Love it or hate it, Grey’s Anatomy changed television.
That may seem an overstatement, since Grey’s isn’t in the category of the dramas usually referred to as transformational — The Sopranos, Mad Men or Six Feet Under, for example. But in terms of pop culture, the influence of the show is obvious every time someone says, “Seriously?” or refers to an essential part of the body as the “va-jay-jay.”
Sure, Grey’s often is infuriating, but that’s just proof that we have an emotional investment in the characters and their stories. And for that, we have to thank Shonda Rhimes, who was chosen as one of TV Guide’s “Players” — the people who made the decade’s best TV.
Rhimes takes her place among J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe), Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), Dick Wolf (Law & Order, ad infinitum) and others who may be more acceptable in critics’ circles. But Rhimes is the lone female among them and the one who has done more to bring strong, independent women and normal lesbians to network television than any other creator.
In her interview with TVGuide.com, Rhimes talked about finding a color-blind, gender-blind cast:
The diversity wasn’t planned, but was just a result of casting the right actors and letting the characters be.
And that’s probably why a main character turned out to be bisexual. But Callie’s coming out process was not always smooth (as is the case in real life) and Rhimes apparently was not quite prepared for the reaction.
What about Callica vs. Calzona?
OK, I don’t quite buy that Rhimes didn’t read the Callica feedback, but I do appreciate that putting Callie with a confident, out lesbian allows the writers to more organically boost Callie’s security in her own sexual orientation. Of course, it helps that I love Arizona and Callie together.
Read the rest of Rhimes’ interview and let us know what you think. Do you agree that Shonda Rhimes and Grey’s Anatomy changed television? Who do you think should be on the list of the decade’s best TV creators?