Shonda Rhimes was born to produce television shows — she has a string of massive hits under her belt, and her latest show, For The People, could be another. For The People follows a group of lawyers as they make their way into the world — both as prosecutors and public defenders. They have to learn how to apply their studies into real-life, actual jobs, all the while being tested and tried by judges, the courts, and oh yeah, their tough-as-nails bosses. They also have to contend with attraction to their very attractive coworkers. Sound familiar? That’s because For The People is a lot like Grey’s Anatomy, and Grey’s Anatomy fans are sure to love For The People.
The main difference here is that one has lawyers and one has doctors, but that’s really where the differences end. OK, fine — one is in New York (For The People) and one is in Seattle (Grey’s Anatomy). But at their cores, For The People is built on the same foundations that made Grey’s Anatomy a resounding success for ABC and Rhimes, and that made Ellen Pompeo a household name and the highest-paid dramatic actress on television (get that money)!
So, if you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan and you’re hemming and hawing about whether or not you have the time to take on another show, consider that the reasons why you love Grey’s Anatomy are the reasons why you’ll love For The People. And what else are you going to do if you’re not watching television? That laundry and those dishes can wait an extra hour.
It Shows How Hard It Is To Start Out
Meredith, Alex, and the rest of the OG gang at Grey Sloan may be professionals now, but when they started out as interns, they were inept. Careless. Didn’t know their knees from their elbows. Remember when Alex misdiagnosed a patient and called Meredith a nurse? Or when Meredith popped a glove during surgery and then freaked out about it and almost brought upon a lawsuit to the hospital? And let’s not mention all of the people sleeping with each other, which is really not a good idea in a work environment.
The cast of For The People are learning the same hard lessons that the characters on Grey’s Anatomy did, and, whether you relate to it because you’re in the same boat or because you’ve been there, done that, there’s something so real in not having a clue in what you’re doing. Because really, who does?
It Tackles Real Issues
Grey’s Anatomy still takes on tough topics — in Season 14, both domestic violence and DACA have found their way into the show. Rhimes is never afraid to stir up some trouble, and she’s never taken her characters out of the contemporary world. The same is true for For The People — their cases-of-the-week have even more to do with the news cycle. Season 1 has already included a Bernie Madoff-type Ponzi player, a whistleblower, and a home-spun terrorist. That’s just in a handful of episodes! If you want to think about the real stuff, both For The People and Grey’s Anatomy can offer that.
It Has Some Great Friendships
If Meredith and Cristina don’t rank as the best female friendship on television, they should be in your top two. These women were unequivocally there for each other — “persons,” as they were — but it didn’t mean they held their feelings back when the going got tough. They fought, and they were polarized, but they always came back together.
The friendship between Allison and Sandra has this potential, because even though they’re on the same side, there will surely be times they don’t agree. At all. But still, they keep moving. Also interesting is the friendship between Jill and Roger — as a defender and a prosecutor, respectively, these two are diametrically opposed, but they still go to the Yankees/Red Sox game together. Why? Because, as Jill says, Roger is not the enemy. The Red Sox are the enemy.
It Makes You Care About The Case Of The Week
I still weep openly when the train crash episode of Grey’s Anatomy plays on syndication and Bonnie and Tom are stuck together. You know one of them has to die, but you care so much for these people that you met 38 minutes ago that you can’t look away. In one episode of For The People, Judge Byrne has to give a nonviolent, first-time drug offended a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail because he was carrying a small about of drugs to pay for his child to eat. It weighed heavily on Judge Byrne, and it weighed heavily on me.
It Has Mentors You Can Believe In
While Roger is tough (and a little unfair) and Jill is fair (but not really that tough), both characters provide both motivation and a safe haven for their respective prosecutors and defenders. It’s much like Dr. Bailey or Dr. Webber on Grey's Anatomy in the sense that both have to give their people the tools they can use to survive their careers, and it’s not always easy.
It Can Teach You Something
I had never heard of half of the diseases featured on Grey’s Anatomy before the show, but now I can talk about teratoma tumors — you know, the one that “pregnant” man had on Grey’s Anatomy that turned out to just be a tumor filled with teeth and hair? The hormonal marker of pregnancy was due to the fact that those tumors can mess with your hormones. For The People has far fewer tumors (well, none, so far), but it does fill in some nuances about the law and jurisdiction that I’ve never thought about before. Consider me a fledgling constitutional scholar now.
It Doesn’t Discount Everyone Over 30
In Hollywood, “old” people (and by old, I mean anyone over the age of like, 35) don’t really get interesting stories. And that’s a problem! But Grey’s Anatomy gives everyone their due — Richard Webber has a romance just like the new interns on the show are looking for love. Everyone is human, and just because you’re receiving that AARP magazine doesn’t make you dead. On For The People, the show gives everyone its due, from the new lawyers to the judges to Roger and Jill, too.
It Shows The Cracks In The System
This, in turn, makes you think. Grey’s Anatomy has highlighted deportation, insurance issues, and the like — ways that good, hardworking people get stomped by bureaucracy and silly rules. For The People does the same thing, calling attention to mandatory sentences and rule-breaking in general — how much should feelings and circumstance come into sentencing? These are all good questions, and they’re definitely ones that should be asked.
It’s about lawyers, sure, but at its heart, For The People shows the same promise as Grey’s Anatomy — that’s why fans of Rhimes’ original show are sure to enjoy her newest (tune in!).