Tag Archives: ABC

Open Thread: Scandal S03E03: ‘Mrs. Smith Goes To Washington’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) puts herself in the line of fire — literally.

Last week, Shonda Rhimes and company demonstrated the outlines of the box Olivia Pope is living in. This time around, we got to see how far that box extends, and who’s stuck in there with her.

To do that, writer Matt Byrne used another woman boxing herself in, only to sweep Olivia up alongside her.
Continue reading

Open Thread: Scandal S03E02: ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) faces bad connections all around her in “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.”

Upon second viewing, the thing that stands out about “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” is how it emphasizes the loneliness that seems to be at the core of Olivia Pope’s life.

Not to say she’s alone — far from it. But after the events of this week’s episode, it’s hard to think of any relationship in her life one could call good. And wonder where Shonda Rhimes will take that theme.
Continue reading

Open Thread: Scandal S03E01; It’s Handled

Contrary to popular belief, nothing has actually be handled all that well.

by Kendra James

“You seem to do a lot for a show you say you don’t even like,” one of my friends observed as I explained how I’d bought an Olivia Pope sized wineglass and an all white lounge ensemble (which I can’t wear yet because it’s October 4th and 80 degrees in New York City) to prepare myself for Thursday’s Scandal premiere.

No lies detected there. I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m not quite sure how good Scandal is. Entertaining? Certainly. Good? Questionable in my mind.

What makes the whole sordid affair (literally, as the saga of Olitz treks on) worth a new wine glass and pajamas then? Twitter. Unlike other ABC shows that I assumed would improve with good livetweet –Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD comes to mind– my enjoyment of Scandal really does hinge on my being able to sit down with a glass of wine and the whole of Black Twitter at my fingertips. If nothing else, Scandal provides a unique sense of community that shows with even the largest fandoms could only hope to achieve.

All of that said, the online reactions to last night’s season 3 premiere did not disappoint. And, you know, the show itself wasn’t bad either.

We’ll have our Round Table up sometime next week, but until then feel free to discuss last night down below and have a few stray observations for the road:

  •  How many of us are explaining “work twice as hard to go half as far” to white friends who can’t make that math work at the water cooler this morning. Daddy Pope’s air hanger speech not but 4 minutes into the show proved that Scandal is here to go hard this season.
  • Speaking of Daddy Pope, that is one terrifying man. Terrifying, but I’m going to guess predictable. 10:1 odds that he had something to do with the later mentioned plane crash that killed Olivia’s mother. This is a soap opera after all, and so far no one’s been thrown into a coma.
  • And a final note on Olivia’s background: I was vindicated when her isolated prep school background (which I’ve been calling since S1) was finally revealed.
  • Huck’s presence was missed this week, but as it’s only the season premiere we can cut them some slack for that.
  • Mellie is that mother who will beat you right here in the aisle of this fancy grocery store with all these people watching if you don’t stop acting up right. now. She is tired, she will make a scene, and she’s smart enough to take you down while doing it. Can you imagine Mellie actually in charge of the CIA?
  • Fitz once again prattled on to his VP about “the leader he’s always wanted to be.” We’ve yet to hear what that actually means, but I’m guessing in Fitz’s brain it means “fixing racism by being a Republican with a Black girlfriend.” That’s not a platform.
  • Fitz also proved, as he tried to deal with Olivia, Sally, and Mellie throughout the night, that he sees himself as a master manipulator of women. But I’m sure that’s something we’ll touch on more in the roundtable.
  • The White Burberry Coat That Broke Twitter is listed at Neiman Marcus for the blowout price of $908, which is down from the regular $2595. The matching Prada purse is going to run upwards of $1500, depending which model you want. This reminds us that not only can you probably not afford Olivia Pope’s services, you also can’t afford to be Olivia Pope.
  • Finally, a few good Scandal reads to tide you over into next week: Why Liberals Love TV’s Fictional Conservatives, by our own Tami Winfrey Harris, Twitter, Fandom, and Why ABC’s Scandal Matters by Chicago’s WBEZ blogger Britt Julious, and Olivia Is Back! Why We Love Scandal, by friend of the blog T.F. Charlton.

