The new series “Scandal” premiered on ABC last night, and from what I saw, they may very well have a hit on their hands. The star of the show is Kerry Washington, who plays the pivotal character, Olivia Pope. Pope runs a company, in Washington, D.C., which employees attorneys, but their practice has little to do with the law. They are “fixers”, people who do damage control and make things right for those in the nation’s capitol who have either gotten themselves into trouble or have been victimized by someone else. I’m guessing, given the locale, that they will be employed for a long time.
During last night’s episode, Pope and company were very busy. They succeeded in returning a baby, kidnapped by Russian thugs, to its very grateful diplomat father. The group is also hired by a decorated war hero who is the prime suspect in a murder. His alibi would mean that he would have to expose the fact that he is gay, and would have to “out” himself and tell police and prosecutors the name of his lover. After some soul searching and a conversation with Pope, the decorated soldier decides that his love is more important to his public persona.
Then there was – is – the plot line regarding a rumored affair between the President of the United States and a White House intern. Pope, who once worked for the President, doesn’t believe the young woman’s allegations, but instead chooses to take the word of the Commander in Chief. Olivia delivers a rapid fire, strongly worded warning to the intern, describing what her life will be like should she go public with her accusations. Pope provides a cautionary tale, invoking the public smear campaign endured by Monica Lewinsky, and telling her that it didn’t even matter that Lewinsky was telling the truth.
When the intern attempts suicide, Pope and a new associate go to the hospital, and the associate explains some of what the young woman said to her, including the fact that the President liked to call the girl “sweet baby”. Pope knows those words, because they were the same ones the President had used to refer to Olivia during their illicit relationship. The woman who is the queen of crisis management meets with the President to confront him about the intern. She is angry and disappointed in him, telling him that she left her own White House job so that he could run the country, as a better man, without any distractions. She also lets all of us know that the abused and broken intern is now a client of Pope and Associates.
If you’re anything like me, and you’re still trying to wean yourself off of Bravo, this show might help you to fill an hour. ABC has already been nice enough to provide us with “Revenge”. Seeing that Bravo wants to keep people like Taylor Armstrong on their payroll, I’m convinced that they really do not care about viewers, despite how we’ve tried to express our disgust. I don’t care if the only position she holds is running errands and picking up after Andy Cohen. As long as she is their employee, they are letting us know, again, that we don’t matter.