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The Ongoing Trouble With ‘Scandal’ And Why It’s Starting To Lose Me As A Viewer

The Ongoing Trouble With 'Scandal' And Why It's Starting To Lose Me As A Viewer

Like you, I watched the first two episodes of Season Two of ‘Scandal’. The production values are higher. The style of the show is handled much better. Olivia Pope, at least, in the first episode, felt stronger. She was making decisions and leading the charge.

Last night, however, the show started to lose me as a viewer. I am still rooting, 100%, for this show to succeed. However, in terms of Drama, it isn’t delivered in a way that keeps my interest. Serial dramas have to unfold in a way that keeps you asking-“what will happen, next week?” Mainly, “how will the central character wrestle with their moral dilemma, next week?” Olivia’s journey is already clear. But for interesting side storylines that may occur, I get it. And, that’s the problem.

Mind you, there are enough elements, in the show, to keep an audience. The structural elements are there. However (and this is what I note in much film and television, of late), the essential element is not a part of the storyline. But, there is just enough there to keep an audience. People will stay tuned. And, that is the goal with every show, right? So, one could argue, the mission is accomplished. However, it will fall short in being a great show.

‘Scandal’, I repeat, has the ability to be a great show. I’m not kidding. Here is an opportunity for a show, with a black female lead, to go toe-to-toe with the best of them. And, understand, I want it to be that. I want Ms. Shonda Rhimes to have that. Especially, with the news that she is working with Ms. Issa Rae. A television show for Ms. Rae was a no-brainer to most of us. Thank goodness there is Ms. Rhimes, a black woman, in television, who could embrace and want to showcase her talent. Actually, Oprah should have snapped Ms. Rae up for OWN. Maybe she will. But, Oprah will receive a loving critique on another day. Today, it’s about ‘Scandal’.

The best dramas (think ‘Sopranos’) bring you into the commission of an act that creates the moral dilemma. Fans of ‘The Sopranos’ can recall the show where Tony takes his daughter to college and commits a murder. Yes, we know Tony is in the mob. But, the arresting thing about the show was that we were actually going to get to see him be mob. The beauty of ‘The Sopranos’ was the set-up. We are brought into his family life. We go off with him to visit a college with his daughter and we see his demon take center stage. Pure genius. From that moment, we were hooked. What will this man do, week after week? Will he get caught? Will he stop? Will his family find out? Will his conscience win? Does he have a conscience? Great dramas raise questions and keep the ball in the air until they are ready to release you. If you are watching ‘Homeland’, currently, the same thing is at play. Right now, that and ‘Dexter’ are the shows to study. (However, I do need to catch up on ‘Boardwalk Empire’. And, I will give a nod to ‘Luther’, too. For network TV, ‘The Good Wife’ is strong.)

So, here it is. The main problem with ‘Scandal’ is that the commission of the act that creates the moral dilemma has already occurred outside of the show. Olivia Pope started the affair with the president before the show started. The viewers should have been allowed to experience that with her. The president, or the white house, could have been a client and we should have been drawn into the affair at the same time that Olivia was. The why’s, the how’s, her vulnerability, her weakness, the struggle. As an audience member, we needed that in order to be fully invested in her. One could argue that the “how’d we get here question “, is the show’s hook? And, it will be delivered to us, at some point. The problem is, that can only be sustained for so long before it becomes an annoyance. Or viewers, like myself, stop caring.

Right now, we are being shown their connection but, it isn’t attached to a history. As an audience, we need to be a part of the creation of her history. Otherwise, it becomes just short of a soap opera. High emotional moments without a strong connection to the decision that created the emotion. If you notice, as I stated as a need in my first critique, we are now being invited into Olivia’s private moments. And, the show slows down the style for them. It is very deliberate and it works. They were (kind of) there in season one but, now, we see Olivia in the process of making a decision/struggling. Her emotions are (almost) taking center stage.

Although, I still feel she should be leading the charge. A power dynamic is set up when you make her lover the president of the United States. It will keep her in a weak position because he’s running the world. Whatever she does, doesn’t compare to that. And, is always, in reaction to that. Her power rests in his storyline. He has to call, secure, via a “private line”. She has to wait and be on the receiving end of that. It is unfortunate that her private moments are with the president. If they were about her life, in another way, something that brings us into her life and provides a contrast, a butting up against her affair, the stakes would be more interesting. Right now, the stakes are minimal. Her job is not in jeopardy. The affair isn’t interfering with her ability to do her job (although that seems to be on the horizon). The stakes must be raised. Her dilemma has to crash into her professional life and start to tear down walls. Again, look to ‘The Sopranos’, look to ‘Homeland’, look to ‘Dexter’ for illustration of this point.

The only way to fix this is to give Olivia a ‘new’ dilemma. Allow the audience to see her pivot from the affair to something else. Her power lies in rejecting the most powerful man in the United States, not being weak to him. But, the problem is, the show is already set up and in motion. Doing this would be too difficult. They made the decision to go with this presidential storyline, again. Which, by the way, I don’t buy. I don’t believe that that is the office of the presidency. It’s just not convincing. The Sudan storyline was not believable. However, I appreciate the attempt. But, back to the issue at hand. Olivia has to have another issue that we, as an audience, can be invited into the initial experience of. Otherwise, they will have to go with flashbacks to the beginning of the affair.

The show will remain interesting and engaging. The color, the sound, the style. And, it floats around stakes, dilemmas and intrigue just enough for television. I am ecstatic that the show has a strong fan base. Ms. Rhimes is very good at keeping her fans happy. She has created a brand, in terms of, how she delivers the plot points of a show. And, I am anxious to see more from Ms. Rhimes as she marches on. ABC has given us our two black women entertainment powerhouses…something to think about. But, I want to see Ms. Rhimes bring her gifts to cable. Oh, yes, can’t you imagine how fierce that would be!

**And, for the record, the suggestion, in my first critique, to place Olivia Pope outside of the country was just for one or two episodes. Some thought I meant for the entire Season. A build up towards the season finale, perhaps. That’s all.**

Follow Tanya Steele on Twitter at @digtanya. Or on my facebook at visit

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Do anybody know why this show sells. Switch the race of the president and olivia pope . in this days environment the show would be off the air by now. There's no way a white woman be sleeping with two black men like that and be still on the air. Don't forget the biracial cheerios commercial all the hated racial crap sent to Cheerios, they knew what they were doing when they shot the videos( black husband and white wife were not in a scene together). But it's okay to do a swifter commercial with a white husband and black wife together. Two examples why this show is brainwashing at it's best. What was KING Kong really about? Google it's historically relationship with media hatred of Jack Johnson ( first Black Heavy weight champ who was married to a white woman).


