Shonda Rhimes – more than just #TGIT

Because of Shonda Rhimes saying “Yes”,  television has changed and the way we watch television has changed.
I sit in the UK totally aware that TGIT is happening in the USA and I connect with friends and colleagues to get updates on the programmes, and let’s be honest there are millions of people who stream these programmes to keep up to up to date with the characters that Shonda has created – simply by saying “Yes”.

Behind the phenomenon that is #TGIT aka: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, is Shonda Rhimes. Quite likely the most powerful person in TV right now. Her shows are real, hilarious, full of action, sexy, heart wrenching, dramatic, talky, action-packed, and most of all driven by the characters she has so lovingly crafted.  The idea that Shonda Rhimes, through her amazing production company Shondaland, can put forth conflicted, complex, REAL women is breathtaking and revolutionary.


Sandra Oh who plays Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy had this to say about Shonda in TIME:

Overnight she went from independent screenwriter and single mom to a public figure, the guiding force and creative engine for more than 200 employees. Shonda, 37, suddenly had this immense responsibility and pressure, which has changed her life in a way that no one can possibly prepare for.

In real life, she’s a rather shy, private person who prefers living in her head to dealing with the myriad producers and studio executives and associations who all want something from her—to write for them, to sell for them, to speak for them.

And watching that introverted, creative and independent spirit struggle and learn so quickly to manage and balance and truly own all that power was like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. She did it with self-deprecating humor, brutal honesty and no small amount of grace.

Shonda Rhimes has won a Golden Globe award and was nominated for three Emmy Awards. She has also won awards from the Writer’s Guild of America, Producer’s Guild of America, and Director’s Guild of America.

In March 2016, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and Grey’s Anatomy were respectively picked up for their sixth, third and thirteenth seasons, and will air during the 2016-2017 season.

And then she wrote a book – Year of Yes – an account of the transformative year she spent saying just that.


Say ‘yes’ to what scares you, even if it’s saying ‘no’ to work

“A while ago, I tried an experiment,” says Shonda Rhimes.. “For one year, I would say ‘yes’ to all the things that scared me. Anything that made me nervous or took me out of my comfort zone, I’d say ‘yes.’”

“A crazy thing happened — the very act of doing the thing that scared me undid the fear,” she says. “It’s amazing the power of one word. ‘Yes’ changed my life. ‘Yes’ changed me.”

A simple point? Yes, but one that Shonda Rhimes thinks we always need to be reminded of: “Work doesn’t work without play.” From hanging with friends, to taking time out to play with children, reading a good book (might I suggest the Year Of Yes?) it’s vital that we take time out for the little things that make life worth living.

When I started reading “The Year of Yes”, my initial thoughts were that you can’t possibly say “Yes” to everything, you would burn out, but then I looked a little deeper.  In saying “Yes” to the usual run of the mill experiences, the same people, to what it normal for you stunts your growth. Thoughts patterns are the same, actions are the same, the routine never changes, there’s no stretching of the imagination and no growth so you continue on what I call “The Hampster Wheel of Life”.  Steaming forward for miles and when you get off the wheel you end up in the very same place that you started.

In saying “Yes” to the unfamiliar experiences and requests, growth WILL appear.  The initial fear of saying “Yes” to something or someone probably rocks your soul, but in saying “Yes” you step into the unknown promotes growth, and increases you creative skills, your source, your passion.

What do YOU think? Have you read Shonda’s book? Do you think you could say YES to everything for a whole year? Say YES and tell me what you think  on Facebook  and  Twitter !