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Now this feels like the Grey's Anatomy we first fell in love with!

After spending eleven seasons growing more dark and twisty, the ABC soap is making a concerted effort to stand in the sun—to borrow a phrase from another Shondaland creation—and this sneak peek at the season 12 premiere, exclusive to E! News, is proof of that.

Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) has never made the best roommate, something sister-in-law Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and half-sister Maggie (Kelly McCreary) are learning real quick. Although, Amy's sledgehammer-ing ways aren't earning her any Roommate of the Year awards either. "Why don't I learn? I take in strays because they're sad and lonely and homeless," Meredith laments. "The truth is, strays are flea-ridden creatures who pee on your stuff." Oh, Mer. Never change.

After weathering a heavy season that climaxed with the death of Derek (Patrick Dempsey), fans can look forward to a "lighter" season, as Shonda Rhimes said, "Grey's, there's a much sort of lighter tone this year that we're going for. Meredith Grey has never been defined by her relationship with a man."

And it doesn't sound like Meredith will be moving on with a new man anytime soon, with Rhimes telling us, "I have not planned to [introduce a new love interest for her] and that's not really the focus of what we're doing with her right now. Meredith is in a rebirth and she's evolving. I'm watching the character do what the character's doing and I'll see where it goes."

Check out Meredith and her "strays" in the video above to hold you over until Grey's Anatomy returns on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

PHOTOS: We ranked all the Grey's Anatomy deaths by how hard they made us cry