This show is soooo bad.. I mean I gave it a chance but no I will Not be back for season 4. The plot holes are so big, the characters so unrealistic and their motives completely incomprehensible.
1. Why does Olivia pope O.P have free reign in the white house isn't she the campaign manager.
2. What is she doing in the situation room, she would never have clearance..
3. If B613 doesn't report to the president (who didn't even know it existed) how did he appoint jake as the head?
4. Why can anybody and their momma walk into OP's office, you would think with all the enemies she has she would buy a lock. I mean I work for a bank and you can't get to my office floor without a badge.
5. Why does mellie who by now hates her husband stand by him.. she would have left him by now since she has nothing to gain and her happiness to lose.
6. When the bomb goes off in the church the V.P. hangs around to help people.. what nonsense… the Secret Service would NEVER let the effing VP hang around after a bomb goes off!!
7.O.P's mother was in jail for 20+ years in some undisclosed location but she comes out and still has contacts? Knows how to use a cellphone etc etc… and
8. Really? Her mother is a terrorist?
9. Why is her dad always angry (and can he stop overacting).
10 Why is Jake Ballard hanging around Olivia pope..
11. How can you shut down B613 remotely.. not a part of, not an office, the entire organization!?
12. Not to mention all the episodes where Huck goes: I just have to hack into blah blah.. I work in IT and hacking into secure government intelligence agencies is not a walk in the park.
13. Why does OP cry in EVERY episode now? Not exactly strong black woman.I mean EVERY episode!
14. When was the last time OP & associates took a case? I mean don't they have salaries to pay.''
15. I'm not even starting on all the other stupid characters: Adnan Saleef etc etc..
16.I could go on forever….

Scandal writers here's my advice:
Buy all 7 seasons of The West Wing and learn something about how to write a show about the white house. Or better yet just hire their writers.

This show had potential but it turned out to be just an Oprah approved – badly written -prime time- Days of Our Lives…

I wont be back for Season 4.


Funny how the commenters here say it's not about race but the only reason must watch is because the main character is a black woman who's got a white president losing his mind over her. The show is over the top and has too many plot twists. And with Kerry being pregnant, this one-trick-pony of a show is sputtering big time. Scandal supporters will continue to watch and proclaim each episode was great. When deep down all they really want to see it Fitz and Olivia hooking up. Honestly, I hate when black women try to intellectualize things that are really simple. I say that because black women are the only people I hear praise the show but can never give a valid reason why they feel the show is so great. Watch the show with a black woman. See how she behaves when the president starts to salivate over Olivia. It's like a pack of hyenas are circling a carcass. You can hear a pin drop during all the other scenes. The show is melodrama and has zero depth. They could keep four, maybe five characters from the entire cast then center the show around them. The rest are filler and serve little to no purpose. And for God's sake, slow the pace of the show down! Not all Americans have ADHD..


Learn how to use a comma.


I think I'll stick with Shondra's version of Scandal.


I really enjoyed reading this review, thank you! I am an art house film fan, but recently got into TV due to Netflix streaming & the availability of engaging shows with story-long plot lines. I agree with your points — what do you think about how the show has unfolded, now that it is in its third season?

My favorite shows, to date, are:


You are overthinking this. If the acting and cinematography weren't so cheesy on this show, your analysis would make sense. As is, you are treating a mediocre soap opera like the great drama it could have been in an alternate universe.


Great way to poop a party Miss Steele…

Kimiwnu Adeboyeku

Well the good news is she recently married Nnamdi Asomugha!


The thing about Shonda Rhimes is that she is writing a series in a soap opera type format. Grey's Anatomy started out the same way and now it ismore of an slice of life medical drama. Why is it when there is a talented black writer or director, it has to be held up to a white male standard which is the norm and she does well especially to those well known writers of Law & Order or big movie diretors of high impact; emotionally stirring tempos. Watching West Wing was like being at an imtimate living room "whiskey" party, just an daily habit of whitehouse drama. I hate that Oprah has to snap every "minority effort" as Hollywood is good at appointing a token. She is good and that is considerable.

Joey vail

Just got a new iPhone sorry for typos and grammar issues! This new keyboard is tricky for me!! I swear I'm not illiterate! LOL

Joey v

To everyone ANC anyone suggesting Olivia needs a new love interest is just an idiot! We wouldn't need fitz then. If Olivia wasn't with fitz, his character wouldn't be necessary to the show! Ok so take fitz away, then we can scrap every person in the White House. That includes Melly, Fitz,Cyrus, even characters like Jake. We wouldn't have jake bc the only reason he came to the show was bc fitz hired h to spy on Olivia. If she wasn't involved with fitz, the show wouldn't work! The White House and its staff needs to be tied into Liv and the rest of the gladiators! So say liv meets "guy x". Since they are together, this leaves fitz and his wife just at the White House in a crappy marriage, it's really not that entertaining. If it weren't for the affair "Defiance", wouldn't of happened! Liv wouldn't have let it happen if she and fitz weren't involved! It's the best show out there, a huge breath of fresh air for people who consider themselves, "above", reality tv trash! Shanda Rhimes uses a "color blind", casting method, which doesn't allow casting To be done based on race alone. Legs all agree to agree, or all agree to disagree! Chances are we will never ce face to face with one another! So either enjoy the show, or change the channel! I agree that Fitz is a very attractive man and Kerry, you'd have to be blind or mentally challenged to not see her radiant beauty. She deserves all the success in the world, that girl did not get to where she is today, overnight!! Also, the show does flashback to show the befinning of each gladiator, as well as the beginning of their affair! So much felatio in this show! It's. constant, and I am happy for them lol! They have insane chemistry! You have to be a moronic retard, to not see that!! #SCANDAL4LIFE



Why is this suddenly about color for goodness sake get over yourselves, its a drama, a man who has an instant connection with a very intelligent woman the minute he lays eyes on her, the minute she started walking towards him, he knew he was in trouble, why should this be about the color instead of the beauty, why not an extraordinary beautiful intelligent woman as equally, if not, more powerful than this man who knew, if she stayed to run his campaign, he won't be able to stay away from her, ever! That's why he wanted Cyrus to fire her……enjoy the freakin story. IT'S ABOUT PEOPLE NOT COLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Are we still talking about this show? It's weak, soap opera television that isn't nearly as thrilling and interesting as they want us to believe.


By "supposedly" not making race and issue on tv drama's like Scandal, you're making race an issue. A successful, powerful, brilliant black person whose only kryptonite is a unavailable, morally inept white person with 10x more power and influence. Check and check. Not about race? My bad.


By "supposedly" not making race and issue on tv drama's like Scandal, you're making race an issue. A successful, powerful, brilliant black person whose only kryptonite is a unavailable, morally inept white person with 10x more power and influence. Check and check. Not about race? My bad.


