What I love and hate about #Scandal


If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I am here for Scandal - the fast paced, brilliantly penned brain child of Shonda Rhimes starring Kerry Washington. Shonda had me at "Hello" or in the case of this show, "Hi."

There are things that I love and hate about the show. I have no in between feelings, it's all in one way or the other. The premise of the show is that Olivia Pope is a DC Beltway fixer with connections everywhere. She and her "Gladiators in Suits" have the sticky job of extricating the rich and powerful from scandalous situations and making everything all pretty again. Unfortunately, the lives of the gladiators are just as messy (if not more so) as those they serve.

Huck, a former (current?) super-sleuth ninja for the government is lacking in social skills, heavy on heart and has the ability to disappear folks without leaving the minutest DNA trace. Abby is the neurotic uber-snarky but ultra smart chick who has horrendous (I mean God Awful) taste in men. Not to be outdone in the bad taste in men category is Quinn whose former boyfriend was blown up by the Illuminati, her last hookup was killed by the Vice-President's Chief of Staff. She is at times mousy at other times (usually at the worst time) brash. Harrison, played by the easy-on-the-eyes Columbus Short has some sort of criminal shenaniganism in his past and no love life to speak of (please fix this); he acts as Olivia's second in command.

Olivia is a complex Superwoman with a banging wardrobe, hair laid to the heavens and a quivering lower lip. She tries to do the right thing until she doesn't and when she makes a bad decision she goes ALL in. And don't get me started on the characters in the West Wing. 

Things I love:
  • I LOVE that a female African-American heroine is smart, bold, witty and in charge. 
  • I LOVE the winding plots that are messy, scary, gripping, thought-provoking and mind-boggling all at the same time.
  • I LOVE the gorgeous wardrobes, awesome supporting cast, seamless music production and authentic sets. 
  • I LOVE the diversity. We have gays, folks of color, conservatives, liberals and everything in between represented.
  • I LOVE the writing. The dialogue is snappy and fast-paced. There is no predictability. Just when you think you know? You don't know.

Things I hate:
  • I HATE that Olivia (as with so many successful sisters) has everything but a life. No family, no husband, no kids, no hobbies. She has work and...
  • I HATE that the man she loves is married. And the President. But mostly that he's married. Great as their chemistry is (and it is smoking) I hate that the very essence of their relationship is morally bankrupt. I overlook it because this is fiction but I still hate it.
  • I HATE that Columbus Short doesn't have more screen time.
  • I HATE that some of these situations (that GitmoBay scene in the Pentagon basement?) may be real.
  • I HATE that Shonda does the utmost with our emotions. It's a Shonda-ism. Her story lines do not ease you into the drama, she dumps you in the deep end head first and then clubs you about the nose and mouth until you are drowning in the pathos/sympathy/mushiness of the moment.

What I have noticed is that people get uber-polarized when watching the show. They are either #TeamFitz or #TeamEdison and nothing will sway them from one side to the other. Ya'll realize this is fiction, right? I've also noticed that folks get really morally superior while watching this show. I get it. I do. A sister finally gets a starring role on TV so why for the love of purple glitter does she have to be a high profile side chick to the most powerful white man in the world? I get that. I do. But how are people more angry at a fictional character than you are over the ratchetness of those "reality" chicks?

People often miss the broader point of Shonda's fiction. Scandal is primarily here to entertain, it's also here to spark conversation and discourse and lastly, it's in many ways a "what not to do". Be that as it may, it's a show that I enjoy. Even with the love and the hate.

Who watches Scandal? Do you love it, hate it? Why or why not? Do share...