Scandal is one of the reasons that we now have a “Thank God It’s Thursday” slogan and hash tag #TGIT. It’s the reason many flock to their television sets at 9/8c every Thursday night. The show lives up to its name. There is never a comfortable moment and when you think there is, you’ve become too lax and then Shonda Rhimes, the creator, has shocked you again. It’s a show that follows the life and interactions of Olivia Pope, the Mrs. Fix It of our time & the creator of Olivia Pope and Associates (OPA). Mrs. Pope and her team also known as Gladiators manage crisis of the political world in Washington D.C. and they do a pretty good job at it.
Having worked really closely with the President and those in the White House before OPA, Olivia Pope knows a lot of people and a lot of things but for the people and things that she doesn’t know, she gathers information from her Gladiators Quinn, Huck, Abby & Harrison (RIP). These are some of her first “fixes” and so they have devoted their lives to doing the same; being Gladiator fixers. That’s Olivia’s main gig. Her side secrets hence, the Scandal involves some pretty important people such as her lover, President of the Free World, Fitzgerald Grant, his wife, First Lady Mellie Grant and some frienemies she’s made along the way; Cyrus Bean and David Rosen. And as if her life couldn’t get more scandalous, her Father, Rowan Pope, Eli Pope or as we know him, Command, led Olivia to believe that he worked at the Smithsonian all her life but was really the Commanding Officer of the CIA’s B6-13. But WAIT, there’s more!
Now in season 4 everyone knows that her father was Commander of PLENTY, including her mother, Maya Lewis who we all believed died when Olivia was 12 but was kept imprisoned by her husband because she’s a threat to the C.I.A, Huck, a Gladiator, and Olivia’s other lover, and my favorite character, Jake Ballard, a man once trusted by President Grant and once Command of B6-13.
“Pop culture and American media are inextricably linked—it’s no coincidence that Jenny Lind, the Beatles, and American Idol were each promoted using a then-new technology—photography for Lind; television for the Beatles; the Internet and text messaging for American Idol. For as long as mass media have existed in the United States, they have helped to create and fuel mass crazes, skyrocketing celebrities, and pop culture manias of all kinds. Whether through newspaper advertisements, live television broadcasts, or integrated Internet marketing, media industry “tastemakers” help to shape what we care about. “
Many acclaim Scandal’s popularity to social media and I agree. The show is kind of wonderful and so is the cast. Each week some, if not all of the cast members of Scandal live tweet with the rest of their audience. They enjoy watching as we watch as well as interacting with us. Kerry Washington, who plays Olivia Pope never misses a Thursday and neither do her fans. Scott Kleinberg, Social Media Editor for the Chicago Tribune told thegrio.com, “It’s a connected community. “Though there are so many people tweeting, never does it feel like the tweets are scattered. They all seem connected by fans – it’s like a giant party. The show is exciting in its own right with a storyline that continues from week to week. So in between episodes, these tweeting fans are building excitement toward next week. The social portion never really stops.”
Along with social media, viewers also love that the cast have become regulars on the Jimmy Kimmel show who not only loves Scandal but flipped the switch on how they can view Scandal with his mini-series Escandalo.
Though everyone is not supportive of this, the show is also pro twenty-first century! Olivia is a black woman, in charge and taking care of business every week. And because every character seems to hold some form of power, every culture presented on the show is powerful. Her handsome lovers are white; interracial love/lust in all its beauty. Cyrus bean was married to James Novak, who was sadly murdered by Jake Ballard, cough, (RIP James) and they adopted a black baby girl. There isn’t a reoccurring scenario for EVERY desire but everyone wins.
It may come as a surprise to you but Scandal is LOOSELY based on real life people; President George Bush Senior & his special assistant Judy Smith. No, the two were no Clinton-Lewinsky but Smith did work for the President and has her own crisis firm. I’m not sure how long Scandal is scheduled to air but Shonda Rhimes, who also created Grey’s Anatomy, has proven to be a brilliant writer. Grey’s Anatomy is on its 11th season and its 10th year and the fans still get hypertension when talking about it. Judy Smith has many stories and as long as she and Mr. Bush continue to be Shonda’s muse, I don’t think Scandal will have a problem. Despite all of the obvious “thou shalt nots” behind Scandal, people enjoy losing themselves in a world that they may never live in and that is exciting and needed for viewers. Scandal is a show given to us by Shonda Rhimes who apparently can fix anything. Her main character fixes lives for a living, she fixes the dread of our almost Friday with an evening at Shondaland, an emotional television journey of pure
excitement and shock and if nothing else proves it, Columbus Short’s personal life took a few turns for the worst, Gladiator, Harrison Wright dies and the show didn’t skip a beat. I wish I could give a better prediction of where I think Scandal is going. The show seems to be moving into very unexpected territory but the fans will always watch and it will be epic!