Jesus Christ 128 comments so far! You know maybe I'm going to have to watch this damn show once to see what the hell all the fuss is about. Does it have any zombies in it?

Alan Katz

Sorry, but I don't get this article at all. There were at least two arcs, told in flashbacks that led the viewer through the beginning of the affair between Olivia and the President (as candidate). Isn't that exactly what the author is claiming as missing? In what alternate universe?

As for me, Scandal is my No. 1 show on television. I am ticked that they keep inserting repeats in the middle of a building season – why do television programmers insist on destroying shows by pissing off their viewers? The Good Wife is never recorded successfully on my DVR because the Sunday schedule is so flexible that the show sometimes starts at 10:00, 10:15 or even (like last week), 10:30.

I sincerely hope that the network keeps Scandal going and growing. Kerry Washington is a beautiful, brilliant actress and the supporting cast is one of the best that has ever appeared in a network series.


Reading your blog made me sad. I was sad because you failed to get the big picture. Olivia Pope is a brilliant, beautiful, polished woman. She is sexy because she is competent, confident, and capable. in Kerry Washington you have an actress with the ability to play a high class, well educated woman convincingly. Thank Shonda Rimes for creating a show that gives African American girls a role model who isn't't slapping five, dropping her ing's, or complianing about not being able to find a good "brotha." Olivia Pope can have any man she wants because she attracts rather than repels them. I, for one, am glad to see a strong black woman who doesn't have one foot still stuck in the ghetto. Don't waste time over-analyzing the show. Just watch and learn.


I am new to the show, but have seen all the first season and the second. My belief is that the main character in the show is the conspiracy and the effect it has on the Defiance 5. All the other people are caught up in the effects of that scandal. Do you really believe that this has NEVER happened in the history of the USA? You are fooling yourselves. The affair between Olivia and the President is window dressing. That she is a "fixer" and finially needs "fixing" herself is inevitable. She balances moral and amoral constantly. The character shows clearly the stress this causes in her life. In the beginning her work drives Olivia, but in the end her personal life is driving her. Also inevitably she falls apart. The scandal wins. Fitz is gone, Mellie is back , Silas is seen to be as duplicitous and dangerous, Vera confesses her sins..I don't believe another lover will rehap Olivia. I think her work will! I think that that is her true lover!


I hope the show dies. It was NOT Shonda Rhimes idea to begin with. I have it on good authority that a movie script passed to the assistant of Keri Washington a few years ago (which the writer never heard back about) was used as the baseline story for SCANDAL. Seems odd to me that this script that featured two powerful woman and one man, a shooting, a hospital scene, intrigue and drama, was in the hands of the woman who is now the star of this show? And it was "created" just a year after that script was in Ms. Washington's possession? Do you believe in coincidence? If you do, you're a fool. The idea was stolen and because you cannot copyright ideas, voila! Another new show by Shonda Rhimes? Hardly.

Wake up, America! Sad part is, the writer's film will likely never see the light of day because it'll be labeled a "copy" of the basis of the show they actually created. I hate it when writers are abused like this and NO ONE gets dealt with, but its OK because SCANDAL is gonna die soon because they've already killed the best parts of the show. And now maybe Ms. Rhimes can go and steal something else.

No, SCANDAL doesn't impress me. What WOULD impress me is those folks coming clean and doing the right thing by contacting the writer and giving them their due.


Son of Kush

I haven't even watched the show, but always see people talking about it on Facebook. First off, once I saw that a Black women created the show, and that a Black woman would be starring in it, I already knew what the plan would be. The plan would be to make the Black woman powerful in the beginning of the show so that Black viewers would get hooked early on as they have. Then as the show goes on, the Black women would perhaps have an affair with an attractive European American man which would get the Caucasian viewers hooked on the show as they have. Then as the show continues on, the ultimate plan is to make the Black suspected powerful Black woman out to be nothing more than an intelligent high powered whore who sleeps around with any and everybody no matter what color they are. Mark my words, many of you (particularly Black folks) will be let down once again by this show in the future, just wait and see. How many times are we going to let Hollywood and the big studios trick us into believing that they are really going to portray Black Folks in a positive light on public television? Television (Tell Lies Visually) is nothing but an illusion; a lie, and if you're not careful, you'll be duped over and over again into believing that your getting good entertainment when your not. Just because a Black woman created the show doesn't mean that the show will be created showing this Black woman in a positive light. Some of you (Uncle & Auntie Toms Black Folks) have a lot of work to do when it comes to being proud of your race and ethnic heritage. Peace, Love, and Light…………..Kush


I love the show! I wish we could all just enjoy the show and stop with all the drama. It's a T.V. Show. Just enjoy! I think that Kerry Washington is doing a great job.


I do like the show and yes it is interesting but I totally get where you are coming from. I do feel it is a bit predictable at times. I pretty much knew last night's episode would go in the direction it did with maybe a few twists. I have been asking myself, if the show is so good, why hasn't it been nominated for an Emmy or Golden Globe? There is something missing about it and/or people are not really feeling what it is about. At least the people that have say so about giving it nominations. Maybe the thought and visualization of that much corruption in the White House is a turn off.


My problem with this critique is that it assumes the affair is the main plot of the show. For me, it's not. The main plot is the obviously complex conspiracy that is happening. The affair is certainly interesting, but ultimately a side plot. During every episode, the burning question on my mind is not "what will happen next between Olivia and Fitz?" My burning question is "who is in charge?" It's not Fitz. It's not the Defiance 5 (as a whole). Someone is pulling all of the strings. Someone is messing with Olivia Pope and given what I have seen so far, that is a nearly impossible accomplishment.

Back to this particular article. This show is not called Pope, it is called Scandal. To focus on the biggest romantic scandal in Olivia's life, while ignoring the biggest scandal that has ever happened to the United States, is a huge error. To assume that Shonda Rhimes would lay everything out in the open after just 2 episodes of season 2 is a huge error. Shonda Rhimes writes this show like a mystery, not a drama. Instead of spelling out the overall arc for you in the first 10 minutes, she makes you wait. She drops hints and gives reveals, but ultimately she makes you wait to figure out what the show is really about. And with a bit of patience, she gives you exactly what you want (to understand Fitz/Olivia) and then some (the huge conspiracy that could literally destroy the United States).

Any viewer that quits after 2 episodes because the writer isn't telling you about the affair must really only be interested in the romance. At the end of episode 1, we see that Olivia and Huck turned Lindsay into Quinn. If THAT wasn't enough to keep you intrigued as to what is the bigger story, perhaps you'd be better suited with a romantic drama.


