Published on Thursday, October 20, 2016 by Madison Little
Shonda Rhimes: a name heard around the world. With Netflix booming and people wanting to binge watch the latest television shows, social media is overloaded with information on the newest television series. Writer, director, and producer, Shonda Rhimes is known for “owning” the ABC channel with her triple threat TV dramas produced by her studio, Shondaland. Her powerful voice as a screenwriter and television producer has put Shonda on the map for being one of the most successful individuals in the entertainment industry.
While most people who are not living under a rock are familiar with Rhimes’ shows Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, The Catch, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal, she is also known for writing shows and musicals that are not as publicized. One very popular movie Rhimes helped write is The Princess Diaries. Her abilities were unknown because she wasn’t the main writer or producer in that movie. Getting to experience what goes on behind the scenes allowed for Rhimes to gain knowledge on what life was like as a television producer.
Rhimes sudden rise to fame was sparked after Grey’s Anatomy, debuted which jump started her career. Grey’s Anatomy has grown more successful each and every year it has aired and is able to grab new viewers because of its Netflix presence, which proves the show has the longevity to inspire multiple generations.
However, Grey’s Anatomy was only a catalyst for Rhimes prestigious career. Her show Scandal, has been talked about all over the world because of its sensational plot. Its thrilling influence on politics sets it apart from other shows. Characters such as Olivia Pope, draws viewers in by expressing her empowering feministic attitude and dominant position in the White House.
Though Rhimes is acclaimed for writing and producing shows, she has also made an entrance into the world of acting. In 2012, she played the role of herself in a popular comedy, The Mindy Project. This appearance gave Rhimes the ability to step in front of the camera and gain experience on what it was like to be an actress, because she is normally behind the camera. This gave Rhimes the chance to better relate to actors and actresses in which she normally writes the script for.
Rhimes uses her own life as inspiration for her shows. She gained inspiration for the idea of Grey’s Anatomy after learning from her best friend how hard it was to shave your legs in a hospital shower. Eleven years of complex plots and extremely innovative dramas developed from a simple statement. She has the ability to keep a show growing over as many years as she pleases. Characters from the show have been influenced from her family members, including Miranda Bailey, who is one of the main surgeons on Grey’s and is a reflection of Rhimes’ mother. Her intense personality and dedication to being the best surgeon in the hospital, gives fans inspiration and a strong motherly connection to the show. She has also added details about her life into the show, like writing the central character, Meredith Grey, as having gone to Dartmouth College, just like she did. These small details of Rhimes’ life within her shows sets her aside from other writers because of her passion to be original.
Rhimes is also known for her positive outlook on life. This is shown through her book Year of Yes, in which she displays her optimistic outlook on the idea that no goal is too small. In her speeches, Rhimes explains her gratitude towards once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that puts her in the center of the ABC network. Furthermore, her prominent advocacy for dreaming big and inspiring others sets her apart from other writers.