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.


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It is television and when it comes down to it ratings is what matters. Shonda and the gang have their fan base but you always want more. To bring in more viewers aparently you have to drive your faithfuls completely crazy. Here it is near the end of season 3 and I don't think any of our beloved characters are happy. The only one that is'nt in a sad relationship is Bailey unless she is secretly hiding her feelings. Seson 2 ended the same way so Im hoping 3 is different. i know someone has to be unhappy but does it have to be all of them.


This episode is not a spinoff - but you're making one? Come on, it was no good! Leave Addison in Seattle where she belongs! Not in that lame clinic, which was so boring you had the make the elevator talk. And season 4 is going to rock? What happened to making season 3 decent?


ALEX ALEX ALEX!!! we need more Alex. We don't know anything, GIVE US MORE ALEX!


They all met each other at the same time. Burke and Cristina started their relationship about the same time that Izzie and George moved into Meredith's house, so the history in terms of time is about the same except that Izzie couldn't believe that anyone would look at George like a McDreamy and Cristina was already sleeping with Burke. So I don't think Izzie and George are more believable. Izzie fell for Alex and then fell for Denny (the love of her life???) and all the while she and George were friends, nothing more. Burke and Cristina have been living together for the majority of the year. Even before that they were falling in love. So, I don't buy that Izzie and George are more believable than Burke and Cristina. I've never seen them as the "Cristina won't trust me/let me in" bit. That is more the Meredith and Derek story. Cristina doesn't trust herself and right now Burke is doubting himself, too. It isn't about trusting each other. The about face for Izzie and George was just too quick for me. It almost seems a little childish and self centered. Izzie didn't want him until he married Callie and then suddenly he was off limits so she had to have him. George told Meredith in season one that Izzie was not the one he was attracted to. Now we have another about face. I feel bad for Callie. She doesn't deserve this betrayal. And frankly it just doesn't ring true for me. They are both being selfish. Callie may not be the ideal wife for George, but no one put a gun to his head. If he isn't happy with the girl he just had to marry days after his father died, than have the decency to leave that relationship before jumping into the next one. Burke and Cristina have been faithful to each other from the start. Even though they have questions and everything is not smooth sailing, I have never doubted for a second that they love each other. If they break up at the wedding, what happens to all of that love? Are we supposed to believe that it wasn't real to begin with like we are supposed to believe that Izzie and George were soulmates all along and just didn't realize it? I don't get it. I think we have already taken a few leaps with Shonda. If this wedding doesn't take place my next leap will be to NBC or CBS but it sure won't be to Private Practice.


I AGREE. IF SHE DOES ANYTHING (like that girl proably trying to sleep with derek and we all know -tho i hate to admit it that the finale is going to most likely have something to do with derek deciding whether or not to sleep with that bitch...haha) against mer-der i will be soooo pissed. enough already. just let meredith, for ONCE in her pathetic,sad life have a happy ending with derek. they BOTH deserve some happy. jeez louise im sick of tv destroying couples bc it makes ppl watch. i dont wanna watch that. i wanna watch them HAPPY!!!! arrghh!! haha....


There are wedding pictures on And, they don't look like happy wedding pictures. I am so jumping ship if Burke and Cristina don't get married. I know you are all worried about Mer and Der and I keep saying you have no reason to worry, but it is hard not to when Shonda herself drops these little bombs like "she may be loosing Derek". She's not. Shonda just wants you to tune in to make sure. The wedding however is making me really depressed when I should be anticipating with some degree of pleasure. It will break my heart if they don't go through with the wedding. The pictures look like the National Inquirer might be right and I am really depressed. It just doesn't make any sense. They have spent the entire season showing how they are growing and that their love for each other is strong. There is no believable reason for them to break up at the wedding. I keep wanting to have faith in Shonda, but by faith is really being tested.


ugh i don't want Derek leaving Mer. She's been through enough as a character. . well i love the show and can't wait to see the ending of season3. if Derek does try getting with the girl at the bar maybe that's just something that needs to happen.


I think the new road that Shonda is talking about is something that we should give a chance...I mean eventhough I live here in the Philippines and season 2 had just ended I keep track on it in the internet besides I love the character of Addison. She rocks!!!


Trying to think positive about this whole Mer/Der bargirl thing, so I thought I would comment on the positive stuff with our favorite couple!….I love the sparkle that Patrick has in his eyes when he looks at Ellen. There is such a great connection between these two. I remember on one of the podcasts from this season (I think the one of Mer snoring) and they were talking about in the podcast they had to do the re-takes a few times because Ellen and Patrick were laughing so much and having such a good time! They also commented that these two actors really enjoyed working with each other and had such a good time together! See everyone notices that! They are just comfortable with each other and it really shows!
There are so many great videos on youtube with Patrick and Ellen. I really liked these two that I saw recently and it basically says exactly what we all see with this great couple and shows us that they (Patrick and Ellen) see it too! Here are the links!


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.