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Martin Barrett
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shonda rhimes masterclass review

Shonda Rhimes Masterclass Review: How Good It Is?

Shonda Rhimes is a TV and film writer best known for Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19. She is the brains behind the medical drama that has been airing for an amazing 19 seasons. 

We think it’s safe to say that anyone who wants to run a successful TV show should consider taking Shonda Rhimes’ Masterclass

That is exactly what we did! Now we come to you with our Shonda Rhimes Masterclass review, including information about the lessons, modules, price, and much more. 

What Is Shonda Rhimes Masterclass About? 

If you want to become a TV writer, the Shonda Rhimes Masterclass promises to show you amazing insights into the industry, real-life anecdotes, and more. 

Despite Rhimes being known for her medical dramas, she teaches you a general way to develop an idea by researching and creating your characters and creative writing of their dialogue. You can apply this to any type of TV or film writing, making it suitable for any writer. 

The Masterclass includes 30 lessons and it took us around 6 hours to complete. The lessons are all around 12 minutes long, so we flew through them and were surprised when we finished the course so quickly. 

Along with all of these videos, you’ll also receive a 60-page workbook to keep after the course as a refresher. We’ll look at the workbook a little later on in our review. 

Shonda Rhimes Masterclass Lessons – What Will You Learn? 

Shonda Rhimes relies heavily on her experience working on Grey’s Anatomy for her Masterclass – and why wouldn’t she? Who doesn’t love all 19 seasons of the hit show? 

But what will you learn from her Masterclass? We’ve written some of the highlights below to get you excited about taking the entire thing. 

Introduction To Television Writing

The first portion of the Masterclass is a comedic story in which Shonda tells us that the writer is in charge of the TV show instead of the director. She talks about how influential aspiring writers are on a television show, and it is the art of storytelling. 

She also includes plenty of tips in this section about forming ideas. You need to be open to all kinds of ideas rather than boxing yourself into one kind of idea. Otherwise, your creative juices will stop running quickly. 

You’ll be challenged to compress and develop ideas to turn them into stories by adding valuable elements. 

This was a great introduction to the course and it helped us ease into what we were about to learn, hyping us up to get stuck in with TV writing. 

Reading For Research

As with any form of thriller writing, research is incredibly important to transform an idea into a masterpiece. 

Shonda Rhimes urges us to hit the books when it comes to researching our stories. While it might take longer than looking things up on the computer, reading is the most effective form of research you can use.

Her example here is when she read medical journals and books about medicine to research for Grey’s Anatomy. After all, you can’t write factually about something you know nothing about! 

How To Create Believable Characters

You cannot write for TV without knowing how to create memorable characters. This section of the course is pretty long, but we appreciated how much detail she went into while teaching us this knowledge. 

Shonda Rhimes teach us the complete process she used when making her most famous characters – Meredith Grey and Olivia Pope. This was a great surprise for a superfan like us. 

The detail that Shonda Rhimes goes into about her processes is amazing, and something you don’t always find in Masterclass from other instructors. But she has let us take a deep dive into her brain, dissecting each character and its development. 

Shonda Rhimes teaches you how essential it is to ensure that your characters are real and honest – they cannot appear artificial in any way. If you feel vulnerable about something, your character should feel that way too! 

Shonda then goes deeper to teach you how to write multiple characters, and how to write them so they blend instead of being completely separated. 

Pitching Your Ideas

Shonda Rhimes Masterclass Review: How Good It Is? 1

Pitching your TV show is something that you need to do well if you want a shot at getting it broadcast on TV. Shonda Rhimes goes through this writing process, noting that you must be strong in your pitching level, with a well-structured and easily-followed presentation.

While you might have an amazing idea, a bad pitch will stop it from being invested in. So, this section from Shonda Rhimes is very helpful and interesting. 

Shonda Teaches Writing Great Scripts

Shonda Rhimes will also go through how you can structure your scripts and break them down into more than one activity for television. A TV show will often be 1 hour long, so you might have to break your script down quite a bit! 

Shonda shares several case studies that she conducted with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, showing us exactly how she was able to make these two shows a success. These use the Pilot episodes of both of these shows, so don’t worry about spoilers! 

There are plenty of case studies here for you to look through at your own pace. You don’t have to read them all, either, but they were very interesting for a fan and a budding TV writer. 

What To Expect As A TV Writer

The last few lessons take you on Shonda’s journey of what you can expect life to be like as a TV writer. Shonda goes through everything you need to know about working in production and how challenging this job can be. 

She also walks you through the routine of being an aspiring writer on set. We found this to be really insightful and interesting when focused on our career path. 

Shonda Rhimes Masterclass Cost

Masterclass has three price plans for access to their platform and 100+ writing courses. The cheapest is $180 a year, working out to $15 a month. Unfortunately, you cannot pay monthly, so you’ll need to pay a large sum upfront. 

However, if you can find more than 12 online courses that you want to use over the year, then the Shonda Rhimes masterclass will work out to less than $15. That’s an amazing deal! 

Pros and Cons


  • Professionals in the industry are teaching you their secrets.
  • Each lesson is in-depth and full of useful information. 
  • Free workbook to keep forever as a refresher. 


  • Shonda Rhimes is not a professional teacher.
  • Some of the lessons were so full of information that it became overwhelming.


Overall, the Shonda Rhimes Masterclass is an insightful look into the world of a successful television writer. It’s great for budding TV writers and television series that want to learn from one of the best. 

Shonda Rhimes spares no short story or personal anecdote, and we loved the personal feel of this course. It is clear that Shonda isn’t a professional teacher, but we still learned a lot about the industry through her lessons. 

Plus, the workbook was much more in-depth than other Masterclasses offer, and we’ve already used it as a refresher multiple times after finishing Shonda Rhimes Masterclass.

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