Docs’ diagnoses prove profitable

Emmy's new breed: Grey's Anatomy

Best episode: “The last episode of the season. I think by that episode, we absolutely hit our stride comedically, emotionally and dramatically. That episode to me feels perfect,” says Grimes.
Most complex character and why: “Oh, that’s all of them. I can’t point to one person. I have many plans and there are so many layers to all the characters. … Every time you think you know who somebody is you realize you don’t. And that’s how I know we’re doing it right.”
What should happen next season: “They’re going to stay interns because we only did nine (episodes) this season, so we can really get a full year of them being interns and dealing with that. When we come back next season, all bets are kind of over.”

Is it possible that one of the breakout hits from last season reminds us that high school never really ends?

ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” takes place in a world of surgical interns requiring as much grown-up responsibility as any other. Yet its principal insight might be that you don’t forsake juvenile insecurity, pettiness, dreams or desires just because you can put a “Dr.” ahead of your name.

“I think there’s something about the fact that the show deals with people just starting out in their job,” says creator and exec producer Shonda Rhimes. “They’re not incredibly confident or good at what they do. They’re actually incredibly insecure. I like to think that they’re real.”

As epitomized by its opening credits sequence — equal parts surgical masks and makeup — “Grey’s” makes the doctors’ personal lives a prominent piece of equipment in its overall operating room.

“We’re unique because we’re definitely a relationship show, with some surgery thrown in for good measure,” Rhimes says.

Rhimes made her name as the co-writer of the HBO telepic “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” before moving on to youth-targeted pics “Crossroads” and “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.”

Ironically, in returning to television, Rhimes was seeking to grow up all over again.

“I’ve been writing a bunch of teen girl movies, which I love doing,” says Rhimes. “But I wanted to spend some time writing about grown-ups. I missed it.”

A combination of the desire to write about competition in the adult world and a fascination with the world of surgeons led Rhimes to create “Grey’s” and the age-immune angst that comes with it.

“I’m interested in a world where people have to compete with one another and be friends,” Rhimes says, “because I think that’s where most of us live our lives, but no one wants to acknowledge it.”

For most of the show’s first-season production schedule, it was unclear when the public would get its chance to acknowledge “Grey’s,” a midseason replacement awaiting an opening. Finally, word came that in March the wait had been worth it — the timeslot after smash hit “Desperate Housewives.”

“Grey’s” soon rewarded ABC by becoming a top 10 show, but for Rhimes, that was almost beside the point. Call it a dose of maturity.

“I really loved the show personally, which meant that my goal was fulfilled,” Rhimes says.

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