Why We Love Scandal...
By: Grace Boateng
Every Thursday night my Facebook timeline is flooded with status updates anticipating what will happen next on ‘Scandal.’ This political thriller has managed to combine all of the ingredients of a great drama like mystery, danger, love, betrayal, and the most important element, surprise.
Show creator Shonda Rhimes reminds me of a modern day Scheherazade as she has an ability to keep you invested and interested in the lives of the characters she creates. The biggest testimony to that would be the success of her original series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ that has been running 10 seasons strong. And now with her new show ‘Scandal’ on a 3 weeks hiatus, fans are on the edge of their seats wondering what will happen next in the life of Olivia Pope.
The main character of this show, Olivia Pope, is loosely based on crisis management expert Judy Smith. Have you ever wondered why we no longer talk about Monica Lewinsky, Enron, the SARS epidemic or Michael Vick? Well, in order to deal with their respective crises, each of these parties sought an expert...none other than Judy Smith. Smith has a unique set of skills and network that allows her to “fix” the challenges she is presented with. This would be how Olivia Pope figures into the equation. Equipped with her knowledge of the law, human behavior, and a team of “Gladiators,” Pope takes on a number of clients that are in impossible situations. While a weekly basis ‘Scandal’ viewers get some resolve with the client cases they are presented with each episode, the major ‘Scandal’ factors (such as the affair between the Olivia and President Fitzgerald, the rigging of the election, and the unsettling connections between most of the characters) are still continuing to develop.
What makes this show worth watching is the exploration of the darker side of the characters we’re getting to know. The muddy pasts of Olivia and her team members are actually what makes them good at what they do. To be truthful, the multiple storylines of these characters like Huck, Harrison, Abby, Quinn, and Cyrus are what makes this show interesting to me. There are only so many resolutions to an affair, and I care Olivia and Fitz but only sometimes. The deeper and darker the story digs into all of the characters the more interested I become.
Another element of what makes this show work right now is the actors themselves. Anyone familiar with Kerry Washington’s work knows how convincing she can be in any role she takes on. I expected her be great in the role and she delivered. It’s fun to see Columbus Short, who plays Harrison Wright, playing a more serious role especially since I still associate him with ‘Stomp the Yard’ to this day. A few pleasant surprises for me in the cast are Jeff Perry who plays Cyrus Beene, Guillermo Diaz who plays Huck, and Katie Lowes who plays Quinn Perkins. These three are so persuasive to me the next time I visit D.C. I believe I will run into them there.
With access to things like DVRs, Netflix, Hulu it’s easy to just catch up on programs when you have the time. ‘Scandal’ is a show that actually makes you want to tune in live and in this day in age that’s kind of a big deal.