The Shondaland formula: 8 things you’ll find in every Shonda Rhimes show | Virgin Media
The Shondaland formula: 8 things you’ll find in every Shonda Rhimes show

8 things you’ll find in every Shonda Rhimes show

26/05/2016TV

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With an impressive CV that boasts Scandal, The Catch, Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder, TV producer, creator and writer Shonda Rhimes has an almost unimpeachable formula for series success that has made her the go-to girl for primetime viewing Stateside, bagging many a prestigious award and creating TV legends to boot.

With Scandal seasons 1-4 available On Demand, not to mention Grey’s Anatomy seasons 1-12, here are eight things – as per the Shondaland formula – that are guaranteed to be there for all our gawping, salivating, sobbing, viewing pleasure…

The lead will be female and fabulous

Mireille Enos is quite The Catch

Mireille Enos is quite The Catch

Like Dr. Meredith Grey, Olivia Pope and Prof. Annalise Keating before her, Alice Vaughan is a steely-veined, beautiful, successful yet ultimately flawed heroine. She has a high-powered job - natch - in this case, a plucky private investigator specialising in fraud exposure. Because law professor, brilliant surgeon and style-savvy politico have been done, right?

 

…And she’ll have “daddy issues”

Kerry Washington’s “Scandalous” Olivia Pope

Kerry Washington’s “Scandalous” Olivia Pope

From Pope’s enigmatic yet barmy paternal-twist to Grey’s inability to live up to her father’s legacy, we can’t wait to hear what parental problems will rear their ugly head for Vaughan. Perhaps, her father held her previously-thought-dead mother hostage for twenty years, before it emerged that her mother was in fact a twisted terrorist! Oh, wait…

 

…And she’ll fall for a married man

The kiss of career death

The kiss of career death

Because, frankly, in a Sho-Rhi drama, who hasn’t? And that always ends so well.

 

…And she’ll have a troubled past

Grey’s Anatomy, where the ghosts of someone’s past are sometimes actual, literal ghosts

Grey’s Anatomy, where the ghosts of someone’s past are sometimes actual, literal ghosts

(Read: So many skeletons in her closet you’d expect a femur to slip out of her shirt). From abuse, illicit affairs and secret families, to murder, out-of-body experiences and the afterlife, we’re curious to see how Shonda’s gonna top this, frankly bonkers, inventory of intrigue.

 

…And she’ll be flanked by the most PC, diverse cast in television

And they all look fabulous

And they all look fabulous

Because Sho-Rhi is so hip, it hurts. From LGBT to ethnic minorities, the TV honcho has done more for marginal representation in her 10 years at the helm than a lifetime of Channel 4 programming. In fact, somewhat shockingly, Pope is often cited as the first dramatic lead played by a black woman on US network television since 1974.  Go, Shonda!

 

…And one of the main characters will die

No one is safe. NO ONE

No one is safe. NO ONE

In a jaw-dropping, head-clutching moment of shock and terror that will leave viewers gawping at the screen for a full five minutes after the credits roll, or shivering, fully-clothed in the shower while they sob into the plug hole. Derek Shepherd? George O'Malley? Lexie Grey? Amanda Tanner? Rebecca Sutter? There are women the world over still wearing black in mourning for the sudden death of McDreamy. 

 

…And the season finale will have a cliffhanger

Shut-up-OMG-whatjusthappened?

Shut-up-OMG-whatjusthappened?

And it will be so cliff-hangingly cliffhanging that you’ll want to hang yourself off a cliff. 

 

…And it will ultimately ruin your life

“They took everything from me. Everything! At least until the next season…

“They took everything from me. Everything! At least until the next season…

Because no matter how much you resist, you know you’re going to watch it. You’re going to scream “NOOOOOOOO!” as the credits roll each week, and spend the next week counting down the days until your next Sho-Rhi fix. And you’re going to love it. 

Because, put frankly, how could 30million+ viewers, three Primetime Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe be wrong?

Scandal seasons 1-4 and Grey’s Anatomy seasons 1-12 are available to watch On Demand. Find them in On Demand > Box Sets.

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