Posts tagged ‘Gossip Girl’

January 20, 2013

Why You Should Be Watching: Scandal

I remember last year when the Scandal promos started hitting TV.  They pushed that it was by Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy.  This isn’t a great selling point for me because even though I have watched Grey’s from the beginning, I think it has lost so much of its momentum and is way overdue for a series finale.  I also wasn’t really interested because it was like “this show is about people doing bad things and getting away with it.”  I don’t watch the most moral shows, but I don’t like debauchery shoved in my face 24/7 even more than it already is.  So I passed on even giving it a three episode test.

scandal logo

Then season two happened.  I kept hearing how good and addictive it was and I kept seeing previews for it amidst my other ABC shows.  From the previews I picked up that the main character and the president were having/had an affair, the President on the show got shot at some point, and the person that shot the President was probably some character that was friends with Kerry Washington.  This whole assassination attempt plot line was somewhat intriguing, and I figured whenever I hit a lull in shows that Scandal would be one I’d go back and try to watch from the beginning.

Well, as luck would have it, Netflix e-mailed me offering another free trial month.  I then just happened to have an extra internet cord and set up my blu-ray player to stream it, and then started watching season one episodes.  Well, less than a week later I not only finished season one, but bought the first five episodes on iTunes and watched through all of those, watched one episode on ABC.com, and watched the most recent four episodes on my OnDemand channel- effectively catching me up to this Thursday’s most recent episode.  So yes, I am hooked.  Here’s why you should be, too:

1. The show uses a nice mix of flashback story telling.

scandal flashback

The show starts with Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington- whom I know as the sassy sister from Save the Last Dance) owning an independent (sort of) law firm.  The firm deals with clients who need secrets to go away, cover stories to be told, or the truth to be revealed.  Most clients are involved in messy affairs, but Olivia has at least a shadow of a moral compass that guides her to help in just the right way that you don’t feel like the bad guys got away with it (more that good guys made mistakes).  Anyway, you also know right away that she used to work for the White House and it comes out pretty fast that she also used to be sleeping with the President (dun dun duuuuun).  At first you are like OMG WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?!  But occasional flashback episodes (there have only been about three) clear up how it started, why it continued for awhile, why it ended, and why it isn’t really over.  By the end of season one, I think everyone is rooting for the unconventional pairing despite it all.  My favorite flashback has been explaining what led to Olivia leaving because it was both romantic and heartbreaking, as well as making you appreciate Olivia’s strength.

2. Mellie is one of the most interesting characters on television.

mellie scandal

Mellie is the President’s wife, who, in rooting for Olivia, you end up resenting.  However, I have also felt sympathy for Mellie for dealing with everything she has, as well as admired her for being so damn smart politically.  I think my feelings towards her change  from episode to episode.  I can even say that right now, after the most recent episode, I don’t hate her and feel bad that not a lot of people are giving her credit for saving her husband’s job.  I’m sure next week I will hate her again, but that’s kind of the beauty of her character.  Just when you are about to write her off, you get pulled in again just like all the other characters on the show.

3. It will make you want to wear fitted jackets and tailored clothing.

This show has such a great sense of style.  When I think of stylish shows I think of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, which constantly have girls walking around in way too short dresses, high heels, and low cut necklines.  I think we are all kind of numb to how risque this dressing is because we are so used to it.  Oh, of course girls wear mini dresses and 6 inch heels to first period English!  Not.  But Scandal is all about the tailored clothing and making everyone look trend-setting and conservative at the same time.  And this show is an expert at fitted jackets:

Love the peplum fit of this one!

Love the peplum fit of this one!

Off center buttons? Genius.

Off center buttons? Genius.

Even the baggier jackets are flattering!

Even the baggier jackets are flattering!

Signature piece of the show- this girl looks excellent in white.

Signature piece of the show- this girl looks excellent in white.

And don't even get me started on the fabulousness of the formal wear.

And don’t even get me started on the fabulousness of the formal wear.

I kind of want to go out and get a bunch of tailored jackets now.  The only two things stopping me is my teacher budget and the fact that I am not a mere 112 pounds (I even think THIS is a high estimate) like Ms. Washington.  That girl is SO tiny!  For now I will just admire from afar and start creating a mental coat portfolio for future shopping sprees.

4. The story lines keep you guessing.

scandal hospital

Here are some questions I have about the show, even having seen every single episode.  You will want to skip this section if you are serious about watching the show someday.  Fellow fans, let me know if you have any theories!

1) Is anyone going to find out what Cyrus did to Amanda?  I feel like they completely dropped the ball on this.  2) Did the first lady know about the assassination attempt (based on her conversation right before they got out of the car)?  3) Did the first lady ORGANIZE the assassination attempt?  4) Are we supposed to assume the vice president’s old chief of staff was murdered, and has anyone looked into the fact that he just disappeared?  5)  What’s Olivia’s backstory pre-Fitz’s presidential campaign?  6) WTF was up with Abby’s crazy midnight rendezvous with David?  I found that so disturbing. 7) How did Olivia and Huck meet?

I think at least some of these will be answered- especially since those flashback episodes are thrown in every once in awhile.  I am legitimately concerned, though, that number one may never be addressed again.

