Shonda Rhimes Shares Her Thoughts On "The Other Side of This Life"

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In her official blog, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes discusses what's going on in Seattle... and Los Angeles. Below are excerpts from her post, in which she talks about the idea that became Private Practice (it's NOT a spin-off, she says), and what's in store for us next.


Shonda Rhimes, Ellen Pompeo
I was sitting in the editing room one day watching Mer and Burktina and the gang doing all the stuff they do. I love the editing room - it's like this cocoon where I'm alone with the characters (and the editor) and it's where I get a lot of my ideas.

And for the first time ever since working on this show, I got an idea that was Grey's Anatomy but... not Grey's Anatomy.

It was something else.

It was Addison driving down the freeway with her hair blowing all over her face. So I started writing it down, this not Grey's Anatomy idea.

I started writing it down in secret because I knew Betsy and Shoots With No Script would very gently explain that I had lost my mind and then send in the guys with the strait jackets.

Because we are very busy here at Grey's. We don't have time for non-Grey's ideas. We are a hard-working people.

Except I had this idea and it had already worked its way under my skin and I had to write it down. Or else I'd get in one of those moods. Things happen when I'm in those moods. Things like Meredith drowning.

And I love Mer and wanted to keep her away from the water. So I wrote it down. And I gave it to the studio and the network.

It became something. A script that was part-Grey's, part something else. It became news around town and suddenly my tiny little written down something was being paid a lot of attention by the outside world. Next thing you know, they're calling it a spinoff.

This episode, it's NOT a spinoff.

"The Other Side of This Life" is Addison going down to L.A. to complete the story we've been laying out for her for two seasons. It's the culmination of Meredith's family story. It's Burktina and the wedding and Izzie, Callie and George and that hideous triangle they are stuck in. It's the beginning of the end of Season 3.

And I'm warning you now: the ride to the end of the season? You may want to buckle up and store your luggage in the overhead compartment because this ride is gonna be bumpy.

I'll explain more after the finale. I'll talk about where we are headed in Season Four. Because I think Season 4 is gonna rock. The fun is back in Season 4. But for right now, I guess I'll just talk about the here and the now. About what is right in front of us.

So. Even though we took this detour down to Los Angeles, what I want to talk about is what happened in Seattle. To Meredith. To Cristina. To Izzie. Because things are not working out the way they planned.

George is leaving for Mercy West and Izzie feels responsible. Cristina's facing the fact that she's going to have to compromise what she wants yet again for Burke. And Meredith... well, Meredith is losing another mother.

Worse, she's losing her father.

And even worse than that, she may be losing Derek.

But my favorite moment is Alex. Who, when Ava asks him what happened to him that has made it so hard for him to connect, simply shrugs and says "Maybe, I don't remember." He remembers. But he can't face up to it. Not yet.

Alex is the guy we know the least about and the one struggling the most. And I kinda love him for it. Because he wants to be a better guy - he's just not sure he IS a better guy.

In this episode, our people in Seattle all hit a crossroads while our girl in Los Angeles finds a new road altogether. I'm hoping you like the new road. I'm hoping I get a chance to show you how good this road can be.

But for now, the detour is over. Now, we've got the last two episodes of this season to bring to you. Where we are going might make you shake your fists to the heavens and scream. But we are leaping. So, if your sofa is comfy, maybe you could lie back down and leap with us?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


OMG Shondra, seriously, you cannot break up up Meredith and Derek!!!! They are just sooo perfect! The chemistry between them is just tv gold, breaking them up would be THE worst mistake Grey's could make. The way Derek looked at Meredith as her father (Thatch) slapped her and blamed her when she told him Susan had died was amazing- the love and hurt was just carved on his face as if Thatch had slapped HIM and rejected HIM- PD deserves an oscar!!!
Keep them together!!!!


I am sick of mer/der not being together. he just turned down the chief job which is not a family job. He is sooo in love with her and she is with him . Put them together next season, maybe a runnaway marriage and pick on someone elses love life. To show a relationship of two people working together would be great abd real.


can someone just let us ENJOY MERDER FOR FIVE SECONDS?!??! urg.. it's making me very angry!! you make us wait a ENTIRE season for them to FINALLY BE TOGETHER and now you're putting them through more?! on top of everything Mer has going on right now?! you have sooooo many other characters to mess with and give drama to.. just give us a few episodes with the old happy MERDER!! god knows she NEEDS him right now even if she isn't showing it


Huuuhhh Shondra,
i have been a failthful watcher since the very beginning and i have up to this point gone up and down wiht the whole GA cast. But i am startign to lose intrest . I enjoyed the show at first because things seemed fresh and new but they are starting to feel formulated. I also did not understand why in the world Addison needed a show that was an 1 and 1/2 into my Grey's!!!! She is no more super talented than the rest of the cast. Maybe that trip should have been for meridith she out all of them needs to simply get away ....and this time not by trying to committ passive agressive suicide!!!!!I am glad that Grey's exist but, please Shonda please stay fresh and original . i have never been as involved and connected to a show as i have Grey's and i am not sure i can handle it becoming mediocre and stale


I'm looking forward to see a mer/Der breather, maybe not a total breakup. just something to make the characters interesting and more dynamic like cristina and burke. i think it would be interesting to add a couple of characters in mer/der circle. just to spice things up a bit. their relationship feels like a tired old married couple who's been at it for too long. i'd like to see a sloan/meredith friendship similar to how alex and mer was in season 1 & 2. i love to see more cristina too. she's so funny!


I agree BB, Burke and Cristina relationship is the most realistic couple on the show. From early on I kept saying they were like a married couple. So I reallly wanted that marriage thiis season, to see them moving forward. I'm not interested in watching them go back. And I will not be taking a leap to another channel. I just won't be watching television, which I haven't done in the past two years.


I saw this morning on a new promo for GA tonight. It seems that Burke will ask Derek to be his bestman. Thats exciting! Hopefully, when he sees Meredith wallk down the aisle as Maind of Honor he will be reassured of all of his feelings for Meredith.


I don't know if Cristina will marry Burke or not but I know this thing: this season MerDer hadn't screentime and they are the lead couple. Now it's their time for to be happy.


Please let meredith be happy. She should get McDreamy for herself without adding a new character who will split them up. Last season brought too many sad, extremely sad, stories about meredith. As for the race for the chief. I think Derek should get it without splitting from Meredith. She is used to hardship so she would be able to deal with his longer hours. She is tough. Now THATwould be a story line which has her hurting and lonely because of his added hours and responsibilities. Just let them be togother.


Shonda, I love the way your mind works. I wish I could jump into your head and see what you are thinking. I wish I could write like you know just how to leave people speechless and confused. I love it...and cannot CANNOT wait to see what you have in store for us fans! Thanks for the Thursday happiness you give me!


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.