Why do Americans, especially black Americans always have to turn everything into a race thing. This isn't a show about a black woman having an affair with a white guy – it's about a young, hot, successful woman and a powerful, attractive man. That they're black, white , whatever doesn't matter to the narrative. They're just a sexy couple with incredible chemistry .
The whole Fitz , Olivia moral dilemma is part of what makes the show fun, intense and watchable. And the slow, gradual way we are exposed to the back story of the affair is captivating. I love this show


Geez… I guess you missed your Civics/Government and English classes in school. When referring to the "President of the United States" and the "White House"… You always capitalize those items. Please get it together!


Reading these Comments on here. I have to say this. How is Scandal showing a negative image of a black woman? What image do you what portrayed on TV? Do you wish Olivia was some ghetto trash or what is portrayed on reality Tv. Olivia Pope by the way that is her name not Amanda. If you going to talk about something at least know the character's name. Getting back to what I am saying Olivia Pope is not a home wrecking whore who is sleeping with the President. The home was already wrecked and besides the First Lady knew about the affair and was okay with it. She even scolded Olivia for ending the affair. How does that make her weak because she is in love with a man. Women are very complex individuals. New Flash: A woman can be in love and be a strong woman at the same time. I am not condoning her being involved with a married man. The need to give her a new love interest. I have to say this though what if the show was about Oliver Pope and his involvement with the a white woman.

How is she considered to be hyper sexual? Just because she is having an affair with President that makes her hyper sexual? Please she has only had one sex scene. I have watched enough TV and have seen far worse then Scandal has every shown.

People are putting a heavy burden on this show to be everything. When it does not give everything you have blogs like this? The viewership is not high but please don't complain
when the show is gone about there are no shows with black leads.


Tanya darling, listen carefully. I say this with love. You're so invested in the politics of how the first black female lead in Prime Time is being presented that you can't simply enjoy this entertaining piece of fiction. You need Olivia Pope to be an independent strong woman stereotype to counter your own issues. It's fiction. And it's hot. Shonda shows extramarital affairs in every show she writes and she always roots for the affair. Did you do this for Meredith and Derek? How about the extramarital relationships in Private Practice? So why this one? Why can't you just enjoy the show without bringing so much politics into it? And don't even pretend that's not what it's about. Blacks are their own worst enemy. It's obvious the show is a hit based on the number of comments your article attracts and yet you must rip it apart every chance you get. Because that's what blacks do. No other group does this. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.


How sad. Launching a campaign against this instant hit that everyone loves so much. With lame excuses to mask the issues oozing from your writing.


this show rocks….stop hating bitches


It seems to me some black women on this message board are making excuses for the bad relationship Olivia Pope is in because she's with a white guy. I bet if Olivia Pope was having an affair with an older black man who was President of the United States the black women on this board wouldn't be so supportive. I know people want to make excuses but this relationship Olivia Pope has with President Grant is manipulative and emotionally abusive.

Olivia needs a new guy a new love interest and assert her independence from a terrible relationship which is stale. I would love to see Olivia fall in love with someone new.

No offense to Tony Goldwyn fans the guy is okay looking for a 50 something white guy but he's not hot. It's not like Kerry's love interest is someone gorgeous like say TJ Holmes, Don Lemon, Boris Kodjoe, or someone young and hot someone in her own age range or something.


I do recall in season 1 where they did a flashback of Olivia and Fitz and how it begin. I believe we are going to get to see her whole staff and how they arrived working for Olivia. Example: (Quin) I believe they all are apart of some scandal in one way or another. I have faith in this show it will all come to the light soon enough.


I like the show a lot. I will definitely remain a viewer, but I would love to see Olivia develop a relationship with a man that is accessible. I know an ex lover of hers is being introduced and who knows maybe they will rekindle their romance. I would also like to learn more about Olivia's background. Give her some parents and siblings like Meredith on Grey's Anatomy Shonda. Let's see why Olivia became the woman she is.


Mr. HMMM and Mr. NO BRAINER, both of you guys are on some poppycock :-). Seriously, how did y'all fix your lips to say–> "What was her goal in sharing it HERE? I understand wanting to get it off her chest. Writing this was cathartic for her. But Tambay chimed in this setup". WHAT?! You guys generally speak with a rational mind, but listen. One more time, how in the heck can you imply that there's some form of secret conspiracy between Tambay and Tanya to dupe readers into writing comments? The dope sells itself. I am suggesting that first and foremost Tanya is a writer ( let's say that again. Tanya is a WRITER, okay) who has been adding content to this blog for OVER A YEAR and Tambay is it's host and editor. So by a natural extension he chimes in, okay. Now, this post was NOT a "review" per se, in fact, the title said: The Ongoing Trouble With 'Scandal' And Why It's Starting To Lose "ME" As A Viewer. So what's the confusion and who really has a problem? Yeah, ask yourself this, why does any of S&A contributors add content to this blog? Why does Sergio add commentary to his Weekend B.O. column? And why does Curtis add his form of commentary to his "This Week In TV" column? And surely you know why Courtney, Natasha and Jasmin do what they do, right? Yeah, they'll all writers who add content ( in various forms) to this blog with their own voice; flare and uniqueness. Having said that, one more time, let's say it again, what's the real problem?


I really don't have much to say. The affair with the president does weaken her. She seems painfully, hopelessly in love with him and she seems very fragile and weak and not to mention the whole aspect of a black woman stepping so low as to sleep with a married man. It's sickening and I stop watching the show and no it's not racial, it could have been a black man. I just think it's a cheap, lazy way to develop the character. Why do black female lead actors have to be sexualized. They did it with Halle Berry and others. I agree that Amanda Pope needs a flaw. We all have one or more. It's too bad that the writers couldn't have been slicker and wrote something more challenging and less demeaning. But hey sex sells…so who really cares


(I haven't read any of the other comments yet, so someone else has probably brought up these points)

"Right now, we are being shown their connection but, it isn't attached to a history. As an audience, we need to be a part of the creation of her history."———-

Did you see Season 1, Episode 6: "The Trail?" Much of that episode was devoted to showing how Fitz and Olivia met and their relationship developed. Actually, there was instant attraction…at least from Fitz's side. Perhaps if Season 1 had been longer, they could have gone more in depth with it, but even without the slow burn/buildup, Liv & Fitz have still "got it" to the point that people enjoy watching them say "Hello" and breathe to one another on the telephone. I think it was a good idea to establish the romantic relationship/connection early, so the "Moonlighting Effect" won't come into play. As the married President of the U.S., the chance of them truly being together is unlikely…so they will "break up" for periods of time, and she will date other people, but the writers can still play with the "will they/won't they" throughout the run of the show. Viewers will remember the intense chemistry they shared, and know they will eventually get back together at some point, so will always be looking for signs indicating when the next rekindling of the affair will happen. #thehook———-I do look forward to members of Olivia's team being fleshed out more, as they writers are doing with Huck…what is Columbus Short's character all about? They really need to bring in some replacements for Annoying Abby & Boring Quinn, because they are the wink links in terms of casting.

