If there is a silver-lining to be taken away from the horrific happening in last May’s PRIVATE PRACTICE season finale. You know, where Dr. Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman) was left for dead, bleeding out and unconscious after falling victim to an unthinkable crime courtesy of her former psychiatric patient Katie (Amanda Foreman) who ran off with Violet’s baby she so desperately believed was hers (hence, the crazy). Is that for the first time in a long time, audiences spent the summer talking about a Shonda Rhimes series for what happened on camera, rather than off.
Whether you fell into the ‘loved it’ camp, or the ‘loathed it’ one, there is no denying the fact that you talked about it. A LOT!
Which is why, this TV Addict was thrilled to recently be given the opportunity to to check into Oceanside Wellness in person for an exclusive Q&A with the topic of conversation herself: Amy Brenneman. Who shares her thoughts on the controversial finale and what fans can expect from tonight’s season premiere. Spoilerphobes, you’ve been warned.
How shocked were you that [PRIVATE PRACTICE showrunner] Shonda Rhimes put Violet in such a horrific situation?
Amy Brenneman: Well, Shonda took a big old risk and recently said something to me that really made an impression on me. When she was pitching the idea to the [ABC] studio execs, they said, “That’s terrible, that’s so upsetting, you can’t do that!” And Shonda said, “Wait a minute, this very studio produces CRIMINAL MINDS where every week there’s a woman mutilated, raped and killed.” And the studio said, “The difference is that’s not a character we know and love.” And Shonda said, “Well, that’s the point. Violet is someone you know and love, she’s not a guest player you’re never going to see it again.”
Did the tonal shift surprise you?
Actually, I was really excited because I knew Katie was going to come back and the actress Amanda [Foreman] is just brilliant. I also loved the idea that dramatically, when ambivalent Violet seems to finally have this moment of peaceful clarity, it’s snatched away.
Are we going to find out who the daddy of Violet’s baby is?
I guess so, you tell me.
Will Violet choose between Pete and Sheldon?
There’s a lot with Pete and Sheldon continues as well.
What are your thoughts on this love triangle?
I like it, although I feel like it’s a love quadrangle, because I always feel like Cooper is her husband and these other guys are her lovers. But you know, the Cooper/Violet thing that starts out this season is so poignant with him not having saved her. Shonda just writes to that beautifully, it’s great. I don’t know how my husband would feel me saying this but I do think we get our emotional needs met in different areas and you know Shonda writes that in a more explicit ways. You have your friendship over here and sensual life over here. The first episode has a beautiful series of flashbacks, mostly with Violet and Pete that takes the audience back to his arrival at the practice.
DId you find yourself frustrated by Violet’s inability to make a decision between Pete and Sheldon last season?
I thought it was unrealistic. I had writers come up to me one day and ask, “Would you want to know [who the baby-daddy is]?” And I’m like of course, Violet’s a mother over 40, she’d definitely get genetic testing. So yeah, I did find the fact that we skipped over genetic testing a little… well, whatever. But what really helped, at least for me, was Violet’s monologue, where she said to the guys, “I need to do this in my own quirky way.” Plus, as soon as Cooper moved in she didn’t need the baby-daddy to go with her to appointments, which of course infuriated them.
Will Violet continue living with Cooper this season?
Cooper is not my roommate anymore. Actually, I haven’t seen Cooper for a while at the beginning of the season, there is a serious emotional fallout for him.
So Cooper really doesn’t’ come back to save Violet? Even though, as the finale faded to black, there was definitely a little part of me that was sort of hoping that maybe he forgot his keys or something!
Oh no, Violet gets hurt big time. She is saved, she survives, but she gets hurt. It’s ugly.
How much time has passed between the season finale and the season premiere?
We pick up 20 minutes after, second episode is a month.
PRIVATE PRACTICE airs on Thursdays at 10PM on ABC (‘A’ Channel in Canada)