Shonda Rhimes, mastermind behind our favorite medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” promised fans that Season 12 of the hit ABC series would have a much “lighter tone” compared to the grim plot of Season 11. And it looks like the showrunner is owning up to her word!
On Wednesday, ABC released a promo poster of the upcoming season that teases just how refreshing the Season 12 storyline of “Grey’s Anatomy” will be. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is featured on the poster sporting a raincoat, a black umbrella and a brand new attitude.
“Let the sun shine,” the poster reads as the dark rain clouds flee the image and a sun begins to peak out over Seattle and Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Fans can also notice a smile beginning to break on Meredith’s face, and according to the EP, audiences can expect the widow, who lost her husband in Season 11, to do a lot more smiling – and even some laughing -- in the forthcoming installment, which is set to air Thursday, Sept. 24.
“Meredith being a widow, surprisingly, should be funny in some ways,” Rhimes dished to the Hollywood Reporter. “She's been a woman who has been off the market forever and that humor of 'I'm dead inside, I'm not interested in men,' should be funny in a way. She should have some darker humor in that feeling."
Although some may find Meredith’s new, solo journey as interesting and “funny” – others, who are still mourning the loss of Derek (Patrick Dempsey), are hoping that McDreamy will somehow slip back into his scrubs or the series will conclude.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pompeo revealed how offended she was at the thought of some viewers thinking the show should be canceled following the death of Dempsey’s beloved character.
“Let’s keep it really real for a second and say this is really difficult for my ego,” the actress, who has starred on the series since it first premiered in 2005, said. “It’s okay! We all have one.”
The artist then raised the question of why no one challenged the idea of her fellow Shondaland actress’ starring in their own series but for some reason it wasn't plausible for Meredith to take “Grey’s Anatomy” by the reigns – or should we say by the sutures?
“It’s like, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) carries [“How to Get Away With Murder”], Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) carries [“Scandal”],” she said. “But somehow, Meredith Grey needs someone. Why can’t I just be the lead of the show the way Annalise and Olivia can? Why can’t I be on that poster by myself?”
Well, it looks like Pompeo finally got her wish! The new promo poster is Derek-less as Meredith stands strong and solo in the picture. The photo also bolsters Rhimes’ statement that the fan favorite character would be diving into Season 12 as a single woman on a new and bright adventure. (That means fans shouldn't expect McDreamy's replacement to come waltzing into Grey Sloan Memorial anytime soon.)
"I have not planned to [introduce a new love interest for her] and that's not really the focus of what we're doing with her right now," Rhimes tells E! News. "Meredith is in a rebirth and she's evolving. I'm watching the character do what the character's doing and I'll see where it goes."
"Grey's Anatomy" will air its Season 12 premiere on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.