TV titan Shonda Rhimes’ shows have been so successful for ABC that they got their own marketing acronym and hashtag: #TGIT, for “Thank God It’s Thursday,” including a Shondaland line-up that began in 2014 with monster hit series Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder.
Back in August 2017, Netflix announced it had poached Rhimes and her producing partner Betsy Beers. The duo have since delivered new legal series For the People, which premiered March 13, and Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Station 19, which debuted March 22, for ABC.
So what’s the streaming giant in for? Rhimes said at the time, “The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
Here’s how Shondaland series stand so far by Tomatometer score.
No relationship is perfect. But for viewers tuning in for just 30 minutes to an hour, they can seem like they are.
Some comedies, like Amazon’s Catastrophe, Fox’s New Girl, and Hulu’s recently ended The Mindy Project, prove that the perils of dating, marriage, and parenting are far from the bill of Norman Rockwell–hued goods many of us were sold as children. The humor in those series, however, is something that critics clearly appreciate: Catastrophe is Certified Fresh at 100% for each of its three seasons; New Girl’s review count has dipped as its seasons have gone on, but dedicated critics have kept its score high; and Mindy has an 87% Fresh Tomatometer score.
Meanwhile, shows like NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s black-ish, and former NBC series Friday Night Lights remind us that some couples do get relationships with marks almost as high as their Tomatometer scores if they’re willing to put in the work. Even teen dramas, like former Fox series The O.C. and Glee, are known for their devotion to the intricacies of relationships. And then there’s Homer and Marge Simpson, who have been going strong for decades and seem to have not aged a day.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve gathered a list of TV shows that offered the best portrayals of coupledom in all its funny, messy, emotional, complicated glory.
The series are arranged first by Tomatometer score, then alphabetically where the show does not currently have a series score.
Which is your favorite TV couple and why? Tell us in the comments!
Members of the Television Critics Association gathered at the Beverly Hilton Tuesday and Wednesday for presentations from ABC Disney, featuring their upcoming slate of original programming. The network offered a glimpse at the highly anticipated return of The Muppets, plans for Grey’s Anatomy revamped 12th season, how the second season of breakout hit How to Get Away with Murder will dig up the past of the Keating Five, Agent Carter’s glamorous new setting, and the new boomtown drama Oil & Blood.
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy addressed the press alongside producers Bill Prady and Bob Kushell to present the highly anticipated return of The Muppets. Kushell spoke about the musical legacy of the series, promising to deliver “top-notch” musical acts like Imagine Dragons, but made it very clear that the new Muppets program is not a variety show. Prady noted that the old Muppets series mocked the variety show format because that was the dominant form of television at the time, and that he wanted to update the genre for modern audiences.
The Muppets is a mockumentary series in the vein of The Office that depicts the behind-the-scenes happenings during the production of Miss Piggy’s late-night talk show “Up Late with Miss Piggy.” Musical acts will feature in the series as guests on the show. “You’ll see parts of the show with those bands on the show, but there won’t be a full act,” said Kushell. The series also promises a new big celebrity guest – such as Reese Witherspoon — each week.
Grey’s Anatomy fans are still distraught over the loss of Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, but prepare to dry your eyes. While addressing the press, series creator Shonda Rhimes said “the sun will rise again” in the twelfth season with the series taking on a “lighter tone.” During his executive session, Lee noted that the series “reinvents itself again next season and praised the writing that led to McDreamy’s death, saying that “it was great to see Grey’s Anatomy so relevant and taking the national conversation” after so many years on the air.
Rhimes spoke about the decision to kill off Dempsey’s beloved character, saying that it was the only way she could keep “Meredith and Derek’s magic remain true and forever frozen in time,” and that the idea of other scenarios, such as Derek walking out on Meredith and the kids, were “untenable.” Star Ellen Pompeo called it Rhimes’ “best writing,” and noted that those “really juicy” scenes are the best for actors to play.
Next season will follow Meredith as she experiences a “rebirth” and learns to cope with the loss of her husband, but don’t expect to see a new man in her life any time soon. “She’s not interested in any of that,” said Rhimes. Will the series last long enough to see Meredith happily in love again? According to Lee, there’s “no reason to expect that Grey’s Anatomy won’t go on for many, many years to come.”
Elsewhere in Shondaland, How to Get Away with Murder’s sophomore season will dive into the past of the Keating Five, revealing a lot more of their backstories, including how they met and “what dark, twisted things have happened to them in the past that have now made them into these kind of twisted people in the present,” said showrunner Pete Nowalk.
Nowalk confirmed that the second season will pick up about a week after where season one left off with Annalise (Viola Davis) facing down the question, “what has she wrought?” After the death of Rebecca, the second season will explore how the characters “actions with each other [get] more complicated and dirtier and grimier,” revealing that even though you think you know who the characters are at this point, “you don’t know them at all.”
The second season of Marvel’s Captain America spin-off series Agent Carter is headed to Los Angeles and it’s going to be lavish in some old Hollywood glamour. The series stars Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, chronicling the exploits of the secret agent as she adjusts to post-war life.
