After 15 seasons of dancing it out, post-it weddings, tears, ferry boats, plane crashes and more tears– “Grey’s Anatomy” is still going strong. On Thursday, Sept. 27, ABC’s hit medical drama’s season 15 premiered in a two hour special event.

Despite reaching such a milestone, the show is doing anything but slowing down. After 15 years, the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast and crew still knows how to keep fans on their toes, especially with the emotional, nail biting last few episodes showrunner Shonda Rhimes put fans through last season over the possible demise of April Kepner (Sarah Drew) as she struggled to survive a car accident.

Spoiler alert  but this two hour season 15 premiere, “With a Wonder and a Wild Desire” begins right where viewers left off in season 14. April Kepner has just departed after marrying her ex-fiance, paramedic Matthew Taylor (Justin Bruening) and quitting her job at Grey-Sloan Memorial. At the same time, Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) left for New York City so her daughter, with ex-wife Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez), can be with both of her mothers (and possibly so that Arizona can reconcile with her ex– hint, hint). Along with their departure came the arrival of previously written off character Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) with news that she’s pregnant with ex-flame and best friend Owen Hunt’s (Kevin McKidd) child.

Meanwhile, the staff of Grey-Sloan Memorial is dealing with a lot. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is coming to terms with the aftermath of her drunk kiss with resident Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and the resulting strange nightmares of her sleeping with various male members of Grey-Sloan. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) are trying to enjoy their honeymoon. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) seems to be going through a destructive rough patch with the death of his Alcoholic Anonymous sponsor last season. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) is questioning every single notion in his life while also offhandedly proposing to girlfriend, Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreery), although they haven’t dated for that long. Owen and Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) are playing house as they take care of a foster child and his drug addict mother and, on top of all of this, Chief Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is trying to find an interim chief to take over while she tries to take a relaxing sabbatical.

Drama will definitely be ensuing this season. There seems to be an especially big focus on Teddy and her pregnancy secret due to the fact Owen and Amelia just got back together– which could mean a possible stressful and unnecessary love triangle.

The first episode moved rapidly as it introduces a new dynamic after the loss of long-term cast-members Drew and Capshaw. Despite “Grey’s Anatomy” not being foreign to the concept of characters being killed off or written out at the end of a season, it’s still always weird when the new season arrives and the premise begins to take a different turn.

Main character Meredith is also entering a new stage of her life as she’s ready to move on from the death of her beloved (and definitely missed) husband Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).

There’s been a great deal of discussion about Meredith dating again this season. “Meredith didn’t really date originally. She fell in love with McDreamy,” states Krista Vernoff, the show’s executive producer, in an interview. “There was a rebound romance or two [after Derek’s death]. Martin Henderson (as Nathan Riggs) was terrific, but it’s hard for me to think of Riggs as anything but a rebound because of how soon he came in after Derek. And then last season, she [Meredith] focused on work and became something of a medical superhero.”

So Meredith will be dating and enjoying her life. As to who she’s dating, that’s the question, but there was a great deal of chemistry between her and new, laid back orthopedic surgeon Dr. Atticus “Link” Lincoln (Chris Carmack). Along with Link’s arrival is new character Dr. Nico Kim (Alex Landi)– another orthopedic surgeon and the show’s first openly gay male surgeon.

“Grey’s Anatomy” has changed a great deal over the last 15 years to the point that it doesn’t feel like the same show it once was. After all the trauma and heartbreak it has put fans through, fans can only hope that the remaining characters get some sort of happy ending.

Despite the always impending gloom that comes with the show, there is a lot to look forward to. It’s been confirmed that Jeff Perry will be returning as Meredith’s estranged father, Thatcher Grey, who hasn’t been seen since season seven. Also there is the budding new romances that seem to be emerging like Nico Kim, who’s got his eye on nervous intern Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli). Not only that but these interns do provide a kind of craziness we haven’t seen since season one and there is a more lighthearted feel to these later seasons because of the interns’ dynamic.

With the show reaching its 15 mile mark, there has also been a lot of talk over whether “Grey’s Anatomy” will be ending soon.

“I’m feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell,” Pompeo said in an interview. After 15 seasons, it’s only natural to lose material. “Grey’s Anatomy” does keep up with the times, but as for the characters, it’s starting to feel like Shonda Rhimes is just pulling strings at this point. Many fans speculate that “Grey’s Anatomy” will stop after the promised season 16 as it will then beat “E.R” as the longest running medical drama.

Still, after 15 seasons “Grey’s Anatomy” is as addicting as ever. This crazy roller coaster is still going strong and, even if it were to end next year, the stories and characters are still grabbing viewers’ attention.

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-- Emeritus Executive Editor -- English Creative Writing

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