Grey's Anatomy Universe

I’m rewatching Private Practice for the first time too, just started S5. It’s just as good, if not, better than when I first watched it. Consistently great storylines and amazing acting. KaDee Strickland was the clear highlight and it’s a shame she never popped up in Grey’s later considering she met a few of the characters. It would be great to see Charlotte and Amelia interact or bump into each other at a meeting.

In terms of Grey’s, at this point I’m very bored with it but watching out of habit and to see it through. The new interns are not interesting enough to carry storylines (they need to make them interact with the main cast more) and even the longer serving characters just feel tired at this point. I seem to be one of the few people not excited about Ben returning at all. His flip-flopping between careers just to suit the show feels so forced and he’s just not an interesting enough character to add anything.

They need to bring back some true fan-favourites but actually integrate them properly. Arizona’s cameo this year was completely pointless and could have been any character, there was nothing about her history or what she has been up to since leaving which was a real missed opportunity.
I love Ellen, but this is getting a bit ridiculous. I really hope they give her a good story, not those secret research projects
TVLine is reporting it as well, and mentions:

Ellen Pompeo is set to appear in seven of the long-running ABC drama’s 18 episodes, our sister site Deadline reports (and TVLine has confirmed). What’s more, that number could grow to as many as 14 shows.

I'm perfectly content with her doing this reduced capacity. Obviously I'd love her to have remained full-time, but I think they've found a sweet spot to accommodate what she's wanted for a long time, which is a reduced workload and the freedom to explore other creative outlets. Being the lead of a show like Grey's full-time is a massive undertaking – I think people tend to underestimate how much she worked, especially from seasons 1-16 when she was the proper 'star' and doing 22-24 episodes a year. It's clear that around season 17 they began trying to find ways to reduce her workload a bit, and change up her storylines/scenery, which she had every right to want.

I'm interested to see where they go with her story now. I imagine it's going to be a continuation of this Meredith VS Catherine storyline, and Meg mentioned at the end of the season that she wants to explore Meredith and Nick working together more, so I hope we're past any relationship drama from them. They were so cute and romantic in season 18, and it feels like the writers have had a hard time figuring out what to do with them since then, but I know Ellen is seemingly sick of the romantic strife, too, so I'd bet part of her talks about returning include what she wants her storyline to look like. Scott Speedman has taken on another series regular role, though I think that started filming back in March, so it'll be interesting to see how much he commits to Grey's.
I'm happy with more Meredith as long as they gave Ellen something to actually act this time around. The past few seasons have felt like she was just playing herself.
I finished Private Practice last night and I felt weirdly emotional ending my rewatch - I already miss it and I did tear up during the finale.

Season 6 was so strong! I do think it was an interesting storytelling decision to give each character their own episode and time to shine, but it also made the pacing feel strange. I remember having the same issue while it was airing - like, maybe I don't feel like watching an episode about Cooper right now ddd. But that's more a me issue. The show is damn near perfect from beginning to end. And the series finale is just beautiful. I love that they brought Naomi back, I loved the full-circle kitchen scene with Addison and Naomi, I loved seeing Addison get married. The dialogue was so crisp, so very Shonda at her prime (she wrote the episode). The show really could've gone on many more years, as Shonda recently said in an interview, but the beauty of it is that it did end and has such a great legacy. Violet and Charlotte's arcs are the shining points of the show for me.

I would rank the seasons something like 4 > 5 > 6 > 3 > 2 > 1.

I guess that's sort of it for Greysverse stuff until the show is back in September. Maybe we'll get some interesting casting news or plot news before then, but eh.
I'm sad to see Yasuda go but it's quite clear to see why it was Schmitt and Yasuda who they cut when they needed to save some money. They've been struggling to give Schmitt purpose for a while and out of the interns, Yasuda is the least well established. They're clearly conscious that it's going to impact LGBTQ+ representation and trying to address this through this new character. It's good to see them bringing hospital-based characters in who aren't doctors. I'm guessing they will explore being a gay person of faith. Some interesting potential story avenues.
Hmm some thoughts... I think maybe this character could be a part of Levi's exit storyline in some way (either some kind of endgame or catalyst for whatever makes him leave). Historically, anyone that's not a surgeon (or now OB I guess) hasn't lasted long term on the show, and I can't imagine much story potential for a chaplain outside of one patient arc or a couple of stories here and there.

The other thing I want to say across the board is that I don't really get when people say they've written a character into a corner or that they're struggling to give someone purpose. If Schmitt has no purpose, write him some ddd. There is SO much potential that's been untapped. The fact that they never gave him a proper long-term love interest after Nico left was a disadvantage, and they fumbled the math on him becoming a fellow/attending as well. Sure, him and Jo are friends but they've never explored that on any deep level either. There's a number of things they could have done with him also being the only gay male character on the show - talk about body dysmorphia in the gay community, or hate crimes, or have him be the first HIV+ character, that would be groundbreaking. There's sort of no excuse other than bad writing. I mean, they literally completely changed up Deluca's character in S14 by having him randomly become super Italian and they even retconned his family story. If they wanted to, they could and would. Otherwise the creativity really is COOKED.

I think when it comes down to it, this is all about business/HR decisions. Like them getting rid of Sarah Drew during the HEIGHT of her character's creative arc is evidence of that when so many other characters could've been cut.

I can't believe we're getting another season of Winston - the most nothing-y series regular ever on the show maybe.
Kinda sucks they’re getting rid of two LGBTQ+ characters though, were that disposable huh.
This isn't really fair, at least when it comes to Grey's - characters come and go every season, regardless of their race or orientation. There are still multiple queer characters on the show, too. It's hardly a matter of LGBTQ+ characters being disposable to these writers. Plenty of actors have been let go against the actors choosing - from major players like Mark, Derek and April to shorter-term regulars like Hayes and Riggs. It's how the series works.

I don't disagree, though, that they could have done a lot more with Levi over the years, but it felt almost... too late? The issue is that he isn't ingrained the main cast other than Jo, and like @stopthestatic said, they haven't even done much with that connection lately.

I think it comes down to a few things:

1. Money, which is the biggest factor in these decisions. He's been around for 7 seasons now, so he's a lot more expensive than, say, Winston or Monica (who I'm still hoping they up to a regular!). When the network says they need to cut budget, he's a logical choice.

2. He's the least connected to the "core" group of the show. I'm thinking they see Winston as valuable because he's connected to Maggie and by proxy Amelia, Richard, Meredith, etc. There are the interns and then the attendings, and Levi sadly fell in the middle.

I feel like Levi can get written off in a satisfactory way because he's been through enough on the show that, while I think there's some wasted potential, he is still a memorable character who has had a good arc (from "glasses" the bumbling intern to the Chief Resident and a relatively respected surgeon who shows a lot of promise). I'm actually sadder to see Yasuda go because she's so new and I was genuinely excited about seeing where they'd go with her and Jules + I really enjoyed her being mentored by Teddy.
If this is the way to write Levi off, they're gonna get rid of 3 lgbtq+ characters in S21!
About Deluca, I don't really know what happened in the writers' room ! He was turned into a completely different character ! Unbelievable ! Giacomo looks like a nice guy!