For years, weekday-weary folks have been praising the arrival of Friday with “TGIF.” But since Shonda Rhimes’ complete takeover of ABC’s Thursday primetime slots, another day has taken its rightful place in an acronym: TGIT–Thank God It’s Thursday.
Last season, Thursday nights were stacked with Shondaland’s trifecta: “Grey’s Anatomy” at 8 p.m., “Scandal” at 9 p.m., and “How to Get Away With Murder” at 10 p.m.. In the days before I procrastinated all my homework that was due Friday, I could sit down at 8 for “Grey’s” and stare at the screen until “HTGAWM” finished at 11. It was a holy experience, a night packed with Rhimes’ characteristic plot twists and emotional fallouts in rapid succession.
At the moment, however, Thursdays are a little bleaker, with “Scandal” still on hiatus until January. The brand new drama “Notorious” has filled the 9 p.m. slot after “Grey’s Anatomy”, thus breaking up the previously uncontested Shondaland block of shows. ABC has dropped their marketing of TGIT, which will return when Rhimes resumes her rightful domination of Thursday night airwaves.
While the TGIT empire may not be thriving, Rhimes’ shows continue to pack some serious punch. Especially in the case of “Grey’s Anatomy,” whose premiere witnessed a long-time fan favorite severely beating up a fellow doctor. The season will clearly follow an arc of the legal and emotional consequences of these actions. With love triangles already heating up and many distraught tears shed on screen, season 13 seems to be adhering to the pattern of the messy, overdone, and still somehow riveting drama Rhimes built her reputation on.
In its coveted primetime slot, “Notorious”–a drama detailing the relationship between a celebrity attorney and a TV producer–has received some mixed reviews. It can’t be easy to compete with the expectations set by smash hit “Scandal,” but after only one episode, it is too soon to call time of death on “Notorious”––even though we have a lot of practice doing so thanks to the preceding “Grey’s” episode.
“How to Get Away With Murder,” now on its third season, has earned its stripes with Emmy-winner Viola Davis as kickass criminal lawyer Annalise Keating, and her misfit gang of law students. With its excellent formula of a violent opening and then flashbacks slowly falling into place, the audience discovers the truth along with the characters. Add some sexual tension and some outright heartbreak, and you have a solid “HTGAWM” episode.
Thursday nights may be tragically without their iconic TGIT tagline, but there’s still nothing like the return of fall TV after a summer without Shonda.