Whether its pay equity or behind-the-scenes opportunities, the TV industry still has its issues when it comes to women. But that’s not true when it comes to TGIT and the return of Shonda Rhimes’ three-hour block of television on ABC. And when Grey’s Anatomy returns from a two month hiatus on Thursday, January 26 at 8/7c, it will do so in a profound way.

The winter premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, “You Can Look (But You’d Better Not Touch),” is a remarkable episode of television for one simple reason: It’s all about the women. The hour follows Arizona, Bailey and Jo as they visit a maximum security women’s prison to treat a pregnant 16-year-old inmate. The result is an hour of television that puts all of the focus on women.

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With the exception of one minor character for about two minutes, the episode’s speaking roles are entirely filled by women. Whether they are doctors, guards, lawyers, inmates or family members, thw episode is a showcase of a complicated and broad cross-section of female characters dealing with many issues.

On top of this, the episode itself is written by a woman, Tia Napolitano, and directed by a woman, Jann Turner. Neither of these are a surprise since Grey’s Anatomy does better than the overall TV average when it comes to female writers and directors. Nearly two-thirds of all the show’s episodes have been written by women and about 25 percent of Grey’s episodes have been directed by women (compared to a total of 17 percent of female directors across all TV episodes).

At a time when women’s rights are on everyone’s minds and when women across the country are marching against the inauguration of Donald Trump, it seems like a particularly good time to praise Grey’s Anatomy for its importance on this issue. And the winter premiere is the perfect episode to represent that ideal: written by, directed by and starring women.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday, January 26 at 8/7c on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.