Michael Ausiello of TV Guide tells of a visit to the set of Grey's Anatomy in a lengthy segment of his blog today. The lucky TV guru, along with 60 other TV critics and reporters, was admitted to Grey's fictional Seattle Grace Hospital last week for a tour of the set and a consultation with the show's cast. Below, he talks about what he got out of this Anatomy lesson:
1. The creator is loosening her spoiler policy.
Well, kind of. If Dr. Bailey is the show's Resident Nazi, Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes is the Information Nazi, never divulging what plot lines we can expect. But she did let on that "the fabulous Miss Diahann Carroll" would be one of the new season's first guest stars, and also dropped a mini-bomb about the premiere:
"It basically takes place hours after the last [finale] ended. It's not like we're going to do a big leap forward in time, and everybody's fine and nothing's wrong with anyone. I don't do that."
Interesting. When asked to confirm a report about Eric Dane (a.k.a. Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan) coming back to the Grey set, Rhimes dodged the question, but acknowledged the popularity of this particular guest star.
Think you're ready for Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd to finally choose between intern lover Meredith and wife Addison? Try being the handsome man whose job it is to portray Derek!
"I was at wit's end towards the last year. I think we've got to make a decision, and I think that's what they're going to do," Dempsey said. "I don't know if he necessarily ends up with [Meredith], but I think they should explore what they began at the end of last season... as opposed to him following her around and looking at her longingly."
The Maine native says he's in constant communication with his boss, Rhimes, about the direction of Derek.
"It's a continuing dialogue after each episode. I think it's important [that] they have a through-line for all the characters, so I have to go in and say, 'What is your mission for this season? And how do I help you with that, knowing what I know [about] the character and what I feel for the character?' I think it's going to be an interesting year for the show to see how we develop that dialogue," Dempsey said.
3. Katherine Heigl doesn't like playing doctor.
All Grey's fans have got to be wondering how Izzie Stevens is ever going to wear scrubs again after the ethical violations she committed, and personal meltdowns she suffered in the season finale. According to the actress who plays Izzie, Katherine Heigl, it may be time to hang up the scrubs for good.
"I don't think [becoming a doctor] is something [my character] should pursue anymore," she saod. "I think she's pretty much played her card. And I think if she wants to continue to be a doctor, she needs to find another way of doing that. I think she really has to find a new heart to do that. She can't be Izzie and do that. She has to be somebody else."
4. Ellen Pompeo does not care!
About the impending showdown with CSI Thursday night, that is. As a pack of reporters asked her about it again and again, the woman who puts the Grey in Grey's Anatomy issued terser replies each time.
"It's fantastic," she said, sarcastically, at one point. "I don't think about it unless I'm asked."
Pompeo didn't have much of an opinion about anything, as a matter of fact, often giving one-word answers to questions, or simply not answering them at all. Her favorite scene on the show so far?
"I don't know that I could single out one."
Has she ever watched CSI?
"No, I've always worked."
How long can the MerDerAddison plot play out?
"You'll have to ask Shonda Rhimes."
5. Kate Walsh loves poison!
Ivy, of course. The beautiful redhead loved the episode in which Addison discovered the itchy skin rash on her "va-jay-jay," despite the fact that shooting those scenes was no day at the beach.
"It was long... and all the writhing around... I actually got out of [the stirrups] and there was definitely a little lower back pain. [But] I thought it was really funny. I've always been game for a good joke," she said.
Walsh called it that episode that marked a turning point in viewers' love/hate relationship with her.
"Audiences are more sympathetic to [Addison], and people are much more verbal about it now. They're like, 'I didn't like you when you first came on, [but] now we love you, we're rooting for you!' It's great," she said.
6. Chandra Wilson is into foursomes.
"It was goofy — and that was the intention. We said, 'Look, this has got to be funny. It's meant to be goofy. You can't take it too seriously.' So it was cute just making fun of the girls," Wilson said.
The Emmy-nominated star wasn't surprised that the vignette made it onto the web, but she was a little dumbfounded when friends began e-mailing her links to it.
"They were like, 'Have you seen this?' I'm like, 'Hello! I'm in the thing.'"