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Shonda Rhimes' Blog: It Was Just Too Real

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Many if not all of you have probably read this already, but if you haven't, here is an excerpt from Shonda Rhimes' official blog about the Grey's Anatomy season finale.

Here's just a portion of what the show's creator and executive producer had to say about the gripping, two-hour episode and what it was like to construct it on her end.

A link to the unabridged version appears at the bottom ...

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When I pitched this Grey's Anatomy finale at the beginning of Season Six (those of you who know me know that I pitch the end of the season first and we work towards it), when I pitched a gunman shooting up the hospital, it seemed fine. Really it did.

Then 20 or so episodes later, I started to write it and it did not seem fine. It did not seem fine at all. On an almost daily basis, I would come into work and throw myself down on the sofa in the middle of the office and burst into tears like a ... well, like a bitch baby.

And I would tell the other Grey’s Anatomy writers, “I don’t think I can do this. It’s too horrible. People are getting hurt. That man is shooting them.” Buckets of bitch baby tears.

Tony and Hammer and Pete and everyone on the staff would murmur encouraging things.

Bailey's Not Bailin'

My assistant Miguel would say, “You can do it! It’s going to be great!” in that cheerful Miguel way. And so I would suck up the bitch baby tears and keep writing.

But here’s the thing. It hurt to write this finale.

It literally hurt me. Because in order to write these episodes, I had to walk in the shoes of Gary Clark. I had to think like a shooter. A person who would shoot Reed and Alex and Charles. A person who would shoot Derek. By the time I finished writing part one, I was sick.

And depressed.

My McDreamy – I think you all will forgive me for believing he is more mine than anyone else’s because c’mon, I wrote my dream guy saying my dream things which is the reason I am single and the reason he is mine – my McDreamy was lying on my beloved catwalk dying.

Mer is screaming and he is dying. And, before you have me shot up with Thorazine and placed in a strait jacket, yes, I DO I know it’s a only TV show, I’m not insane, but dude ... it felt too real.

It felt WAY too real. And here’s the thing you need to know:

In my first draft of Part 1, Gary Clark shot Bailey. Bailey. He shot her. I wrote it and then I couldn’t sleep, for days and days, I could not sleep and I had to remove it from the script. Bailey getting shot was just too much for me. She’s our anchor. She’s the soul.

Mer is the heart but Bailey is the soul and so I had to delete it. Because there was no way I could go on if Bailey had a bullet wound. The world would just be too broken. Derek was devastating enough but both Derek and Bailey ... it meant I couldn’t go on.

And then I got to Part 2. I had shattered a world and now I needed to put it back together.

Click here to continue reading Shonda's blog ...

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

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In this day and age of Michelle Obama and her beautiful daughters, who needs a Shonda Rhimes? Shonda Rhimes and other producers (Betsy Beers, et al) at ABC either refuse to portray Black women on their shows in the TV lineup - consistently eliminating them from roles, as in “Off the Map� - or continue to stereotype Black women as (arguably) successful, but dysfunctional with sterile roles, as in Grey’s Anatomy and, to a degree, Private Practice. And although, yes, Ms. Rhimes is a Black woman, the typical pattern for her shows is to either: 1. Completely exclude Black women, or
2. In the rare cases where Black women are portrayed, cast them as less-desirable than their non-Black counterparts (i.e. out-of-shape, harsh, mean, emotionally barren – feel free to pick your stereotype as Shonda Rhimes and her crew uses them all), unable to be involved in healthy relationships with any man, and definitely not a Black man.
At best, Ms. Rhimes and her crew may cast a Black woman as the “best friend� to a white or non-black cast member, as if that is some special compliment. At her worst, Black women are portrayed as “the b*tches� she wants America to believe them to be, stark and humorless. So of course Shonda Rhimes would not think Mr. Gordon’s use of the “N� word was racist, being that she is racist towards Black women herself. Let’s hope that her upcoming movie based on “B*tch is the New Black� gets canned before production. Black women of all shades look great, and are romantic, and sexy. And with so many struggling Black actresses looking for parts, I know she can find some beauties that fit the bill of smart, beautiful, friendly, and can play the "hot" roles, all rolled into one. Who needs to support a Black woman who routinely eliminates us from the shows she produces, and thinks that the only time we’re worthy of portrayal is as b*tches? Who thinks that Black women, and Black women alone, are not worthy of portrayal in romantic relationships? Who thinks that an equally attractive Black woman should not be cast among equally attractive co-stars? Who is OK with producing a movie casting Black women with the gumption, discipline, and standards to become highly educated professionals, as b*tches? Obviously, in her self-hating mind, Black women are not of “the beautiful people�, thus we deserve to be marginalized, eliminated or maligned and scorned. Do we want our daughters and the next generation of Black girls growing up believing that they are not as beautiful as anyone else? That the best they are is a b*tch? That they are less kind, intelligent, and sexy than other women on this planet? That they cannot be human and have days like everyone else when they are angry or frustrated or even feeling mean without being cast as a “B*tch�? That they have to trade in their standards and success for fear of being denigrated? So who needs Shonda Rhimes? If this is the best she can do to portray Black women, then we certainly do not.

