Guillermo DiazLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 4/19/18 at 6:51PM EDT
Scandal helped define the Obama era, but may have also predicted the rise of Trump
Scandal outlived its own era, the Obama era, and was effectively made irrelevant by Trump's victory, says Daniel D'Addario. "Along with Mad Men and Girls, Scandal will be on the very short list of series that defined the Obama years, both for its willingness to engage deep conversations on issues of race and its escapist vision of a world in which scandal was still fun," he says. On Scandal, Kerry Washington's "Olivia Pope was not incidentally black but specifically black," he says. "Her affair with a white President whom she also served was written, more and more as the show was emboldened by success, to explicitly reference Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. It was a pairing that was touched by the dynamics of power, and a white man in Scandal’s universe, as ours, has more of it than a black woman." He adds: "Scandal’s unique status as a broadcast-TV drama with a black female protagonist, and the way it made that protagonist a complicated woman who had real conversations about what race meant to her, was well-suited to a time in which the President was, for the first time, able to have similar conversations with the nation. The show came along at the right moment, extending a discussion that was at last happening on America’s most visible stages." But Scandal exits tonight amid a Trump administration that is mired in real-life scandal. "The thing is, there are no real scandals on Scandal; the word implies a public reaction of disgust and disapprobation," says D'Addario. "Scandal spends almost no time with the public, and the resolution of each case—from an untidy murder to an election swinging to the candidate the voters didn’t choose—is, as far as we the viewers can tell, acquiescence. Because everything is breaking all the time, nothing sinks in. In Scandal’s universe, the unending stream of news that might once have seemed unbelievable has become background noise. Scandal got, on some level, that occasional dramas are lots of fun but a news cycle that’s only dramas becomes endurable only by tuning out. It was a show whose time passed, in part because it saw too clearly what it’d be like to live through our own."
- Shonda Rhimes still wonders why Scandal only received a seven-episode Season 1 order: "To me it spoke to a lack of faith in the idea that a black woman could be the lead of a television show. And I found that to be insulting"
- Scandal was "a little miracle of genre fusion, somehow managing to be several seemingly incompatible shows at the same time"
- Rhimes on Olivia Pope's legacy: "Now it feels very normal and obvious that female characters can be antiheroes, and it feels normal and obvious that women of color can lead shows"
- Inside the Scandal writers' room: Shonda Rhimes & Co. recall ABC initially asking that Olivia not sleep with the president
- Scandal was a social-media game-changer, inspiring Twitter to launch boot camps for other TV shows
- Scandal brought Black Twitter to life every Thursday
- Executive producer Betsy Beers realized Scandal was a massive hit after Fitz was shot
- Before Olivia Pope, it was rare to see a black woman portrayed as such a potent symbol of desire in television and film
- Rhimes turned what should've been a limited series into TV immortality by blowing up the plot almost every week
- Kerry Washington on leaving Scandal: “I am not in complete denial, but I don’t think the processing will be complete for a while"
- Rhimes' original Scandal ending was upended by the 2016 election
- "I've always said I'm more Team Olivia than every other team," says Rhimes
- Scandal's success was proof of the power of female viewers, especially black women
- Does Olivia’s white hat still have any meaning at this point?
- The Season 2 episode “Spies Like Us" is where scandal went off the rails, forever altering its DNA
- Here are the 23 greatest Scandal monologues
- The Season 3 finale “The Price of Free and Fair Elections" illustrated Scandal's early promise and its worst impulses
- Scandal cast and crew discuss their favorite scenes
- Scandal was always about Olivia and Mellie finding each other
- Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz agree "The Lawn Chair" is the most important episode in establishing Scandal's legacy
- Ranking the Scandal characters by how shady they are
- The Music of Scandal: Shonda Rhimes made it a point to highlight black music icons
- How costume designer Lyn Paolo's own Prada bag ended up becoming an iconic part of Scandal
- Olivia Pope's best speeches, ranked
- Scandal finale to feature a brand-new song by an R&B legend
- What's next for the Scandal stars?
Posted Friday 4/13/18 at 1:17PM EDT
Scandal's series finale promo ends with a gunshot
"We're confessing to some bad things," says Guillermo Diaz's Huck.