- Grey's Anatomy -How 'Grey's Anatomy' Is Using Flashbacks To Solve For COVID-19 Setbacks
Good thing television is a creative medium. Because, this year, the industry has had to get capital-C Creative, thanks to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. NBC launched Saturday Night At Home, soap operas developed the use of romantic mannequin stand-ins, and The Blacklist completed Season 7 by offering fans an animated finale. So, it's no wonder that a series that's been around the Grey Sloan block as long as Grey's Anatomy has figured out a way to satisfy fans after a stunted Season 16.
According to Chandra Wilson, the longtime ABC series has a cure for its diagnosed case of season interruptus: The actress told BuzzFeed's News O'Clock podcast that Grey's Anatomy's Season 17 premiere will include flashbacks from Season 16 scenes that never made their way on air, thanks to the production shutdown. "We will jump in a few weeks into the start of the pandemic," Wilson told the podcast. "So, basically, the episode that we were shooting and ended up having to stop for Season 16, we'll incorporate those in some flashbacks to keep everybody up-to-date."
This workaround, Wilson said, solves for the fact that the series has to address the current medical crisis, while still picking up storylines where they left them off. This also seems to point to the series' efforts to broach the COVID subject, while still bringing some lightness to the table.
"The balance [between levity and darkness] has been something that Grey’s Anatomy has always done pretty well and actually kind of effortlessly,” new series regular Anthony Hill told TVLine. "They’re kind of keeping the real-world relevance and freshness to the script [but] everything that you love about Grey’s Anatomy is still there ... even in midst of this chaotic navigation through COVID."
Not to say everything is going to come up McRoses on Season 17. Showrunner Krista Vernoff told EW the COVID crisis really hit home for the team when writers began fleshing out episodes. "It wasn’t until the writers’ room sat down with the doctor advisers we’ve always worked with and saw the change in them that it hit home for us," Vernoff said. "This pandemic is breaking people, it’s breaking doctors, and we have an opportunity to help drive home the costs to the medical community."
This comes after the team had an opportunity to help in the spring too. Grey's Anatomy made headlines for donating medical supplies to doctors in need at the start of the crisis. That said, Wilson's interview and words from Vernoff also prove Grey's is also dedicated to helping your mood. “We’re still giving you laugh-out-loud funny moments and romance,” she said.
Thank McGod — we need them.