On the new setting, ABC executive Paul Lee said, “It’s really opening it up because, suddenly, you have the glamour of late ’40s Hollywood, and you have Hayley in that environment, taking off the big, heavy coats and enjoying herself.” While Lee didn’t provide any details on plans to expand the network’s Marvel programming, he made it clear that furthering relationship is a top priority, saying, “I’m very bullish about Marvel on the network and its future.”
The new booMtown drama Blood & Oil may bear a surface resemblance to the classic late-night soap Dallas, but according to star Don Johnson, the similarities end there. “The only thing that we have in common is that, tangentially, oil is a part of it,” said Johnson. “Blood & Oil is about a boomtown, and a big family, and the seven deadly sins at play.”
Johnson went on to say that Larry Hagman’s iconic oil Baron J.R. Ewing was “not at all” a consideration in the formation of his character, which is an “amalgamation” of a number of oil magnates he knows in real life.
The new drama is a fictionalized account of the true life North Dakota oil boom that began in 2006. Johnson said he was attracted to the “depth and the richness of the stories” and that he personally recruited co-star Chase Crawford, “I called him and questioned his intelligence if he didn’t [take the role].”
What happens when you have to say goodbye to your “person?” We’ll find out tonight, as Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) part ways after ten years of close friendship on the season finale of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.
Yang is off to Switzerland to oversee a medical research facility, handed over to her by none other than her former fiance, Dr. Preston “The Guy Who Left Her at the Altar” Burke (Isaiah Washington).
Here is a sneak peek of Cristina’s emotional farewell. How will the docs at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital deal with losing one of their best surgeons? And how will Meredith cope? She is, after all, the yin to Cristina’s yang.
Who’s watching on Thursday? What are your predictions for season eleven?
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Welcome to the Weekly Binge, where we’ll be taking a closer look at the shows that are worth your time. This week, we’re going inside the walls of Grey Sloan Memorial for a closer look at ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.
What’s the premise? Surgical interns and residents at Seattle Grace Hospital (or, Grey Sloan Memorial, as it’s now called) save lives and perform unconventional surgeries as they gossip and sleep their way to the top of the medical industry.
What’s it like? It’s like a soap opera… but good. What separates it from other soaps, though, are the empathetic characterizations, written with care and portrayed by a talented cast of believable actors. Take a little ER, blend in some General Hospital, and there you have it!
How long will it take? This is a long one, but it’s well worth it, so buckle up. Since Grey’s is in its tenth season, there are nine seasons to catch up on. All together there are 196 episodes, not including the 12 that have already aired this season, and that may sound like a huge feat, but it’s no coincidence this show has been on for ten seasons. You’ll probably need a good three to four months to catch up on this series, but that’s what the summer is for. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.
What do the critics think? Every season is Fresh on the Tomatometer with the exception of season one, which was a short season that premiered in spring and earned only a handful of reviews. Otherwise, most of the critics agree that Grey’s Anatomy will suck you in. Staci Krause of IGN writes, “Grey’s Anatomy is certainly one of those guilty pleasures that many may not admit to,” while Christina Tran from TV Fanatic claims, “Like always, Shonda [Rhimes] and company know how to keep us captivated and always wanting more.”
Why should I watch this? If the words “McDreamy” and “McSteamy” mean nothing to you, you’ve clearly been living under a rock. The huge ensemble cast is one of the most talented in recent years, and the show is excellent at transitioning smoothly from old characters to new ones. Grey’s tugs at the heart in virtually every episode, and it’s so fervidly charged that it might drain you of emotion by the time its hour is up, but showrunner Shonda Rhimes knows you can’t cry with someone unless you’ve also laughed with them, so the show’s not without a sense of humor. As Cristina Yang, Sandra Oh is often oh-so-funny, and Chandra Wilson delivers some humdingers as feisty Bailey. And with all the unique medical situations that arise, it’s also got the “OMG, did you see what happened on Grey’s last night?” factor.
What’s my next step? Grey’s is Shonda Rhimes’ first success as a producer. If you like medical dramas, she also produced Private Practice and the short-lived Off the Map. Need we remind you that Rhimes is also the producer of the current hit series Scandal? One might also consider ER or Brothers & Sisters to catch a fantastic ensemble cast. Other poignant yet funny television series you may enjoy include David E. Kelley shows like Picket Fences, Boston Public and the recent short-lived medical drama Monday Mornings. Like Grey’s, those shows present humor with irony and some very unlikely situations. You may want to grab a copy of the 1991 film The Doctor starring William Hurt or Awakenings with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams.
Blake Edwards‘ 1962 thriller "Experiment in Terror" will be given the remake treatment courtesy of Columbia Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Screenwriter Robert Pucci ("The Corruptor") has earned adapatation duty on a story about "a woman who is terrorized by a criminal using her to help him steal money from the bank where she works, threatening to kill her teenage sister if she doesn’t comply." The original film was based on the novel "Operation Terror" by Gordon and Mildred Gordon, and starred Lee Remick and Glenn Ford. No cast or director has been mentioned yet, but Blake Edwards will be contributing to the project as an executive producer.