Name Ellen

Your Comment
I think the show is great, sometimes I mess it at it's regular time, can we get a repeat or somthing. Olivia you are the bum.

Masha Dowell

I love Scandal. I watch it online, and I am growing with the storyline. I want Olivia to have a love interest that is available to love her though. The actor that plays the President is handsome, but I want to see someone smoking HOT for Olivia :) I want to see FLAMES on my screen w/ Olivia! I mean Columbus Short would do just fine. Something to shake it UP!!!! Kudos to the show for making it to season 2!!!!

Just Another Person Talking To A Screen

Could anyone suggest some black scripted dramas for me to watch? How do independent critiques make shows better? Does promoting a discussion lead to new opportunities? Will there not be a Tanya "Michael" Steele to head the opposition no matter how good a black lead drama is? Will not a site like this always host the contrarian argument compared to more popular channels? Production is one thing, our understanding of power dynamics are another. Tony Soprano is strong and Olivia Pope is weak. Tony was codependent on his wife, his therapist and a organization of murderers. Olivia uses leverage over people of power to manipulate outcomes for money that allows her to pay several comfortable salaries. I don't think we know what a woman in power looks like. What are your examples of women in power? President by the balls and she has the biggest, baddest dog in the neighborhood. President Fitz is Tony Soprano, the wives are almost symmetrical, Olivia as the therapist, and he also depends on the homosexual Cyrus to prop up his own ambitions. The level of writing never matches what the viewer imagines. I think the character of Pope is strong. Kerry may be as stiff as Jennifer Anniston. Shonda Rhimes may create for a large audience that network tv commands. Who are some of Shonda Rhimes contemporaries and what black producers is she walking in the shoes of?


I kind of disagree. I don't think we needed to see Olivia sleep with the President. I think the writers of this show are fierce and brilliant. I watch this show religiously!!


*Yawn* the show is getting pretty good ratings so Shonda must be doing something right. If you don't like the show, simply turn it off and keep it moving —>


@ Charles Judson. like your POV. @Orville: Like the first piece Tanya wrote, it seems to be based on a specific definition of what an independent woman is. Let me, an independent woman, give another definition. An independent woman is a woman who makes decisions for herself. Right, wrong or indifferent. She takes care of herself, knows how she wants to live her life and for the purposes of this discussion, if she choses to have a partner, it is because she wants one….however she wants him. The decisions an independent woman makes is personal and does not have to make sense to anyone else, nor does she really and truly care about what they think. An independent woman can have insecurities, self-esteem issues, etc. etc. etc. That said an independent woman, hell a regular WOMAN, could have made the decision to have an affair with a married man because it keeps the relationship EXACTLY where SHE needs it to be. If Olivia wanted to have Fitz, she could shut her mouth and waited to see if he would leave his wife in the midst of a scandal. Or she could have leaked the affair herself and caused a major stink. Please. I am getting bored with the judgement made on a female show character. It is one dimensional and frankly, boring as hell. And so would any tv show based on it.

bohemian princess

@Tanya, I certainly respect your right to express your opinion as you have in your two articles on Scandal. That being said let me offer you some sage advice. Just stop watching the show already. I don't know what you're expecting. This is escapism television in the vein of Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives, or even Revenge (I realize that none of these shows are political dramas) but it's obvious that since we have so few dramas with black lead characters a heavy burden is being placed on Scandal. It's not meant to be a cerebral experience. Shonda isn't trying to break ground on the small screen. She's not making 'The Soprano's' or 'Breaking Bad' or 'The Wire' or whatever show you happen to think is the best thing to grace the silver screen in the past decade. Scandal is a night time soap opera. Accept that and deal with it or move on. It's a decent show with great acting. It never purported to be anything else. Yet some of the critiques I've read on this site have been pretty asinine and lacking in depth and critical analysis (i.e. Sally Hemmings? Seriously?) . Ironically enough things some have accused Ms. Rhimes of.


I am consistently amazed that some of you become so emotionally involved in other people's works of FICTION. It isn't real. It doesnt affect you. If you don't like it, then turn it off.

Charles Judson

I agree with Tamaby that the stakes for some of the storylines on SCANDAL are at times too low. As an example, the Quinn/Lindsey trial in the first episode lacked dramatic weight and immediate consequences. A woman is accused of bombing 7 people, the judge ends the trial just as the prosecution was clearly winning, and the media, public and political establishment goes along with it. Only David gets the blowback. Lindsay travels to see her dad and she's not only not hassled by the public, who has seen her face on TV for weeks, the most she gets is a semi-nasty stare. That being said, SCANDAL is not a character driven thriller. It is a political soap opera. And there's nothing wrong with that. Is Olivia a morally weak woman? Yes. She slept with a married man and even a part she isn't able to break the emotional connection they have. This does not take away her power. In the first two episode of this season it's shown that A) the Chief of Staff still takes her advice and heeds her influence, B) The President uses her entire strategy and parrots her words about him, C) It's the President that calls her, not him, and D) She's able to both call the President to have an investigation squashed, and call someone else to have a trial ended. Anyone that considers Olivia subservient to the President doesn't know what subservient means. In fact, Mellie's "What happened to us" conversation in the second episode, even if it was meant to manipulate Fitz, is problematic. She's already given up her law practice and she's playing the mommy card hard. That plotline from a feminist perspective should raise some eyebrows. Even if Mellie still has access to power behind the scenes, it's an illusionary facade of 1950s values that should be disturbing, especially since in SCANDAL's world everyone is playing into it. But, this is the same media that didn't call bullsh*t on a bad outcome at a trial. To Tanya's points about giving Olivia having her own Dilemma the writers have given her one. She's called Lindsay Dwyer. The Sudan storyline is The President's not Olivia. The Lindsay plotline is clearly meant to be Olivia's metaphorical Big Bad with David leading the charge. She fixed something in the past and that fix is now unraveling. It's unraveling by her own hand when she screwed over David not once, but twice. Did the writers bungle setting that up in the first two episodes? A little. There's a lot more cat and mouse a show like DAMAGES could and would have wrung out of David's slide from drinking buddy to antagonist. But, again, this is more soap opera than thriller. It also appears to be that the writers understood there wasn't much to be gained from the trial and they needed to get David investigating as quickly as possible if they wanted to start raising the stakes in the Lindsay case. Sometimes you have to make narrative sacrifices in the service of expediency. Still, the writers can do a better job of turning Olivia's pouts and pensive looks into action. Other than screwing over David, there's not much that I can point to that Olivia's done to make things worse or that backs her into a corner. So far the reveal of what Olivia and Huck did is great as information, but it's action that happened in the past. It only shades what we see now. And considering it's a network show, I'm pretty sure what we saw is more Olivia playing White Knight than Olivia pulling a Patty to save her own hide. Where the show seems most afraid to go (back) to but does dabble a bit in is the Olivia vs. Mellie for the President's ear. It's a fascinating dynamic of two politically savvy women who seem to be the real power behind the throne. It will be interesting to see if Rhimes and her writing staff amp that up. The possibility of more chess games between them could make for more fireworks. Is SCANDAL a great show? No. It's a mashup of WEST WING, THE PRACTICE and GREY'S ANATOMY that prefers archetypes over character and lacks subtlety. Huck's I don't want to be hired to drink Whiskey anymore monologue is laughably hokey and illustrates this best. I was waiting for someone to get up and ask him if Whiskey was code for killing. But, again, it's a political soap opera that's fairly entertaining and does enough things right that, while it isn't appointment viewing for me, is watchable and even fun. By the way, returning to Olivia as a morally weak person. She helps spin politics and hide skeletons for a living. She's already a morally compromised character even if she hadn't slept with the President. You can pull out her affair and that's like removing one ketchup stain off an already multi-stained blue dress.


