Shonda Rhimes has been slowly taking over weeknight television over the past couple of years. ABC has been fortunate enough to be able to relish in the genius that Rhimes has provided the network with.
Thursday nights have become known to avid Rhimes fans, including myself, as TGIT: Thank God It’s Thursday. The first show of the night, Grey’s Anatomy, is currently in its 12th season, a long way since the premier on March 27, 2005. Even though the show came out when I was seven, I was shocked to realize that I grew up watching the show with my parents. It became a tradition to curl up onto the couch with my parents on Thursday nights and watch people being mutilated on an ER table. I grew up watching Meredith Grey and Christina Yang be complete badasses in some of the most overtly-dramatic situations I have ever seen, and I loved every minute of it.
Scandal came many years later, with its premier in 2012— I can remember my grandma raving about how great the show was. After about a year or so of listening to her incessant praise about how it was better than Grey’s Anatomy, I had to give it a try—and boy am I glad that I did. I watched the series on Netflix, and I kid you not, I must have watched the first three seasons in one week. It was actually scary how addicted I got.
My story with How to Get Away with Murder, or HTGAWM, as its known to fans, is basically exactly the same. I actually started watching the series over Presidents’ Day weekend, and now caught up.
I don’t know what it is about Rhimes’ shows, but they are like a drug. Once you start, you can’t stop. The drama is so easy to get wrapped up into, and you become so invested in these characters that it almost becomes impossible to stop. Also, companies like Netflix know this, and don’t make it easy to stop, as the next episode is literally one click away after the last.
All three shows also have female protagonists as the lead role—Grey’s Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Scandal’s Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, and Viola Davis as Annalise Keeting on HTGAWM. And again, I guess another reason they are all so successful is because they are all EXTREMELY dramatic. I have friends complain to me about the so- called “trash” that they think I’m watching when I rave about how excited I am when Thursdays come around, and every time I tell them to go watch an episode and get back to me.
These shows make it extremely easy to forget whatever problems you may be having in your life, as the main characters in each show also live some pretty messed up lives. You’ve got Meredith Grey dealing with more personal and physical drama on a daily basis than occur in multiple people’s lifetimes, Olivia Pope doing God knows what with the president, and Annalise Keeting covering up unimaginable murder stories and dealing with her own murder story in the process—all of which make our lives seem a lot less screwed up.
While I know that these are merely characters conjured up by the minds of Shonda Rhimes and whatever team of writers she has behind her, I don’t care. To me, the purpose of television shows is to entertain, and TGIT never fails to fully entertain me.
So, yes, I like dramatic television. I like watching semi-believable stories play out from season to season and I guess a lot of other people do too because somehow Shonda Rhimes keeps making shows. Pretty soon TGIT is just going to turn into “Thank God It’s Tonight” at the rate with which these shows keep showing up. There’s even a new Rhimes show, The Catch, expected to air on March 24 which is, you guessed it, a Thursday. That’ll make the empire that is Shonda Rhimes’ entertainment air on ABC on Thursday nights from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. If ABC is blocking out four hours of every Thursday night for multiple shows created by the same person, that has to say something.