What's the verdict on 'Scandal'?
April 6th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

What's the verdict on 'Scandal'?

Chances are, if you like Kerry Washington, "Grey's Anatomy," plot twists that involve politics and/or "gladiators in suits," you enjoyed ABC's premiere of "Scandal" on Thursday night.

Shonda Rhimes' latest effort moves away from the medical world of "Grey's" and "Private Practice" and into the realm of Washington D.C. -based crisis management, but "Scandal" nonetheless carries all of her trademarks. Rat-a-tat dialogue? Check. Damaged characters who work nonstop and refer to themselves as "not normal"? Check. A little romantic intrigue on the side? Check, and then some.

Rhimes' new one-hour drama introduces us to the incredibly well-dressed Olivia Pope (Washington), who runs a crisis management firm filled with lawyers who don't actually practice law.

We actually hear of Olivia's legendary status in the Beltway before we see her through the eyes of newbie Quinn Perkins (played by Katie Lowes), who's offered a job to join the team over drinks with the fast-talking Harrison Wright (Columbus Short).

"We’re the good guys," Harrison tells Quinn, "best job you’ll ever have. You’ll change lives, slay dragons… because Olivia Pope is as amazing as they say." And, reacting to a quip Quinn tossed out earlier, Harrison provides us with the quote of the night: "And I’m not a baby lawyer, I’m a gladiator in a suit."

The hour is consumed by the procedural-esque plot of a decorated war hero who seeks Olivia's firm's help after his girlfriend is shot, and a young woman who claims to have had an affair with the president. Olivia used to work for the pres, so she's tapped to handle the latter case while also working on the first.

But this wouldn't be a Rhimes show without personal drama, even for characters who, considering their work hours, should have no personal lives whatsoever.

Olivia is her associate Stephan's (Henry Ian Cusick) shoulder to whine on about whether or not he should get engaged, as the facial expressions of her other associate, Abby (Darby Stanchfield), convey that either something's already happened between her and Stephen, or it's going to.

We're told that "everyone in the office needs fixing," not the least of which being Olivia herself. In a well-played twist, it's revealed that our calm-under-pressure leader can crack like an egg...particularly when faced with a manipulative former lover, who just happens to be the president.

It's a fantastically soapy set-up, and it seems plenty of viewers bit: Entertainment Weekly reports that the premiere fared decently with 7.4 million tuning in.

The Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan says she's willing to tune in next week, as "Washington does a good job of carrying every story along in her energetic wake," not to mention that it's "a well-paced, generally well-acted show with some promising elements."

The Washington Post calls it "deliciously dumb," "laughably bad TV" that just might turn into a guilty pleasure to rival "Revenge," while the Boston Herald hails it as "the best new show of spring."

Clearly, the critics are feeling scandalous - how'd you like Rhimes' latest?


Filed under: television • TV recaps

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Liza

    terrible terrible show!
    where to start... predictable from the very first minutes, clichéd to the max,...
    underwhelming is the nicest I can say of it!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
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    Excellent post. I have been constantly checking this site and I am impressed! Very useful information can be found here, specifically the last section :) Thank you and best of luck.

    April 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tara

    Why wasn't the president a black man, like present day real life?

    April 10, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. laverne johnson

    love love love the show. love love love kerry washington. love her in everything she has done she rocks the plot with the president was off the chain she nailed it all the way home i am so hooked so proud of her i watch whatever movie shes in you gooooooo girlfriend.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. aprilrain

    Loved the show, can't wait for next week, everything about the story lines were great. Love Kerry Washington.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Carlos

      I already wrote my commnets so i hope its okay if iwrite them again so i wont be disqualified.My name is amanda sakovitz and i live near Boston, MAthank you!pokergrl8 at gmail.com

      August 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joystick

    I can't stop staring at her ........................dem big lips!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CMom

    I loved it.
    I thought the affair plot was great because it shows that she does have a weak side and she isn't completely inhuman.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Art Vandolay

    I would like a co ck down my throat – Art

    April 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I need a new warmer like no one's bsiensus! I just ordered two bars through your party. I want to have a party! Fun stuff, lady.PS. Have you smelled Festival of Trees? Cause if I don't like it, I'm sending it to your house. :)

      August 12, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sioux

    I got sooooo sick of the constant and unrelenting commercials about this show for the weeks prior to it airing that I refused to watch it. Talk about overkill! The premise seemed "iffy" at best. Please stop cramming these new shows down our throats.

    April 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. munira

    Love the DC – based story; Washington is perfectly cast as Olivia; Wish President wasn't the creepy guy from Ghost so if show picked, would love a different actor. Cannot wait for next week.

    April 7, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. cathy

    She was amazingly well dressed, however not in any other regard. I thought it was a yawn. Plus whoever said she could act in the first place....All the characters were creepy in one way or the other. , not any types you want to root for in the end. And what is the deal of posting pictures of crime scene on the ridiculouse tall window panes. Who can see them as they reach higher and higher, using ladders. Whould not a sucha place use high tech monitors to dispay these. I only liked the aid to the pres,who is played by meridiths grays alkie dad.He should have his own show, orbe the president. I cannot believe the same personcameup withthis crap as greys and private practice,both highly compellingshowns.

    April 7, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Traci

    Loved IT! Kerry Washington was refreshing and wonderful with her fast talking. I LOVED IT!!!!!

    April 7, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. Admin

    I am now an addict. My Thursday nights will never be the same.

    April 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. L.E.

    Loved it! Really liked the chemistry between Pope and the President.

    April 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sonya

      ellen Posted on I think this is mean spirited. Though the tginhs in the place are truely horrifying Someone thought well enough of it to put it up. I enjoy the humor of people sharing their own thoughts about tginhs gone wrong it is different when someone makes fun of someone else.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JM

    Not sure I get why "Olivia is amazing". Or how they can claim to be the good guys when they take whatever case comes along, but it was entertaining. I like Kerry Washington, but the president plot was ridiculous.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • CherylD

      I agree with the President-plot twist. Dumb stuff. Kinda made Olivia go from amazing to just another dumb chick. If they stick with the other stories & forget about that toher junk, it'll be well worth watching every week. The acting is very good, all around.

      April 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Name*vivian miller

    Loved the show. Hope its permanent.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |

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