by Amanda Vieira
Many people spent countless hours of their nights glued to the television set waiting for one of the most watched shows, “Grey’s Anatomy” to premiere. This show was made by none other than the first African-American woman to create and produce ten Top network series: Shonda Rhimes. This would not be the first and only show that would be a success for Rhimes. She produced two other shows that have captured the attention and hearts of millions. These shows include “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal”. Her three well-known shows are targeted towards the empowerment of women. She wanted something that many people would be interested in watching, but had a stronger message as well. Rhimes is often given credit for breaking race and gender barriers with her shows but she doesn’t see it that way.
In an interview she gave to ABC’s “Good Morning America” she stated, “Yeah. I mean, I feel like the television landscape should look like the world we see outside …the package that people come in is the package that they come in. What’s inside is what’s the most interesting thing.” Rhonda wants people to be entertained and exposed to real talent and that is what she goes after. Each show has a little backstory to it. For example, her first successful show, Grey’s Anatomy, starts out with a young doctor named Meredith Grey who wants to be recognized by her peers and the hospital as a hard working surgeon rather than the daughter of one of the best surgeons in the country. Throughout the show, she falls in love with Seattle Grace’s best neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd. I will not spoil further information between the relationship of Derek and Meredith but I will say one thing… there have been various reports stating Shonda Rhimes removed one of these characters from the show because of poor terms between her and the particular actor.
She has the reputation of “killing off characters because she doesn’t like them”. Rhimes did an interview with Comedy Central where she confirms to killing a character because she didn’t like the way they were portraying their character. She has the power to capture various situations going on in real life and apply them to her shows. A prime example of this would be the show “Scandal” which is a story of a politician who has a secret affair with his campaign manager. Throughout the show they fall in love with one another but have to overcome various obstacles in order to balance their life. This occurrence is relatable because it became popular during the era of presidential elections; many people wonder what goes on inside the White House and this show gives us a glimpse of what our nation’s greatest leader may go through in regards to politics and life.
The last show that Shonda created was “How to Get Away with Murder,” which is an interesting title for a show that millions are attracted too. This show is based on Professor Keating, a criminal defense attorney and a law professor. She chooses a group of college students to take part in her firm. The show starts with a murder taking place and throughout every episode we learn a dark secret from each character. This show captures the mind of many people shining a certain aspect to the idea of murder. As weird as that sounds, people are attracted to this genre. They know they will never commit the crimes portrayed, but seeing the consequences people go through is very entertaining.
At the end of the 45 minutes of each show, a person realizes that Shonda Rhimes is pretty much a genius in the sense that she is able to create a variety of stories targeted towards different people and make them all fall in love with it. Rhimes is truly an inspiration to people who want to accomplish their dreams but are scared to go after it. She has to fight different barriers that she encounters in her personal life as well as her work life. Some of these barriers include race and gender. In terms of her shows, they deal with sexual orientations, abortion, gender roles, adoption, diseases, single parenting families and so much more. Shonda Rhimes is able bring and apply these issues to her shows making her viewers become well educated and engaged on the topic, helping people grow.