TV Review - Scandal: Season 2

The only scandals that are interesting are sex scandals, and a politician in the premiere episode faces a possible sex scandal. It's not that he's cheating on his wife because he's single. It's not that he's having tickle fights or is groping interns or is out having secret gay encounters. No. The politician's scandal is that he had sex with a woman in his office. Granted, it shouldn't have happened, but there's something wrong when the sex scandal is a politician who's single being afraid of being single. Again, the only scandals are sexual ones and this series in its brief time on-air has probably run the gamut of sex scandals. The gay thing was tackled in the pilot episode. The sitting president committing adultery has already been done, so there's not much more that the writers can do here that won't seem lame or desperate. To avoid that trap, the writers have drummed up a self-reflexive conspiracy that makes the Olivia character that much more over-the-top.

Kerry Washington stars as Olivia Pope, a woman not unlike the character of Eli Gold, played by Alan Cumming in The Good Wife. She advises and manages political campaigns. She works with lawyers. She probably was one. Now, she's a crisis manager, which is basically an amalgam of all those things. What makes Eli Gold interesting is that he's good at his job, but he's not perfect. He can't always pull rabbits out his hat. Olivia Pope can. She's supposedly super woman and even when she's not, she always has an ace up her sleeve. That's an attractive quality. It's a commanding quality, but it makes the show boring because we know that she's always going to win.

The series is slightly less soap opera in nature than this summer's Political Animals, but Scandal is still very much The West Wing meets The Young and the Restless. The chemistry between Washington and Tony Goldwyn who plays the President is pretty intense, and Goldwyn's performance in particular, especially opposite Bellamy Young who plays the First Lady, is enough to keep me coming back for more.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-D.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Airs Thursdays at 10PM on ABC.


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