Shonda Rhimes one of the”biggest” female Showrunner in the United States. Rhimes has created Grey’s Anatomy(2005-), Private Practice (2007-2013), Scandal (2012-), and How To Get Away With Murder (2014-). As you can see there are quite a lot of crossovers in her different television programs. All of Shonda Rhimes shows feature women in the main cast. Olivia Pope, an African American woman, plays the main character in Scandal.
I have watched most of Rhimes’ shows. Though in full disclosure, I have only watched two episodes of How To Get Away With Murder. I have noticed certain similarities between the way Rhimes’ shows tell their stories. I think we can all agree Shonda Rhimes creates feminist television programs. Here below is a list of characteristics shared by all of Rhimes’ work:
- All the shows featured one woman who rocks at her job. She is usually naturally good at what she does. Her genius is rooted in experience as well as education. In Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, that one woman (Meredith and Addison) just started her job as a surgeon in a new hospital or private practice. Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating are established and in fact the boss in the respective firms. Both African American woman are lawyers known to be tough. The television shows are for the most part told from the genius woman’s point of view.
- All of Rhimes’ television shows feature a team of doctors, lawyers, or fixers. The team works well together and team members are extremely loyal to one another. They play outside the lines of their profession to help their patients or clients. At one point or another the team gets into trouble because they operate in the grey like how in Private Practice the doctors almost lose Oceanside Wellness. Or in Grey’s Anatomy the surgeons were one hair away from being sold to a company that operates hospital like a factory. The surgeons in Seattle Grace Mercy West do innovative surgeries and once in a while break laws to save their patients.
- Warning: This is a Critical Note: All the television programs pretend that homophobia, sexism and racism only exists in the past or are limited to super bigoted people. In Scandal the only time racism is ever really discussed is when a cop shoots an African American boy. Olivia Pope finds out that one bigoted white cop put a gun in the boy’s hand after shooting him because he hated all the people in his district. In Grey’s Anatomy, the one time sexism gets expressed by any of the surgeons is in a flashback with Dr.Ellis Grey during the 1960’s.
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