This is the best blog post ever by Shadow and Act. Please hire this woman. She was very fair in her critique and didn't allow her feelings to take over her criticism. I love Scandal and don't find anything wrong with how she critiqued the show. This is fair criticism. Please get with it Shadow And Act!


You make some very interesting points about Scandal which do have some merit. But your main critique seems to come from a wish the Scandal was a cable network show which it is not. I'm sure if it were it would contain all the complexities for a more sophisticated audience that makes up cable. But, I'm grateful for Scandal being offered at all on network T.V. I believe because it is network T.V. they have a bottom line to keep the unwashed masses entertained, even if they are" Soap Opera-esque" type of shows.

Scandal is groundbreaking to have a African American women( Kerry Washington) as a lead even, if it appears she is sharing it with others at times. For those of us without cable, Scandal is about as good as it gets for a drama with a Black women as the lead !

I'm sure in time Shonda Rhimes will get her shot at cable , but for now I'm glad she is on network T.V. so we ALL might see her genius, along with Kerry Washington.


The fixer stuff is more interesting than this high schoolish secret love stuff. I get get so annoyed by that story line. A sitting president talking about leaving his wife for his mistress is the mother of all shark jumps and we are just two episodes into the second season. That story line needs to be buried.


I just think that Olivia is being overshadowed by the First Lady, what's-her-name and Hock (sp?), Olivia's henchman. I'm rooting for her, but I'm starting not to care. The strong black female lead is the only reason that I'm watching the show anyway, so if her storyline becomes weaker, I'll stop watching. The whole affair with Fitz is just too darn messy and now she's starting to stress him for favors because of their relationship. It's really not what I'm wanting to see.


I've never watched a single episode but your whole 'step by step' 'I would have done this' is pretty patronizing but I guess you are trying to appear consistent as this is not the first time you've written an essay about this (upon seeing online clips) soap opera-esque, fluff show that really doesn't require the pseudo-introspection you give it. Get a grip and write about something else. Again, I have not watched the show but I am over your Scandal essays. They are as boring as the show seems to be.


I agree with your very astute critique of the show but none of the reasons you mention have been a threat to the show losing me as viewer. Most of the enjoyment for me comes from simply watching Pope do her thing…kind in the same way I used to like seeing House doing his…the romantic plot is just an added bonus. I'm kind of relieved that it is not the center of the show's narrative arc actually.


I think the problem with Scandal is indeed the power dynamic Tanya is correct. People can make a lot of excuses but the problem with Olivia and Fitz relationship is it he is MARRIED. Olivia is just the black jump off that's it because Fitz refuses to leave his wife divorce her and make a commitment. People can say, well in the first season finale Fitz was going to do that but why didn't he? I believe President Grant loves having power over Olivia. In the second episode he asked Olivia again on the phone if she wanted to end their emotional affair and she said no.
So it is hard to feel sorry for Olivia because she's the mistress and she does NOT come across as an independent black woman. An independent black woman would have ENOUGH self respect to end an emotionally draining affair with a married man. Olivia has an addiction she knows her relationship with President Grant is unhealthy yet she just can't shake it or have a withdrawal from him. According to the news Olivia is supposed to have a black male love interest I can't wait to see him because I am getting bored and tired of Olivia wasting her time on a man that can't give himself completely to her. A relationship with a married man is a waste of time because he can never give you what you want himself completely.

Agent K

Tanya Steele: the one who kicked the hornets' nest.


Scandal… huuuummm. The way I see it is the dope sells itself and everybody is right. “What dope, what are you talking about now, Carey?” Look at it as a metaphorical phrase or an analogy if you will. See, one of the neighborhood guys once told me he didn't have to promote or persuade others to purchase his wares because in time, if they were good they would sell themselves. Get it, the dope sells itself. So, as this relates to Scandals, if it's good it will sell, if not… well, you know the answer. Consequently, those who find areas of concern with the series are "right" and conversely, those who find little or no fault are "right" as well. Now, it was said that Tanya Steele admitted that she was no fan of Rhimes work. Okay, but that in no way disqualifies her from giving her assessment on this year's program. To infer that a person is being disingenuous when they voice their opinion on a subject or film, merely because they've admitted some previous indifference with the producer, is in my opinion, faulty logic. Furthermore, I see absolutely nothing wrong with comparing Scandal to other tv programs, regardless of the networks in which they appear. If one series moves a person in ways that engage them and impresses them, and the other does not, there's an immediate comparison (and there's nothing wrong with that). On the other hand, those who find Scandal enjoyable, we can't take that from them either. Whether they are writers, a past fans of Shonda's products or not, they own that enjoyment and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So, as I said, in respect to Scandal and the conversations that ensued, everybody is right because they CANNOT be "wrong" if giving their opinion, especially if they’re merely giving their reasoning on something they like or dislike. However, this is dead wrong and just plain silly–>"The people on this site hate 99% of the things they post". But in the end, isn't it about what Tanya said-> "The show will remain interesting and engaging. Ms. Rhimes is very good at keeping her fans happy." And as Tambay said "But if it's appealing to its target audience, then I suppose that's all that matters… to the network and Shonda Rhimes anyway." Yep, the dope will sell itself. Lets just hope enough people buy it.


