When Grey’s Anatomy first aired in 2005, THR’s review of the pilot, about four new surgical interns at a Seattle hospital, complained the show was “missing the ring of authenticity” and pondered, “Can this medical drama be saved? Not without radical surgery.” Today, it’s safe to say this was a misdiagnosis, as the ABC drama heads into its 20th season and is the longest-running scripted primetime show on the network. 

THR did praise the actors — “the cast is solid and as diverse as any to be found on the small screen” — and Sandra Oh, who played aspiring physician Cristina Yang, was a standout. Come January 2006, Oh would win the Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a drama series and, days later, the SAG Award for best actress in a drama series.

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“I’m really proud to be on a show whose casting is a little more representative of how I think the world is,” said Oh, the first actress of Asian descent to win the SAG Award, in her acceptance speech. “To all my fellow Asian Americans out there, I share this with you.”

Later that evening, as THR reported, she reflected on how she, along with two Korean actors from best TV drama ensemble Lost, Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim, were in the winners’ circle.

“I don’t want to get too politicky … It means a lot to people who I don’t even know. If I had someone — when I was 10 and started acting — who I could look up to and who looked like me, it would have been great.”

This story first appeared in a December standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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