Let’s Talk about Scandal.

From Left-Right: (Henry Ian Cusick)/Steven Finch, (Katie Lowes)/Quinn Perkins,(Guillermo Diaz )/Huck Finn , (Kerry Washington)/Olivia Pope, (Columbus Short)/Harrison Wright , (Darby Stanchfield)/Abby Whelan, ( Jeff Perry)/Cyrus Beene, (Tony Goldwyn)/Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III

Scandal ,what a name for a show.  No matter who is in charge, there will always be dirty little secrets that are ready to be exposed, there is always someone cast as the wrongdoer and someone painted as the victim. It is an open secret that the elite or the rich have means at their disposal which can help them alter the truth or manipulate how people view the situation. This is something our politicians have mastered, have recruited people to master, to study body language and to tap into the mind of voters. Would the working class really get behind someone who had been offered all privileges in life, or would they support someone who has faced the hardship and has risen up to try to make this divide in society more equal? This is what makes Scandal so relevent today, in a time where people are more distrustful of the world, in light of growing terrorism, and where the goverment has to work harder to ensure public support.

From the first episode you are hurled into the confusing, enormous scope of American Politics, I remember struggling to work out what was going and my heart thudding as events escalated. As you continue watching, the viewer is swept away in the countless secrets that spill out, by the characters who seem to be pushing their own agenda in the sidelines. The show is inspired by the work of Judy Smith who is a crisis manager in Washington and has worked for various high profile clients. The drama gives an insight to the cut-throat world of politics in that every poll is vital to your survival, that perception is everything and that the one person who can help is Olivia Pope.

Olivia Pope [Kerry Washington]   an intelligent, cunning,  charismatic woman who has her own moral compass that she follows for every client,  is a crisis manager  and together with her kick ass team,  she devotes  time and resources to get the result the client wants. They deal with the elite, the people who are so rooted in society that scandal equates to death  and  we see Olivia and her team clear up murder scenes, blackmail, even kill for the sake of their shady clients, willing to go to any lengths. I’m torn between admiring the genius of the team or feeling repulsed of how easy it is to make a cliet innocent of a crime they did commit. Season one began with a series of one-off cases that Olivia and her team handled then moved on to the gripping Amanda Turner Case, where we were able to learn a bit more about Huck – the ex CIA man who seems to have a whisky addiction, Abbey – slight neurotic but a great investigator, Harrison – the gladiator in the suit, Quinn – nervous wreck/coffee maker and George – Olivia’s confidant and lead seducer.

I commend [Grey’s Anatomy] creator Shonda Rimes in creating such exceptional  characters who  are hardworking, passionate but most importantly flawed.Yes, the flaws are little extreme but it is refreshing to watch a show which doesn’t assume that the characters are perfect, there are no ”good” characters  and that is in line with the political setting. In Politics it’s all about power and how you are perceived , through the way you look, talk , interact with others, how you are perceived is crucial for your survival. It’s clear that Olivia pope is the anti-hero with regards to how she interacts with her team, she can be manipulative,aggressive, cunning. Attributes that tend to be associated with men in most films, it is a delight to see a female character that doesn’t have the candy girl stereotype.

Scandal  is a story about an impossible love, something akin to Kate and Jack in Titanic, a couple who breathe in sync who long for each other but are unable to act on their feelings nor control them. I am talking about Olivia Pope and her lover and  the things they say, the sacrifices they make are so gripping and heart wrenching, it is hard not to root for them in that moment. I understand in terms of the Scandal world, this relationship is the love of the century, no matter how well it is written or portrayed by Kerry Washington I dislike it.This love line is at times I feel the worst part of Scandal because it is toxic and unequal and I don’t understand why you would allow yourself to be manipulated or lied to or left in a state where you are living like the dead. Despite my personal feelings towards this love line, I can’t help hoping that they will recover their senses, another key relationship is between Olivia and  the first lady Melody Grant (Bellamy Young). It is such a complex relationship, they are rivals in love, yet are allies at the same time and as the series continues I’m intrigued about what direction they will take.

What do you think about Scandal?  Do you support Olivia’s relationship with the First Lady? Who are your favourite members in Olivia’s team?


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