I disagree totally with your assessment of Scandal. We have only had 9 episodes, with the first season only being contracted for 7 episodes. Shonda Rhimes has done an excellent job in introducing us to the ensemble of characters who make up Scandal. Through that time we learned about the history that you say is missing between Fitz and Olivia. Keep in mind starting out a show just focusing on these two characters would probably not have gotten them past seven episodes. Instead we came to find out and are still finding out how all of the pieces fit together. The beauty of this show is that it takes so many twists and turns and so what you see may not be the entire story. You cannot have a short attention span and understand what is going on. Some of the shows that you cited as great television on network tv just don't hold my attention, there is a lot of hype about nothing. We have not even scratched the surface regarding who the characters are and their connection and with a show like Scandal this could Absolutely not be done in 8 episodes. So while it may be losing you as a viewer it's picking up more and more viewers because its a show unlike any other. It's smart, intelligent, quirky, with great acting and yes writing. One of the best things about this show is that it is based on a real intelligent and powerful woman Judy Smith who also is a consultant to this show.


There's nothing wrong with Scandal, but there is something wrong with people who don't think it's a good show because it's doesn't fall into their idea of how a strong black woman should carry herself. There are plenty of gorgeous beautiful strong black women out there who don't have big butts and don't have to swirl their necks or fingers in order to be heard.


saggins are never satisfied…I'd like to watch the series that some of you DO actually LIKE/WATCH. "i know the inner workings of washington and she somehow seems unbelievable"…lol WHAT?

"why would you expect good writing from shonda rhymes?"
"her writing is like a romance novel"?
WHAT TV WRITING IS GOOD THEN? I guess its a "thing" now but I'm so disappointed when i read the comments on this site for 95% of the posts!

"how will the central character wrestle with their moral dilemma, next week?" WHAT AGAIN?
You people are draining…HONESTLY!


Nadine, I am so disappointed with your comment (below)! It was low-brow, below the belt and highly disrespectful. And I just don't understand why you felt the need to go there? Now, if this was a forum in which Tanya could openly defend your "indictments" item by item, directly after each issue/concern/disagreement hit the floor (sort of like a debate), I'd say fair-cool-lets-go, but this is not the case and you've unfairly taken advantage of that. Again Nadine, I don't understand the motive behind your assault nor the purpose of your attack. Yes, it was an attack/assault, not a critique.


I don't remember anyone complaining about wanting to see the affair first….especially when last seasons episode 6 aired. We see their connection but it isn't attached to history? WTH? We need to see what makes Abby and Huck tick? Are we watching and hearing the same show or do some of us need the writers to spell it ou…..t. Ohhhh. Well now. Is that one of the reasons some feel the writing is crappy? Do we want intelligent writing that tells us what to think and feel? LoL. I bet you didn't realize Olivia was behind Quinn's fake identity until the end of Season 2, Episode 1. Wow. Moving on……..What I like about Scandal is that did not start with boy meets girl. They fall in love…have steamy intimate moments… get found out. OH! The Drama! They piiiiiiinnnnneee for each other over multiple episodes while going through more intrigue, other bed partners, etc. Divorce comes. FINALLY! But NO! Episodes 40-55. Another chance. ALAS! Episodes 59-69……..Network is about to cancel the show. Okay let 'em be together in the series finale season or special 2 hour movie done later. Happy Days are here again …(Richie Cunningham or Silk, whichever floats your boat.) Keep your formulas. I like this different thing…working from the middle ….we know there WAS, not IS, an affair for now…..I like that we see in snippets how it began, etc. …..while we see the current separation and intimacy without the physical. Sorry, but the payoff can be in finding out WHY and HOW vice waiting for the WHEN. That reminds me of Christopher Nolan…but I digress. I like that we know almost everyone is morally depraved in one way or another upfront and each character (now including Mellie) can make you feel some compassion for them……while seeing how low they have gone…and I adore learning about them based on how they act and say while helping others during the normal 1 or 2 case of the episode that moves fast…. forward. hint, hint. And I like the long winding on-going telling of the backstory as the single epi cases parallels it….and shows some humanity. Like trying to save 'consequences' of fixing bad deeds. Amanda Tanner…Quinn… Someone said that Rhimes work is equivalent of a romance novel. I hope they meant of her other shows, because as a reader of such novels and others, I can expertly say that is not so with this show. In fact, this type of storytelling in a book is downright boring. Not so in this medium.


I actually like the fact that we didn't see the beginning of the affair. We get the jist of the affair via flashbacks. If we had seen the beginning of the affair episode by episode, then "Scandal" would feel unoriginal and cliched. I do agree with you on this part of your opinion piece>>"A power dynamic is set up when you make her lover the president of the United States. It will keep her in a weak position because he's running the world. Whatever she does, doesn't compare to that. And, is always, in reaction to that. Her power rests in his storyline."


I loved last night's episode. I think Shonda's writing is effective and fun. It's entertaining and fulfills its purpose. I thought the pastor side story was the strongest so far and that last night's episode was the strongest (that and ep6 – The Trail). Very satisfied customer!


People expecting great wring from a Shona Rhimes show is hilarious. That has never been the forte of her or her writers. She writes primetime soaps if you want to be honest. She writes fluff. I'm not sure if she is good at that but she is successful enough at it. Her work is the TV equivalent to mainstream romance novels. If you like that type of thing go for it. But for people on one end to be disappointed that it is not the level of a Sopranos and the people on the other end to defend it as if some great masterpiece is a bit much. There has to be a much more realistic middleground.


I watched my first episode last night. I was both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time.


I really have to disagree that Olivia doesn't hold the power in the relationship. As much as his staff believes he is a good president, I don't think Fitz actually wants the job. I think he has ideas, but ultimately I think think the immense pressure of the position wears on him and he doesn't like it. Olivia is powerful, secure and confident and most importantly in control of her life in a way that Fitz isn't. He wants that more than anything else he has in his life. Olivia IS rejecting him, but only because she believes what he can offer via his position is more important than what they can offer each other. I really feel Fitz want out his responsibility, but Olivia won't let him. As far as their relationship is concerned, I would like to see what happens around re-election time in a season or two–or how Fitz plans to handle the breakdown of his marriage.

I also want to point out that there are four other character working with Olivia that have interesting stories that we haven't delved into fully. I can't wait to see what happens with Huck and Abbey as well.

My criticism of the show is that they need to back away from the affair a bit and give us a peek into what makes Abbey and Huck tick, and I'd like to see a bit more history from Olivia too.

Adam Scott Thompson

Sophomore year is HARD!!! lol


If you dislike the show so much why do you waste your time watching it?


I like the show. I agree that we should have seen the affair in the making instead of the aftermath. I wish Olivia Pope didn't speak in her breathless super sonic pace because it doesn't fit. I know the inner workings of Washington and she somehow isn't quite believable. Slow her tone down and give her a more measured, thoughtfulness. Let us see her ponder some of the issues even in the rapid paced emergency nature of the fixer who responds to crises.


