When Grey’s Anatomy premiered in 2005, one of the main characters was Katherine Heigl’s Izzie Stevens. Although many surgeons believed Izzie was just a goody-two-shoes who could do no wrong, she proved to be much more than that.
Even though she was a main character, Izzie was quite polarizing and the reception to her character through the years has been primarily negative. Viewers of the show often complain about her exit in season 6 and most recently, the decision for Alex Karev to reunite with her off-screen. While she receives a lot of criticism, there are also fans who come to her defense and recognize how humane she was.
9 Denny & Izzie Weren’t A Good Couple
Izzie Stevens famously fell for her patient Denny Duquette in season 2 of Grey’s, even accepting his marriage proposal despite the two never interacting outside of the hospital.
Though much of her season 2 and 3 arc revolved around her falling for and then processing the death of Denny, a fan started a thread taking issue with their romance. They pointed out that Izzie’s controlling behavior around Denny’s medical procedures was borderline creepy, writing, “If Denny didn’t love her too, it would be considered scary, obsessive and dangerous.”
8 Izzie and Alex Were Soulmates
Alex Karev and his second wife, Jo, have been regarded as a perfect match, helping one another grow through their trauma. However, Alex eventually leaves his wife to return to Izzie, reconciling a relationship that ended in Season 6.
While many fans were furious about this, a Reddit thread argued that Izzie was actually better for Alex than Jo was and that their reconciliation made a lot of sense. Especially since “she dealt with Alex when he was much more intolerable and jumpstarted his major character development.” Not many comments agreed, but one pointed out that their individual differences made them an interesting couple.
7 Izzie and George Were a Good Match
In season 3, seemingly out of nowhere, Izzie and George discover they have feelings for one another, and begin an affair during his marriage to Callie. It came as a shock to many viewers, who previously saw the two as nothing more than close friends.
A fan agreed that even though the storyline was a surprise and ended up being dropped without an explanation, they actually found the two compelling together, describing their chemistry as being “off the charts.”
6 Izzie Was Critical To The Show’s Success
The show’s original five interns, also known as MAGIC, and their various personalities were part of what made the show so interesting in its early years.
A Reddit thread broke down how unfair the hate for Izzie’s character is among fans, stating that Katherine Heigl’s excellent acting made the show more believable, stating that “the show would never have been the same without [her].” Her “Doctor Model” and Denny storylines in particular drew viewers to a character that wasn’t Meredith or Derek.
5 Izzie Was A Bad Friend To George
Despite her flaws as the series went on, one thing that fans admired most about Izzie Stevens was that she was a great friend to the other interns, most notably Meredith and George.
However, some argue that the way she behaved during George’s marriage to Callie was anything but kind, and showed her true colors. A fan wrote, “Izzie was a terrible friend to George and played an important role in his marriage to Callie [as she] constantly sowed doubts in his mind.”
4 The Season 16 Update On Her Life Was Important
When it was announced that Justin Chambers’ Alex Karev would be departing the show in Season 16, viewers wondered if Izzie Stevens would have anything to do with his resignation from Grey-Sloan.
While a lot of fans didn’t care about an update on Izzie’s life, one fan noted that they were delighted to get a glimpse into her present day because she used to be a main character, and they were happy to know that Alex chose to be with her. Regarding the scene with Alex and Izzie’s twins they wrote, “That scene featured in Alex’s departure episode gave me hope for a reunion someday.”
3 She Was A Realistic Character
Izzie Stevens gets a lot of flak for how flawed of a human she was, from getting emotionally attached to patients to abandoning her friends at the first sign of trouble.
A fan on Reddit wrote a lengthy thread dedicated to her character, pointing out that a lot of her behavior was justified given her upbringing and the way she was treated compared to her fellow interns. They described her as being realistic, and was “young and made mistakes,” just like most other characters on the show.
2 Her Exit Made Sense
Viewers were outraged when Izzie up and left Alex Karev in season 6, despite her just marrying him. A mistake at work saw her let go at work, leading her to question her place in Seattle and deciding she needed to start anew.
Most fans argue that her exit was completely out of character and that after all she had been through, she should have wanted to stay and give her marriage a fair shot. But one fan jumped to her defense, describing the trauma she endured during season 5 and 6, like her near-death experience and losing her best friend as a perfect explanation for wanting to start over, writing, “She had nothing left in Seattle and needed to go to get away from it all.”
1 Her Character Is Over-Hated
When most fans are asked to describe which character they dislike the most over the many seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, Izzie Stevens is usually at the top of the list. Mainly because of her departure, but also because of some controversial storylines too.
A Reddit thread expressed frustration with the hatred of Izzie, arguing that she gets a bad rap overall. A user wrote, “I literally don’t understand the extreme hate for Izzie. I think some people blame her for Alex leaving, but Alex made the choice of leaving Jo.” Izzie gets blamed for a lot of things, even years after she left Seattle, with viewers forgetting the positive aspects of her character.
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