Tag Archives: Shonda Rhimes

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

Quoted: Shonda Rhimes on TV Diversity

While race on Rhimes’s shows is omnipresent, it is not often discussed explicitly. This has led to a second-order critique of her shows: that they are colorblind, diverse in a superficial way, with the characters’ races rarely informing their choices or conversations. Rhimes, obviously, disagrees. “When people who aren’t of color create a show and they have one character of color on their show, that character spends all their time talking about the world as ‘I’m a black man blah, blah, blah,’ ” she says. “That’s not how the world works. I’m a black woman every day, and I’m not confused about that. I’m not worried about that. I don’t need to have a discussion with you about how I feel as a black woman, because I don’t feel disempowered as a black woman.”

This season on “Scandal,” race has been more openly discussed. In one scene, Olivia remarked to Fitz that she was feeling “a little Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson” about their relationship, one of the first overt references to its racial aspect. Rhimes had written the line into three previous scripts and taken it out each time. She finally included it, but only as a flashback, later in the show’s run but early in Olivia’s relationship with Fitz, when Rhimes knew it would have been on Olivia’s mind. “I don’t think that we have to have a discussion about race when you’re watching a black woman who is having an affair with the white president of the United States,” she explains. “The discussion is right in front of your face.”

– “Network TV Is Broken. So How Does Shonda Rhimes Keep Making Hits?” by Willa Paskin, May 19, 2013

Scandal Roundtable 2.20: “A Woman Scorned”

Hosted by Joseph Lamour 

Image via ABC.com.

If you read Kendra’s recap last week, everyone in Scandal is slowly becoming less horrible-but-redeeming and more “horrible, just horrible.” Jordan St. John and Loree Lamour join me for to wade through the bad behavior.

As usual, spoiler alert for Scandal!

But also: for Once Upon a Time, How I Met Your Mother, and 1993 romance movie Untamed Heart. We’re an odd bunch when it comes to references here at the R.

Continue reading

Scandal Roundtable 2.19: “Seven Fifty-Two”

Hosted by Joseph Lamour

Image via ABC.com.

As I said in my recap last week, “Seven Fifty-Two” is all about Huck–as much as Fitz wanted to weasel his way into the story…and Olivia’s life. Of course, Olivia wasn’t having it, and neither was Mellie. Loss was the thread that wove the disparate stories last week.

After the jump. Jordan St. John, Loree Lamour, and T.F. Charlton join me to break down another engaging episode of Scandal. Continue reading

Scandal Recap 2.19: “Seven Fifty-Two”

by Joseph Lamour

Image via ABC.com.

Scandal is back! Again… again… again. This show sure has a lot of breaks. A thinly veiled attempt to leave us wanting more. It definitely works though, doesn’t it?  And there are only three more episodes left the season. Tragic. I may have to start going outside again.

If you recall our recap a few weeks ago, we last saw Olivia being swaddled by Fitz in her hospital room as her new beau Captain Jake Ballard waited outside. This week’s episode doesn’t really move the story forward, but it provided a much desired backstory for hacker-sassin Huck. This type of episode usually frustrates me as the only thing that happened, really, was that someone got up off the floor. But, like I said, a good backstory is a good backstory. And Huck provides a meaty one.

Spoilers for Scandal 2.19 “Seven Fifty-Two” appear under the cut.

Continue reading