5. It will make you want to just sit or stand with someone for a minute.

olivia and fitz

I know there are a lot of hot affair scenes in this show.  They have to be there for a show called “Scandal.”  But I think the most intimate scenes were the two where the President asked Olivia to just stay with him for a minute without really talking or doing anything.  I would classify these scenes as those rare “I need to hug a pillow” moments you see on TV.  These made me really care about the characters and solidified my being a fan of the show.  Good job Shonda Rhimes.

For those of you who have been watching the show since it started, sorry it took me so long to jump on your bandwagon.  For those of you who don’t watch Scandal, I hope I have succeeded in at *least* making you consider watching.  It’s worth it, I promise.

PS- One thing I don’t like about the show is the constant use of those shots through glass- you know, where you can see the blurry line of a glass door as the camera moves the subjects back into focus.  These are nice but WAY overused.  I figure if I actually notice a camera technique, it’s used too much.

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August 15, 2011

My Epic TV Guide: Fall 2011

Amidst my big move to Tulsa and my upcoming preparations for teaching, I haven’t lost myself completely.  More specifically, I haven’t lost my love for good Prime Time TV.  Here’s what my initial TV schedule will look like for the Fall.  New shows are in bold and are described below the schedule.  I give new shows the three episode test (this is enough episodes to truly get a feel for if you like or can pass on a show), so those may not be keepers long term.  I don’t think I could adopt all 8 anyway just based on how busy I will be this year.  Shows in a color block conflict with each other, but my DVR and back up bedroom TV should be able to tackle that okay ; )

Notes: Cougar Town is not on here because it doesn’t return until mid-season (I think November?).  I also am not including The Sing-Off because I got very bored with the show last season ::Yawn::

Kelly’s Fall 2011 TV Schedule

Fall 2011 TV Premieres

All the following summaries are from TVGuide.com.  You can see all new TV show summaries at their website here.

Charlie’s Angels: Hello, Angels! This frothy, Miami-set reboot stars Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh as the latest incarnation of the crime-fighting trio — but it doesn’t start out that way. Eve (Kelly), a rogue street racer, joins the group after her childhood friend/original Angel Gloria is murdered. Something tells us she’ll fit in just fine. Fun fact: The series will premiere on the same day the original show debuted 35 years ago.

Grimm: Better brush up on your German. Grimm’s Fairy Tales gets a procedural twist with Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), a detective who discovers his destiny is to protect humans from the storybook baddies that have invaded our real world.

Hart of Dixie: Rachel Bilson reunites with The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz for this medical drama, playing big-city doc Zoe Hart, who heads to tiny Bluebell, Ala., when she inherits a practice. Expect culture clashes galore and Zoe to stay put after coming through in a medical emergency and discovering an old secret.

Once Upon a Time: Do you think fairy tales are real? They are in Storybrooke, Maine, a town frozen in time with fairy tale figures who have no recollection of their real identities. Leave it to 10-year-old Henry (Jared Gilmore) to try to set things right when he tracks down his birth mom, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a bail bonds collector who is the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas). The fantastical drama, which will tell dual stories set in present-day Storybrooke and in fairy tale land, comes from Lost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for lots of references to time travel and polar bears.

Pan Am: Come fly with them! Set in the ’60s, the drama centers on the loves and lives of stewardesses (led by Christina Ricci) of the iconic titular airline. Although lauded as symbols of sleek, Jet Age glamour, their personal lives are full of turbulence. Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie and Karine Vanasse round out the Barbie doll-like crew, who are as adept at coffee service as they are at… oh wait, we can’t ruin that twist.

Ringer: Sarah Michelle Gellar’s back! And this time, there’s two of her! Gellar plays twins Bridget and Siobhan — both decidedly un-Buffy-like — in this mystery thriller that was originally developed for CBS. Bridget, a recovering alcoholic, is on the run from some baddies and decides to hide out by taking the identity of her wealthy twin sis, who is thought to be dead. Turns out taking on Siobhan’s persona puts Bridget in a very different kind of danger. Lost alum Nestor Carbonell co-stars, but don’t expect any sci-fi stuff, à la Lost and Buffy, on Ringer. “No hatch! No island!” Gellar says.

The Secret Circle: Something wicked this way comes from Kevin Williamson once again. The man who gave us Vampire Diaries has now adapted L.J. Smith’s other supernatural book series. Britt Robertson is Cassie Blake, a California teen who moves to Chance Harbor, Wash., where she discovers she’s a witch and joins a secret coven that includes Thomas Dekker, Phoebe Tonkin and Shelley Hennig. But don’t think you will know what’s coming if you’ve read the novels. Why? (Spoiler alert!) The show kills off someone who survived the whole book series in the opening minutes of the pilot.

Terra Nova: At long last, the Steven Spielberg-produced dino drama — about the Shannon family (led by Jason O’Mara) who travels back to prehistoric Earth to save the human race — will hit our TV sets with dinosaurs of every friendly and not-so-friendly variety. “You’re going to see some pretty cool dino-on-man action,” co-executive producer Jose Molina says.