 

Scandal Roundtable 2.22: “White Hat’s Back On”

Hosted by Joe Lamour

image via ABC.com.

Last week Arturo Garcia deftly laid out what happened during the season finale. Thanks Art! Before we break for the summer, Jordan St. John, Loree Lamour, Johnathan Fields and I talk about the things that surprised and delighted us during the last episode of Scandal Season Two.

Jordan: For a second, I just have to call out this early scene with the Knights of the Fitzian roundtable with special guest – Fitz himself. In this scene, I remain firmly Team Mellie. Can you imagine having your husband openly cheating on you and then, when having a discussion about something illegal you did for the betterment of his (and your) life, he sides with his mistress? Mellie would be well within her rights to call both of them out of their names in the room.

Loree:  Well, well. A lot of things have come to pass. I think the most disturbing is how Quinn is slowly transforming into a little Huck and how you can see Huck is not comfortable about it. Makes me wonder if “the gladiators” are all capable of inflicting that kind of physical pain to another person and even take it to the level of killing and just will plain on do anything for Olivia.

Joe: Yeah, Loree- this goes with my theory from a few weeks ago that Shonda Rhimes or the writers think that literally anyone can become a serial killer if they have a drill and some heartache. I really don’t like the continued assertion.

Jordan: I don’t know about every person being a serial killer, but Olivia Pope does not exactly surround herself with sane people. I think they make a jump here from Quinn liking to trail people to Quinn gleefully drilling into someone’s leg but everyone in Olivia Pope’s world, including Olivia, has to have a stomach for justifying WHATEVER they need to do to get it done. What I found fascinating about the David Rosen storyline wrap up is that he finally proved he belonged. He could have gotten Billy Chambers murdered in a dark room and Rosen chose not to worry about all that. No matter what his new title as District Attorney is, welcome to Pope and Associates.

Normally by now I would assume that you watched the season finale, but the twist ending was so big, I’m putting a SPOILER ALERT here as well! 

Continue reading

Scandal Recap 2.22: “White Hats Back On”

By Arturo R. García

Might want to keep your ears open, Liv.

Greetings Scandalizens!

And thanks to Kendra and Joseph for allowing me to follow in a proud tradition of San Diegan closers by being your guest recapper for the season finale. But enough about me.

Previously, on Scandal:

Spoilers under the cut, and they will be thorough.
Continue reading

The Racialicious Links Roundup 5.16.13

Years after Katrina, I lived in Evanston, Illinois and learned about the warm weather massacres in Chicago that happen every spring break or beginning of summer where dozens of high school kids get shot within matters of hours. And how nobody seemed to care. Living in New Orleans and near Chicago has left me jaded to what America prioritizes or chooses to ignore.

So I shouldn’t be surprised that the Mother’s Day Parade shooting has largely been forgotten. On Sunday, shots were fired into a crowd during a parade in the New Orleans 7th ward. Police said they saw three suspects running from the scene.

This is the largest mass shooting in the United States where the shooters were still at large after the crime was committed. Think about that for a minute. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Fort Hill to Aurora, all the shooters were either killed or apprehended on site. But the person or people responsible for shooting 19 Americans are still free.

So why am I allowed to go outside? Where’s the city quarantine or FBI and Homeland Security presence for this act of “terrorism”?

This milestone is the result of a long-term increase in Hispanic college-going that accelerated with the onset of the recession in 2008 (Fry and Lopez, 2012). The rate among white high school graduates, by contrast, has declined slightly since 2008.

The positive trends in Hispanic educational indicators also extend to high school. The most recent available data show that in 2011 only 14% of Hispanic 16- to 24-year-olds were high school dropouts, half the level in 2000 (28%). Starting from a much lower base, the high school dropout rate among whites also declined during that period (from 7% in 2000 to 5% in 2011), but did not fall by as much.

