Thursday Is Shonday

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PauloAfter a stressful and draining week of tests, quizzes, projects and papers, there is probably nothing better to do than go home, take a nap, grab a glass of wine (if you’re of legal drinking age, of course) and probably turn on the TV to watch the latest happenings. Last Thursday, after #hellweek, I chose to meet up with some friends for the premiere of Shonda Rhimes’ trifecta of primetime television dramas, including the season premieres of TV veterans “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” and the series premiere of Rhimes’ newest drama, “How to Get Away With Murder.” Each show gathered massive ratings for their parent network, ABC. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Scandal” premiered with 11.9 million viewers, while “Murder,” starring Viola Davis, premiered with an astounding 14 million viewers. It is clear that Shonda Rhimes’ television dynasty is in full throttle.

There is something to admire about the creation of Rhimes’ characters. On “Scandal,” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is a professional fixer, the go-to persona for public figures who want to keep their deepest, darkest secrets from coming into the limelight. Washington’s powerful and captivating interpretation is coupled with her fragile and vulnerable portrayal of a woman in love — with the President of the United States, no less. The show follows Pope as she dabbles with her team of associates and their personal issues as well as her juicy yet toxic relationship with the leader of the free world. From the creators of “Scandal” comes “How to Get Away With Murder,” which stars Academy Award nominee Viola Davis as a law professor with her own personal dilemmas but with her own candid demeanor and logical reasoning, two main characteristics of someone who enforces the law.

Perhaps what enamors audiences about Rhimes’ characters is that they are all a reflection of who they want to be, but with the struggles of a common human being wandering around without even the slightest clue of how to deal with her own struggles. Rhimes is now a powerhouse of screenwriting: her characters are breaking barriers, and her creations are sure to enthrall audiences during the next television seasons.

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