Normally, people who finish med school and save other peoples' lives for a living are considered adults — that is, unless they're Doogie Houser. Or on Grey's Anatomy. After six seasons, the show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, says her characters are finally becoming adults — and that their problems will only get more grown-up.
TVGuide.com: What can you tell us about the upcoming season of Grey's Anatomy?
Rhimes: With both Grey's and Private Practice, we've got two really exciting seasons coming up. It's been really fun to sit down and plan them. Our characters are growing up on Grey's. They're really adults now and that's been a real challenge, in how to let them be grownups and figure out what that means for them.
TVGuide.com: Meredith's miscarriage in the finale was heartbreaking. Now that she knows she wants to have a baby, will that be a focus for her this season?
Rhimes: It's possible. The theme for the entire season of Grey's this year is rebirth, so extrapolate from there.
TVGuide.com: James Tupper is coming in as a trauma counselor for the first three episodes. Are there any characters in particular taking it harder than others?
Rhimes: I think they're all taking it pretty hard in their own individual ways. We talked about it a lot, and the fact that there's this group of people that's been extraordinarily damaged by this experience. That's what's going to be carrying them forward, and it will change how they view their jobs, view themselves and view their relationships with one another. A lot of them were about to die. I think they're all fairly damaged and trying to recover.
TVGuide.com: Do you look at Lexie (Chyler Leigh) as the next Grey of Grey's Anatomy?
Rhimes: I have to be honest, I'm not really thinking of it that way. I don't think that's a conscious thought on my part, that we're trying to feed a new Grey of Grey's Anatomy. We have Meredith Grey, she is here and won't be going anywhere for the next two seasons. I haven't really been thinking about filling the shoes of somebody who's sitting right in front of me.
TVGuide.com: The Lexie, Mark (Eric Dane) and Alex (Justin Chambers) love triangle definitely got complicated. What's ahead for them?
Rhimes: A lot of people like to see a lot of people with Mark. I get a lot of mail about why Callie [Sara Ramirez] isn't with Mark, why Addison [Kate Walsh] isn't with Mark. Mark is a very juicy, interesting character and we're going to try to explore what happens next for both of those characters in a really interesting and, hopefully, a very non-predictable way.
TVGuide.com: After making sacrifices for each other in the finale, will we see a happy Callie and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) in the new season?
Rhimes: Callie and Arizona are going to be together; I don't know if happy is the right word. We're going to see them struggle with their relationship, where it's going and what that means for them. The reality of the situation is that they are two people who are trying to settle down together and figure out what that means. That's going to be really interesting to watch unfold