Despite the narrowing of some of these long-standing educational attainment gaps, Hispanics continue to lag whites in a number of key higher education measures. Young Hispanic college students are less likely than their white counterparts to enroll in a four-year college (56% versus 72%), they are less likely to attend a selective college, less likely to be enrolled in college full time, and less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree.

In the future, Roddenberry envisioned race and gender as non-issues. He put Japanese-American George Takei, as Lt. Hikaru Sulu, at the helm; African-American Nichelle Nichols, as Lt. Nyota Uhura, in the communications chair; and even attempted to make the Enterprise’s first officer a woman (studio executives rejected that unsavory idea, so the alien Spock took the job). The equality on the U.S.S. Enterprise’s bridge was a watershed moment, both in television history and in Americans’ understanding of social equality.

“Most television shows, at best, follow cultural trends. Star Trek had clear-cut ideals of its own,” wrote Joan Winston, Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Sondra Marshak in their 1975 book Star Trek Lives!, the first and most definitive chronicle of the early years of Trek fandom. “No one would claim that Star Trek was the cause of all the improvement [we've made with problems like racism and sexism]. But it is still harder to believe that it had no effect, when twenty million people tuned in to Star Trek and saw Mr. Spock being treated as friend and brother by Captain Kirk, saw the black and the Russian and the Oriental [sic] and the Southerner and the others treating each other with respect and love.”

This heritage makes it all the more unfortunate that the progressive values of the original series seem to have faltered—and even begun trailing the mainstream—with the increasingly pointed absence of LGBT members in later iterations of the franchise, and their failure to treat sexual orientation like the same sort of non-issue that Roddenberry once envisioned for race and gender on the bridge of the Enterprise.

Remember, this isn’t an idle accusation—Richwine is part of a community of race and IQ researchers who maintain that IQ differences between racial groups are partially explained by genetics, despite the fact that there’s nothing genetic that makes someone “black” or “white.” It’s historical and social circumstance that places Barack Obama and Denzel Washington (or Ted Cruz and George Lopez) into the same category, not biology.

In other words, Richwine’s work—his premise that racial IQ differences have biological origins tied to the particular “races”—is racist by definition. There’s no other way to describe it.

It’s not yet halftime in another 13-hour workday for the hottest woman in American television: having a dress-fitting for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; picking songs and approving script edits for two of the most watched programs in prime time; taking her 1-year-old daughter to the doctor to investigate a mysterious bump.

And, most important of all, she’s got to finish writing the season finale to ABC’s hit Scandal, which draws 8.3 million viewers each week and brought in an estimated $100 million in ad revenue this season.

“If I don’t get the finale written today, someone’s going to blow my head off,” Shonda Rhimes jokes. It’s an apology for cutting short an interview at Sunset Gower Studios, the Hollywood lot where the show–about a Washington, D.C. “fixer” who’s sleeping with the President–is shot.

But the truth is they’ll wait as long as they have to for Rhimes–and for good reason. At 43 this single mother of two has become the Walt Disney Co.’s indispensable creator of an increasingly dispensable product: network television.

Scandal Roundtable 2.21: “Any Questions?”

Image via ABC.com.

So Scandal last week. Like… OMG, right? So much to say, so much to spoil in this introduction if you haven’t watched last week. I ask, however: why haven’t you? Go, now. I’ll wait.

If you’re back, (or if you’ve never left,) join Kendra James, Jordan St. John, Zach Stafford, Loree Lamour, Johnathan Fields and I as we talk about last weeks game changing episode and our expectations for tonight’s finale.

Continue reading

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Pilot Season 2013-2014

By Kendra James

Last year, around this time, I was nursing far too high expectations for a little pilot season pickup called Deception. This year I’m just really glad it’s been cancelled so that the actors involved can escape with some dignity intact. One can’t say the same about Community.

Yeah, it’s that time again. Most networks are at least 80% set with their 2013-2014 Fall/Winter lineups. For better worse you will be sitting through another season of potentially Harmon-less Community. As Abed might say, some stations just like to watch the world burn.

Continue reading