I watch television. This summer, I have had the opportunity to watch reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m what you’d call a hit-or-miss viewer. I thought it was a good show, but…if I’d miss an episode, life would go on. During the course of this summer, my view has changed. I will be recording any episode I may miss. I wasn’t one of those people who started watching the first year the series premiered, maybe not even the second year. I’m not nuts about medical dramas. I didn’t watch ER. I didn’t watch St. Elsewhere. I didn’t watch Chicago Hope. I was lukewarm to the idea of Grey’s Anatomy.
Catching those early episodes created a greater understanding of the character arcs, the journey. There are so many elements of the characters to appreciate.
The series was intended to be racially diverse, and cast without considering the actor’s ethnicity, with the exception of Dr. Miranda Bailey. She was envisioned as a petite, blonde, white woman. Chandra Wilson, a petite, curvy Black woman, changed that plan with her audition. During the eight seasons the show has been on, Wilson has been nominated for five Emmy Awards, two BET Awards, seven Image Awards (winning four), three Screen Actors Guild Awards (winning two). The list goes on.
Dr. Miranda Bailey, once known as the Nazi, is one of my favorite characters. She is tough. She is soft. She is fantastic.
Grey’s Anatomy is the brain child of Shonda Rhimes. She is the creator, executive producer, and head writer of the series. Ms. Rhimes was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Park Forest. During high school, she did what thousands of young girls do. Ms. Rhimes worked as a candystriper. This created an interest in the hospital environment.
She earned her BA degree from Dartmouth College and relocated to San Francisco to work in advertizing. She studied screenwriting and earned her Masters of Fine Arts from the USC School of Cinema-Television.
Ms. Rhimes was a writer on Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Crossroads, Britney Spears debut film, and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
The woman seems to always be working:
Private Practice, a medical drama, was a spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy.
Inside the Box, a female ensemble set in a Washington D.C. network news bureau. It wasn’t picked up.
Off the Map, for which she served as executive producer.
Scandal, a political thriller which takes place in Washington D.C. and focuses on Olivia Pope’s crisis management firm.
Gilded Lilys is in development. It is set in 1895 and follows the lives of the Lily family, their employees, and their establishment and management of the first luxury hotel in New York City.
Shonda Rhimes is a force of nature. As a child, she had an affinity for storytelling. This is a woman who followed her calling. I’m betting she’d still be spinning stories, even if her projects hadn’t sold.
In your opinion, what television shows, books or movies are master classes for character arcs?