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Dear Ms. Rhimes, I am a huge fan of both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice! I
believe that both of these shows are exceptional and you deserve all of the accolades that are being bestowed upon you and more!
With that being said, I must voice a complaint. The two characters; Naomi and Bailey are two strong, beautiful black woman but it seems like for some reason there never seems to be a strong black man for either of them. There is nothing wrong with bi-racial relationships; we have seen plenty on your shows and most of them are healthy. Is it possible that you can show a black woman and black man in a healthy, loving relationship?
In your efforts to display diversity on your shows; It would be a welcome sight to see a loving, thriving, healthy relationship
between a black man and black woman. Consider the power and effect of that message.
In closing I would like to add that I am a beautiful strong black woman; whom my husband likes to call his "Beautiful Black Queen" and I in turn, treat him like the "Beautiful Strong Black King" that he is. Thank you. Best Regards, Nancy Be

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18 min people! FIND THEM!

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I suggest you buy the Season 6 DVD. I had to cut a good 18 minutes out of part 2 of the finale. 18 minutes of incredibly juicy goodness. Callie sings, Lexie gets thrown out of an ambulance, Cristina Yang makes the first cut into Derek’s chest, Bailey gives the Bailey aria of a lifetime. And you can only see it in the super-extended version on the DVD. If I ran the network (and I don’t and, in case he is reading this, let me say that I love my boss Steve McPherson deeply because he is strong and powerful and handsome and very smart) but if I did run the network, I would have put those 18 minutes on TV. But I don’t so the only way to enjoy the juicy 18 minute goodness is on the DVD. Okay?

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I think SR made it more of an episode about Mer (especially) and Cris. Der had a lot of air time when he did the impossible tumor surgery. But I hope we see more than the 3 scenes per episode of MerDer interaction in the future. I do hope that SR knows better than to make Der Kepner's mentor and have her popping up everytime we do see Der doing a surgery. I want Der in scrubs again, and Mer to choose nuerosurgery as her surgical career

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It's interesting that she says "My McDreamy" because she doesn't really give him much airtime. Now it's Bailey who gets great storylines and airtime each episode. When it wasn't Bailey before it was Izzie, I guess because she complained so much. I do miss George, however. Then she makes Derek the Chief and his storylines are not that great and he and Meredith get very little airtime. I don't get it. Patrick Dempsey does more marketing of Grey's around the world than any other character, he doesn't complain in public. He supports his fellow actors and yet is sort of disrespected. Shonda will wonder why he will leave after next season and to me, it will be so obvious. I do love Ellen, Sandra, Justin, and Jim at least give them airtime before all these other characters that came after. I do like Eric and Sara and Jessica and Cryler and Jesse but the others are the core!!

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I really enjoyed her explanation but what is funny is like we share the same brain :) 'cose i totally get it even ( don't shoot me) and as much as i cried for MerDer losing McBaby i got it before reading the blog.....

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Thx shonda that you brought Calzona back together again, now I can relax during the summer!

Smileyglen

Thanks Shonda for not shooting Bailey, that would have been tough to live with, can't wait for Season 7, I repeat myself over and over I would like to see it start with the aftermath of the shooting, Derek waking up and asking for Meredith, or Meredith walking into his room just after Cristina comes to the locker room and tells Meredith Derek is awake and he is asking for you. I want Gary Clark to be only wounded and be in a semi vegetated state he's awake and aware but can't speak, and he has to pay for his crime, he has to live the way he wanted his wife to live on a life support machine, and you can see in his eyes that he now accepts that dying was the best way for his wife, being left to live like he is, is not living and he can see he wants to die too.

Mcintern

I love to read the blog after every episode, but I found I really *needed* this one. Thank you, Shonda, for such gripping television and playing (relatively) nicely with our favorite doctors. I cannot wait to see how they grow from dealing with this disaster.

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.

Meredith
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