Shonda Rhimes is a busy lady, but when she's not working on her two hit ABC dramas, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," she's trying to calm the masses on Twitter who scream questions at her in all caps and then get angry when they don't like the answers. It's funny to watch it unfold, time and time again, but mostly that level of passionate fandom is a testament to the characters Rhimes has created on both series.
HuffPost TV caught up with Rhimes at ABC's Television Critics Association Summer 2013 cocktail party on Sunday to try to help quell some of the Internet anger happening in the off-season.
But as you "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" fans can attest again, no answers will ever appease everyone. So, read on to hear her thoughts -- about everything from the "wonderful" Scott Foley hatred and more "Scandal" twists to come in Season 3, to Calzona-related rants from "Grey's" fans and more.
With "Scandal," a lot of the fans seriously hate Scott Foley's character Jack Ballard. There's a whole faction that wants to see him left in the hole forever.
I think it's wonderful, actually. I really think it's kind of wonderful because they don't know who he is yet. He's, like, getting in the way of their Fitz-Liv love ... but it's his job. Also, I've been stalking Scott Foley for a very, very long time.
Do you know who Jake is yet?
Oh yeah! [Laughs.] I'm not gonna tell you, but I do know.
Scott and Guillermo Diaz were paired for interviews today and it got me thinking: Huck was in the hole and now Jake's in there ... could Jake now possibly have a thing or two to bring to OPA? Are they hiring?
I don't know if they're hiring!
We've been fooled before. With Josh Malina's character David Rosen, we hated him and then you snuck him in and made us believe he was a sweet puppy dog, and then we were reminded what and who we were dealing with again.
That was awesome how the audience totally didn't see it coming, because we were all worried that they were going to see it coming. The whole writers' room was like, "The audience is gonna see it coming. We didn't do it good enough." And then nobody saw it coming and we were thrilled. Because, you know, he just hung around. And he didn't even see it coming, which is even better.
The Season 2 cliffhanger was a huge one, but how much are we going to be diving into the mysterious B613 and Liv's dad in Season 3?
We're going to dive into a lot of things at the beginning of Season 3. The first episode, much like all of our other episodes, does that thing where you think the show is going to be about this and then they answer something very quickly and then they move onto something else.
You must be proud that when anyone talks about shows that do well with social media, shows that have figured it out, "Scandal" is the No. 1 example.
I am so thrilled -- it's crazy how well it did on Twitter. We weren't expecting it. I think it's the fact that the entire cast tweets on both coasts, for new shows and for reruns. They're very committed. Literally, we'll be on set and everyone will be tweeting, tweeting, tweeting, and they'll go "Action!" and everyone will put their phones in their back pockets, and when they call "Cut!" they'll pull them out and start tweeting again. They're awesome.
But you know you can't force the issue if people aren't into Twitter, although I'm happy we've seen the "Grey's" cast join, slowly but surely ...
It's been nice to watch them discover it, because you have to remember ... I always call "Grey's" like the last of the big dogs in that sense. We were one of those shows, one of the last of that era, but Twitter didn't exist when we started "Grey's Anatomy." All of them have been like, "What the hell is Twitter?" So they've been slowly joining, and it's been cool to watch them get it.
For "Grey's" Season 10, the superstorm is still happening when we pick up in the premiere, and there's a mudslide and injured firemen and a lot more drama, but dealing with the fallout of the Calzona cheating has posed even more drama than, I think, if you broke up Meredith and Derek ...
Oh, I don't know about that! [Laughs.] I'd probably have to go into hiding if I broke up Meredith and Derek.
[Laughs.] True. I'll say it's close to that, then. But they're one of the few -- if only -- strong, lesbian couples on TV.
Yeah, but you know ... here's what I say: The definition of equality isn't that you behave as a saint. The definition of equality is that you get to behave like everyone else behaves, for good or for bad. You get to make mistakes, you get to be flawed, you get to fuck up, you get to be who you are. It bugs me ... I feel like screw everybody who says, "Oh they have to be perfect." Let's let them be human. I love that Arizona has flaws, and I love that Callie has flaws. Callie is a woman who's gotten cheated on twice.
Frankly, early in last season, one of the reasons why Arizona lost her leg in the plane accident was that I wanted to look at what it was like to have somebody that we all love and know to be sort of fierce and fearless become disabled, and what that would mean for them and how they would deal with overcoming it. But also, I didn't want these characters to become stagnant. We're able, because Meredith is our anchor, to find many interesting ways to deal with Meredith and Derek, but I didn't want to get to a place where we were like, Callie and Arizona are in some sort of lesbian ghetto where they're just happy and holding hands and they never get to experience any drama. These two women are amazing actors -- I want to watch them act! They have amazing stories, and I want to see what happens with that. To me, we put everybody else's relationships in danger on a constant basis, so why not allow them and afford them the same opportunities as every character on "Grey's Anatomy" who screws up and deals with stuff and either gets back together or doesn’t?
I'm not saying whether they're going to stay together or break up, but I had this moment where I thought, "If they don't get back together, guess how many lesbian characters will get to be on the show, because people need to date." That is not a bad thing. If they do get back together, that's also a good thing.
It's the 10th season, and you're hitting the 200 episode milestone. Do you still have a dream "Grey's" guest star that you haven't been able to get yet?
I mean, Meryl Streep. But, no, that's not going to happen, obviously. But Meryl can come and be a heart surgeon of some kind if she wants.
"Grey's Anatomy" Season 10 premieres Thursday, September 26 at 9 p.m. ET with a two-hour episode. "Scandal" Season 3 premieres Thursday, October 3 at 10 p.m. ET.
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