This site kills me. I guess you sound more like a journalist and critic if you hate everything. The people on this site hate 99% of the things they post. Why not just start posting white movies and tv shows since no one in the black entertainment tickles your fancy?


Okay Tanya. Not to be rude, but why are you still watching the show? Its clear that Shonda didn't take your "wonderful" critiques into consideration. I thought the show already lost you as a viewer. You already had an idea of what the show was about from your first article. So why continue to write for S&A about what you don't like about the show? Its probably not going to change just for you.


Wow, I find this show fully entertaining and can hardly wait to talk with my friends about Thurs episode. I find it well written, engrossing and love the characters. I'm surprised by all these critical comments in the review and comment sections. This show is great and although I find it hard to believe that anyone has the power we have seen displayed, it is good television (and not on cable, thank heaven). Can't wait till next week.


The ongoing trouble with Scandal is that it's simply not a well-written show. Dare I say that it's the equivalent of a bad soap opera. And perhaps the heavy-handed, painfully melodramatic writing explains the copious amount of over acting. Goodness, it's all so cringeworthy at times. Having said that, I'll continue to tune in mainly due to the chemistry between Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwin. The interaction between the two remains the most interesting part of the show, at least for me. I would agree with Tambay, though, in saying that the affair between Olivia and the president has gotten boring…or rather, predictable. I was hoping Shonda would alter the dynamics, with Liv desiring access to the WH and to Fitz but Fitz turning her away out of resentment for her actions at the end of the season. Alas, we still have him pining for Olivia like a love-sick puppy. How disappointing.


I like this show overall I just think that most of the questions I have about the show and what's goin on get answered at the end of each episode. I still like scandal and will continue to support


I think I get what you mean Tanya. I've also noticed how some of these one hour dramas are not developing the way they used to which would really draw a viewer into their worlds. Instead of establishing/building connections with the character, they expect you to hang on by shoving in as many storylines and dilemmas (not major ones or they unintentionally downplay the significance of the major ones) as possible so you won't change the channel and miss a single moment. As already stated, it's not just Scandal that does this (I gave up after a few episodes partly due to this issue and that's it's too soap-opery for me. I also gave up on the hope they would backtrack and fill in the blanks.) Even when watching (don't laugh) The Client List, it's a similar situation. It didn't make me care about the characters and just threw issues out there every 10 minutes so carelessly, briefly, and anti-climatically I lost what little interest was there. Not gonna watch that show either despite Loretta Devine's mysterious storyline. As to making the Pope character more in charge I have no comment since I'm not watching the show anymore.


While I think "Scandal" is flawed, I don't enjoy overly prescriptive critiques. This post reeks of "How I Would Write It" and that's pretty irritating. Anyway, my thoughts:

I don't think the affair with the President is the moral dilemma of the show. I think Quinn is. She is the person we are with in the pilot. We meet the main characters through her. I assume that her story and Olivia's relationship with it are just getting started. How I will feel about that depends on how the story unfolds.

I assume they are turning the page on Fitz for a little while. Olivia doesn't take his call and turns off the TV. That is a very on the nose way of communicating that she's done with that roller coaster for at least a few episodes.

I liked Grey's Anatomy for maybe a season and a half. Suddenly there were too many characters and every doctor seemed to have a long lost family member running in needing a life saving procedure. I'm going to keep watching Scandal, hoping it doesn't turn into a complete nonsense.

I just think Kerry Washington on TV every week is a gift. That is all.


You're critiquing someone's writing… really? Check yourself. Start by re-reading your article and correcting all errors.


"Her dilemma has to crash into her professional life and start to tear down walls. " The teaser for the next show demonstrates that this is about to happen. The D.A. guy is now investigating Olivia and everybody in her circle and so is somebody else because Olivia mentioned that their secure line conversations weren't secure and have been leaked. I like this show because everything is not spelled out and it makes you have to think about what's going to happen next.

You say Olivia has no power because she is in love with the president and he has it. I disagree. Fitz doesn't make a move without her. He took her advice (not his wife's, not Cyrus') about moving the battleships (or whatever they were). Olivia made Fitz get involved in the cover up of the pastor's death. He's risking his presidency on all levels for her. She has power over him.

Leon Breckenridge

The writing for this show is very bad. But whats makes for it is the acting and the editing. And the characters is cool. This show doesn't need a background because this is more about the people she is helping than her. And you can't make Sopranos like because the season is too long. To make it like that will require more writing. That is why seasons need to be only 10 weeks instead of 24. The first season works because it was short and sweet, like a cable series. But TV series are much longer and with like this where you have to see episodes before to know what is going on the less the better. Granted the president lover is played out, but it ties into strong woman being single and have bad relationship.


Folks have been asking for my thoughts on the season thus far, but instead of a separate "Scandal Talkback" post as is customary on Fridays, I'll just piggy-back on what Tanya has written and say, now that I'm finally caught up on both episodes of the new season, I'm hoping for much better than we've seen so far, otherwise it'll start to become less "must-see TV" for me, especially after last night's episode. The writing, and Shonda Rhimes' style just aren't sustaining me. Maybe it was fine for season 1, because it was season 1. But I want higher stakes from here on; the whole affair with the president is just boring now. She should've put that to bed after last season, or done something radically different with it this season. And the rapid-fire-style dialogue, which I had some issues with last season, as noted, unfortunately just isn't hitting the right notes. It feels too fabricated to me, or maybe it's all in how the actors deliver it. And there's just not enough danger to the series. Given the world in which it's set, it feels too frothy. No real mystery. Olivia Pope just seems to know everyone, everywhere; almost every problem is "handled" with a phone call or a conversation. Don't get me wrong, I want the show to be successful, if only because it's one of the few shows with a black lead on TV, on a major network. But Shonda is going to have to step it up a notch or two, otherwise it may not be renewed for season 3. Go watch a show like "Damages" and then watch this; there's no comparison. There's a danger and edginess to the writing in "Damages" (and the acting is better overall). It just feels much more raw, the stakes are a lot higher, people are unpredictable, situations are unpredictable, and I'd like to see "Scandal" maybe take a page from that show. Yes, I know "Damages" is a cable TV series, while "Scandal" is on network TV. However, that doesn't mean it can't take more risks, because it can and should. But if it's appealing to its target audience, then I suppose that's all that matters… to the network and Shonda Rhimes anyway.


Kinda got lost with this article—the way it is written is kinda, well…


I'm busy doing "stuff" Tanya Steele, but YOU as a writer and your pathological, as well as parasitic, need for attention on the backs of people who actually have talent, need to be addressed. You have no integrity.

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