Shonda Rhimes discuss that killing off Derek’s was the only way that MerDer love could have been preserved.
Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd’s death was a tragic blow to all the Grey’s Anatomy fans. People cried, protested, started petitions after McDreamy's death. Fans even vowed to never watch the show again and expressed their emotions on social media.
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Grey’s is known for bringing out the most vulnerable sides of our emotion. To kill off a main character after 11 years was just indigestible for many. And Derek Shepherd, who was a fan favorite was unfathomable.
Shonda Rhimes agreed with all the fans. She sat down for a #TGIT panel on August 4th. TGIT consists of three shows, all by Shonda Rhimes. Grey’s is the longest running show till yet. She said that killing off a character is not easy and never fun.
She never imagined that the show would go on for so long. 248 episodes later, she says she never imagined killing off or writing off any characters. She never imagined letting Sandra Oh go.
There were two options, she clarified, about Derek’s situation. She said that Derek could have either walked off. Leaving Meredith and both the children. That would have destroyed everything that had taken 11 years to build.
To end a relationship everyone had rooted for that way would be too harsh. She said no one wanted that to happen. It seemed like it for a while till the mid-season. When Meredith thought Derek was cheating on her. It was the same time, Meredith was reminiscing about her mother Ellis Grey being left by Richard Webber.
The other option was the one taken. She said killing off Derek helped to preserve the love of MerDer. The reason being that Patrick Dempsey wanted out. A year before the contract though. Most people find it hard to believe that he should want out. Shonda said that it’s been 11 years and it’s a lot of time for anyone to stay put.
Shonda said that the decision was hard. She never went on set to see how it was being shot. She said that she have been a crying mess if she had. Even in the editing room, she said she was sitting with a tissue box.
She appreciated Dempsey’s performance as one of his best. Ellen Pompeo elaborated that it was the next step for Meredith to evolve. She has grown stronger and better.
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Shonda promised fans a much lighter season 12 compared to the season 11. You never know though with Shonda Rhimes.