also makes it up to her by simply thanking her and giving her a kidney in a jar. While Meredith might have been happy with this slightly weird acknowledgment, we really feel that he could have chosen that moment to step up and publicly acknowledge the role Meredith played in the trials’ success.
6. When he decides that he wants to go to DC, without taking his family and Meredith’s career into account.
It is common knowledge that when you are married with children, you can’t just get up and move whenever you get a job offer. Yes, Derek received an excellent job offer, but to assume that his family would drop everything and Meredith would just give up her career and move, and then throwing a tantrum when that does not happen, was presumptuous and made him seem, yet again, like the worst.
7. When he cheated on Meredith by kissing his associate, Renee, in DC
You’d think he would want to take a break from all the cheating, but as they say, once a cheater, always a cheater. Despite having a significant amount of time to shut it down and exit the situation, Derek does the opposite of leave. Instead, he gives Renee ‘the’ look – the signature McDreamy look. Yes, he pushes her away eventually, but the situation should never have escalated that far to begin with, especially since this is only the 100th time he’s cheated.
8. When he threw a temper tantrum whenever he didn’t get his way
We get that Derek had a troubled past, especially because of his dad, but none of that justifies his tantrums whenever he wouldn’t get his way, like a child in the supermarket who’s not getting his candy bar.
Meredith’s life was unquestionably tougher than Derek’s, but while we see her persevere and fight for what she wants, Derek decides that acting like a man-child is equally productive. Hitting Mark after he flirts with Meredith, being mean to his sister Amelia… need we go on?
(Spoiler alert in case you haven’t season 11; shame on you for that, by the way!)
Revisiting some of Derek’s worst moments is perhaps enough to make us finally get over his death. Yes, he loved Meredith, and he did save her in that one episode where she almost drowns, but a rerun of Grey’s is enough to remind that McDreamy was more problematic than he was TV’s golden man, and perhaps with changing times, we’ll all remember him more for his flaws than for his dreamy eyes.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.