2x01: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Original Airdate: 9/25/2005
Written by: Stacy McKee
Directed by: Peter Horton
From Stacy McKee, writer of "Raindrops..."
Originally posted on 9/25/05
I have never been as ridiculously nervous as the moment I handed in my
first official draft of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."
We're talking sweaty palms, heart palpitations - I was downright
petrified. Partly because that's a little of what every writer goes
through when they offer up their work for public consumption (and -
let's face it - possible ridicule) - but mostly because I was the
youngest, least experienced writer on staff at Grey's Anatomy - and this
was my very first professional script EVER.
Yeah. I'd group it right up there with that time in third grade when - convinced the math test I was about to take might very well ruin my life
- I managed to vomit all over my teacher, my test, AND the cute boy with
dimples sitting at the desk right in front of me… (Andrew Montgomery, if
you're reading this, I sincerely apologize.)
But (luckily) "Raindrops" didn't face same reception I endured in third
grade (meaning - despite my insecurities, there was little reason for me
to retreat into my office and hide under my desk) and - in the end, it
was pretty incredible watching my episode come to life… both in front of
the camera - AND behind the scenes.
I was struck by how even the tiniest detail on the page can have a
tremendous ripple effect for the production team… For instance: Peanut
I had written into my description of Joe's Bar in "Raindrops" that
peanut shells "littered the floor." Now, except for a brief moment when
Joe collapses, we never actually see the bar's floor. The description
was, for me as a writer, there to evoke an ambiance - to give an idea of
the TYPE of bar Joe would run… But I quickly learned that if it was on
the page, it would be on the set.
I'll never forget sitting in our production meeting and discussing how -
since the bar's floor was actually carpeted and not exactly visible -
maybe I could lose the peanut shells on the floor? No problem, I said -
not a big deal. So now, if you read the first line of the script, it
describes: "Lighting is dim, bowls of peanuts clutter the counter, dart
boards & beer signs line the walls…"
But if you look carefully, the peanut shells did make it onto the
There I was. Suddenly sitting on set - listening to Patrick Dempsey say
lines I had written… in the middle of the night, cameras everywhere,
with rain pouring down - not from the sky, but from the rain machine
rigged up just for this scene - this scene that I had written. Me - the
new kid with butterflies in her tummy and (still) a violent aversion to
Suddenly, on the day before Charlie Bucket's birthday, the newspapers announced that the second Golden Ticket had been found. The lucky person was a small girl called Veruca Salt who lived with her rich parents in a great city far away. Once again Mr Bucket's evening newspaper carried a big picture of the finder. She was sitting between her beaming father and mother in the living room of their house, waving the Golden Ticket above her head, and grinning from ear to ear.
Veruca's father, Mr Salt, had eagerly explained to the newspapermen exactly how the ticket was found. 'You see, boys,' he had said, 'as soon as my little girl told me that she simply had to have one of those Golden Tickets, I went out into the town and started buying up all the Wonka bars I could lay my hands on. Thousands of them, I must have bought. Hundreds of thousands! Then I had them loaded on to trucks and sent directly to my own factory. I'm in the peanut business, you see, and I've got about a hundred women working for me over at my place, shelling peanuts for roasting and salting. That's what they do all day long, those women, they sit there shelling peanuts. So I says to them, "Okay, girls," I says, "from now on, you can stop shelling peanuts and start shelling the wrappers off these chocolate bars instead!" And they did. I had every worker in the place yanking the paper off those bars of chocolate full speed ahead from morning till night.
'But three days went by, and we had no luck. Oh, it was terrible! My little Veruca got more and more upset each day, and every time I went home she would scream at me, "Where's my Golden Ticket! I want my Golden Ticket!" And she would lie for hours on the floor, kicking and yelling in the most disturbing way. Well, I just hated to see my little girl feeling unhappy like that, so I vowed I would keep up the search until I'd got her what she wanted. Then suddenly . . . on the evening of the fourth day, one of my women workers yelled, "I've got it! A Golden Ticket!" And I said, "Give it to me, quick!" and she did, and I rushed it home and gave it to my darling Veruca, and now she's all smiles, and we have a happy home once again.'
'That's even worse than the fat boy,' said Grandma Josephine.
'She needs a really good spanking,' said Grandma Georgina.
'I don't think the girl's father played it quite fair, Grandpa, do you?' Charlie murmured.
'He spoils her,' Grandpa Joe said. 'And no good can ever come from spoiling a child like that, Charlie, you mark my words.'
'Come to bed, my darling,' said Charlie's mother. 'Tomorrow's your birthday, don't forget that, so I expect you'll be up early to open your present.'
'A Wonka chocolate bar!' cried Charlie. 'It is a Wonka bar, isn't it?' 'Yes, my love,' his mother said. 'Of course it is.'
'Oh, wouldn't it be wonderful if I found the third Golden Ticket inside it?' Charlie said.
'Bring it in here when you get it,' Grandpa Joe said. 'Then we can all watch you taking off the wrapper.'