The memory of last season’s bloodbath looms large over this week’s Grey’s Anatomy. With a camera crew invading Seattle Grace to shoot a documentary about the hospital’s recovery efforts, the entire episode is shot from the POV of the filmmakers, giving the hour a very voyeuristic vibe.
“You actually feel like you’re getting a behind-the-scenes look at our characters’ lives,” suggests series creator Shonda Rhimes. “You see our characters in a very different way, because we’re approaching them in a very different way.”
Rhimes has long toyed with the notion of doing a docu-style installment, but it was coexecutive producer Stacy McKee — this week’s scribe — who figured out how best to execute it. “Stacy was obsessed with [ABC’s summer docuseries] Boston Med,” notes Rhimes. “So she came in one day after watching an episode and said, ‘I think I have it! I figured out how we can do our own version of that.’ And we used the shooting as our jumping-off point.”
However, by ensuring that this season’s story lines also move forward, Rhimes & Co. avoided getting the episode tagged as a mere gimmick. Case in point: It’s during the hour that Alex figures out “what kind of surgeon he really wants to be,” reveals Rhimes. “It seems [pediatrics] is his thing.”
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