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
Hosted by Joseph Lamour
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.
Hosted by Joseph Lamour
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
by Joseph Lamour
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.
by Joseph Lamour
The most frustrating thing about an episode of Scandal for a writer like me is that so much happens in one hour that I struggle not to make a recap a word-for-word script. With that being said, here goes nothing!
Spoilers for Scandal 3.18: “Molly, You in Danger, Girl” are under the cut!
To start, I’m going to veer ever so slightly off the usual topic to suggest some Scandal-related viewing pleasure. Oprah’s Next Chapter did a whole special on Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, and Judy Smith called “The Real Olivia Pope.” Although it premiered in November last year (bad TV Editor), it holds some great tidbits. Not to mention all the rah-rahs I cheered at this quartet’s fabulosity. I never realized how very true to life it is that someone like Olivia and only Olivia, handles everyone’s public problems. Fun fact: Fitz is based on George Bush, Sr. Partially…obviously.
This week, Johnathan Fields, Jordan St. John, and Kendra James discuss episode 2.17, “Snake in the Garden” Spoilers ahead!
Hosted by Joseph Lamour and Kendra James
Kendra: I think, had I been able to do a recap this week, it would have been less snarky than usual. This hiatus return (is three weeks a hiatus?) didn’t feel crammed with shocking! plot! twists! and, because of that, I think it was one of the better episodes this year. It wasn’t slow, but I felt like the story was… measured? Almost as if, by restraining themselves in the writer’s room, they were able to hit fewer sharp and flat notes and the episode benefited from that overall. I was even marginally accepting of Quinn’s presence! Anyhoo, It gives us a lot to talk about this week, from Fitz’s long-suffering secretary, to the morality of cheating, Olivia’s collection of structured white jackets, and everything in between.
By Arturo R. García
Even though both of our roving recappers were sidelined last night, they wanted to at least get the discussion going on schedule. So we’re opening this up for everyone to share their thoughts on the return of Olivia and company, and Kendra and Joseph will join in over the course of the week to come.
Spoilers in the comments and under the cut.