The return of Grey’s Anatomy is here. The beloved ABC drama returns on Thursday, September 27, for its whopping fifteenth season, and with new Grey’s Anatomy comes a lot of medical-adjacent romance. The season 15 trailer teased a love triangle between Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), a pregnant Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), along with a a progressed relationship with Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti). And, of course, we'll get a look at the life of newlyweds Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers).
While all of these roiling couplings are sure to get dramatic this season, they’re not exactly the ships that have showrunner Krista Vernoff “shaking in her boots” right now. No, that honor goes to brand-new Grey-Sloan Memorial doctor Nico Kim (Alex Landi) and whomever will be the lucky man he’s romancing this season.
It’s official Grey’s fans: It’s time to buckle up when it comes to Nico’s romantic future.
“Honestly, the coupling that’s making me the most excited this season, America hasn’t seen yet,” Vernoff teased in between directing season 15’s upcoming seventh episode. “But, Alex Landi, who’s our new recurring guest star [and playing the show's] first openly gay male surgeon, has a love story this season that has me shaking in my boots.”
Reflecting on how Nico’s mystery romance is blossoming, Vernoff added, “It’s just our favorite thing in every table read. It’s super vulnerable and funny and it’s just exciting television.”
This is great news for everyone who’s been hotly awaiting more information about Landi’s character since his casting was announced earlier this month. Some fans questioned the addition of the Korean-Italian American actor and fellow Grey’s newbie Chris Carmack of “Welcome to the O.C., bitch” fame following the exits of fan-favorites Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw. Drew and Capshaw’s departure was blamed on a need to “downsize” the cast for storytelling purposes.
But, the other portion of Grey’s Anatomy fans applauded the series for continuing its dedication to giving viewers complex queer characters and complex characters of color. Landi's Nico Kim happens to be both.
Yet, longtime fans shouldn’t worry that Nico is getting all the shippable attention. Viewers can expect to to see leading lady Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) explore her own romantic opportunities in season 15. “I know [the writers] want Meredith to find some happiness this season. And she’ll get to date,” Chandra Wilson, who both directs Grey’s and plays the unstoppable Miranda Bailey, told Refinery29. “So, we have a little awkward television coming up.”
While Wilson can’t quite put her finger on the reason why Grey’s Anatomy relationships resonate so much with fans, she is thankful for the appreciation.
“I wish I could figure that out. If I could figure that out, I would put it in a bottle, and hand it out,” the actress-director joked during a break from shooting this season’s fifth episode, which she directed. “[Viewers] get straight mad at us behind every big [romantic] change that happens on the show and that’s an absolute compliment.”
However, showrunner Vernoff has a few ideas about what makes a Grey’s love story so powerful. “The experiences [our characters] have — being open to love, looking for love, falling in love — those are pretty universal feelings. I don’t want to say ‘everybody’ [has them] because I know there are aromantics in the world,” the writer said. “But the vast majority of people, love to fall in love. It’s a unifying thing as well, in a time when we’re all really divided.”
With all the successful relationships on the horizon — hello, Karev and Jo! — and many flailing stabs at Grey-Sloan romance ahead, get ready to feel united in your love of Grey’s Anatomy ships, America.
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