Scandal…Lovers & Haters!

imgres-2     Thursday has become my favorite TV night of the week for one reason and one reason only…wait for it…SCANDAL!  I am a Gladiator and I make no apologies about it.  I have been down with Scandal since the first episode aired last April.  And yes, I eat my popcorn, drink my wine and tweet and talk to the television throughout every episode!

"Olivia & Fitz"
“Olivia & Fitz”

For those of you who do know Scandal, stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a political crisis management expert in Washington, DC who is Black.  (The character is partially based on former Bush Administration press aide Judy Smith.) Pope is also involved in a steamy and tumultuous love affair with the President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III, who is white and married. Now if that ain’t scandalous!

Shonda Rhimes Creator, Head Writer, Executive Producer of Scandal & Grey's Anatomy
Shonda Rhimes
Creator, Head Writer, Executive Producer of Scandal & Grey’s Anatomy

Along with dishing up a weekly dose of hot, juicy, attitude and intrigue the show is also a TV Land coup of epic proportions for the creator, head writer and executive producer Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes is no joke! She also created and helmed the medical dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. It’s a joy to see an African American woman behind the camera bust through all of the bull crap and stereotypes in Hollywood to become a power player who is running the game. On the flip side I’ve been a fan of Kerry Washington since seeing her in the indie film, “Lift” in 2001. So it’s a thrill to see a Black actress shine as the lead in one of the most popular prime time shows on television.

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I dig Olivia Pope, her gladiators, and the rest of Scandal’s incredibly talented cast of shameless and shameful characters. But for me, they all are just that, characters who make damn good TV! So I am surprised by some of the backlash that has been hurled at Pope’s character primarily because of her adulterous affair with the Commander and Chief. Apparently, those who disapprove consider this fictional character’s lack of morals to be a poor reflection of Black women in general. I’m not buying that.

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Gladiators!

 Here’s part of an interesting exchange that I had with a friend on Facebook after  I commented about how much I was looking forward to that week’s episode:

 Nisi Mi’chel I can’t get into this show …I know it’s the rave…but I’m just like really? This wrestles my spirit.

Linda Hamblin Denton Wrestles your spirit? How so?

Nisi Mi’chel Why she gotta be the whore of the white house…I didn’t like it when Monica did it for real…just disturbing that it’s acceptable entertainment …it shows blatant lack of integrity Congress is feeding to us…it’s like we are to settle in and get comfortable with it…that they are liars and cheats and to portray her as a devil for entertainment…i just don’t like her role.

Linda Hamblin Denton lol..wow! Well they are ALL immoral on many levels. I don’t see her as a whore at all. She’s not sleeping with the prez’s cabinet. lol It’s all make believe and the characters have many layers both good and bad…just like the rest of us.

Nisi Mi’chel okay then tramp then…lol …still not cool.

Linda Hamblin Denton Do you feel the same about the other characters and their short-comings or just “O” because she’s black?

Nisi Mi’chel because she is the head black woman is correct …i haven’t watched it much ..the one I saw is when she stepped in the closet with mr. President …short comings is what it is referred to now? i don’t know the other characters like that. I ‘m stuck on balance and this is unbalanced…but it’s just my thoughts.

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     Nisi Mi’chel echoes the thoughts of more than a few Scandal critics.  But my problem is that many of the critics have watched only one episode if any at all.  None-the-less their outrage is real and intense.

Nisi Mi’chel how does it represent success for the black woman…we have been through enough.

Linda Hamblin Denton Actually all the characters are “unbalanced” in some way. That’s what makes it a fun ride. IMO there’s some of us in all of the characters.

Linda Hamblin Denton Is it supposed to represent success for the black woman, or just provide entertainment?

Nisi Mi’chel well i live in the world like the rest ..just because I live in it doesn’t mean I want to be apart of the tomfoolie! We are risking what we put out there like that…for the sake of entertainment it can’t be served up and I don’t want my daughters thinking it’s how you succeed. Sleeping with a married man is not successful at any rate…we just have to wonder what we are putting in the universe for our babes..this wackness is subliminal.  

Now I wholeheartedly agree with Nisi Mi’Chel on one point. We all must be very careful of the media images that are consumed by our children.  But Scandal is definitely not a show for children! It’s a show for adults and one adult who couldn’t be more thrilled to watch is ME! What’s your take…Scandal lover or Scandal hater? Do tell!

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8 comments

  1. Girl, I’m with you! LOVE Scandal!! It’s strictly entertainment and damn good writing by Ms. Shonda Rhimes! I’m proud of her accomplishment and like you have loved her since Grey’s Anatomy. I hope she continues to keep us hooked with her plot twists and turns 🙂

  2. As women of African Descent we constantly either subconsciously or consciously evaluate how our images our being portrayed. Day after day endless portrayals of stereotypically ugly images/behavior assault us. We are ever vigilant—because we have to be.

    It is a relief for me to finally be able to say that we can “stand down” when we watch Scandal.Because finally our images, our behaviors are being portrayed with love, beauty, brilliance and complexity,

    And to those who have strong negative observations about the show this is the one time that you really really really need to absorb the entire series before you can draw a conclusion.

    If you only watched the episode where the Olivia and the President ended up in the closet I can see how you might be misled about what this show is about. Because I hated the TV President after that episode based on how he treated Olivia.

    However since I have been able to observe the show from the beginning I know that her treatment was not one based upon negative stereotypes rather it was a natural evolution of a specific character.

    Nothing in the storyline (words written and produced by an African American writer) nothing in the direction, nothing in the series comes even remotely close to portraying Olivia Pope as an easy woman sexually or otherwise.

    Finally it just has to be said—-It is absolutely freeing as a huge movie fan and ever vigilant African American Woman, to be able to simply sit down with a glass of wine and lose myself in “the small screen” that, for one brief hour, is filled with lovingly and powerfully presented African American people.

    • Right on Lizz! Standing down, breathing easy and enjoying great story telling in a show with a Black woman as the lead is indeed refreshing. More importantly I hope networks will get a clue and green light more prime time dramas helmed by Black writers, producers and directors.

  3. YES! I’m #ScandalAddicted!!! It’s well written, salacious and exciting. I can not wait til the next season. It’s Thursday and I’m experiencing withdrawl. I’m chilling my wine now for #ScandalRewind tonight!
    Great post! I can’t wait to read more of your blog.

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