labe- I'm Officially A Gladiator Part 1 - Oh So Geeky

I'm Officially A Gladiator Part 1

Scandal gladiator
Photo Credit: Scandal / ABC
I blame Ellen Degeneres for my latest obsession with Scandal. If it wasn't for the high-spirited fan girl obsession she shared with television star and actress Kerry Washington, I wouldn't have anything to absolutely gush about to everyone I know...and even't don't. (I'm talking to you random people at the library who ask me where the bathroom is!)

At first I thought Scandal was going to be typically mediocre. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is a fixer - the Michael Clayton kind. She tends to U.S. Government and world leaders' problems and hides their career destroying secrets. At my first impression, her group is made up of the little cliches - the British guy, uptight redhead, the muscle, dude with swagger, and the newbie. I knew I'd seen it all before and really just thought about giving it one episode to watch.

Even though this is Kerry Washington's show, I was honestly surprised by the attention paid to more characters as I moved from the first to second season. Scandal doesn't stop when a body shows up on its doorstep and a murderer to hunt down, or a world leader trying to find his missing wife and children. It doesn't focus on the violence of the act or the stranger who suffered a fate worse than death. Between the betrayals behind closed doors are characters you come to either despise or love (or love to hate) in the span of an hour.

Each episode has its parallels between what's going on in Pope's personal life and the work she buries herself in. Even the supporting characters from the President's wife, State Attorney, and Pope's own crew have their pasts tied up in their present. The tower of cards is built up with one carefully considered move on top of the other. And then it all comes crumbling down in the last few seconds to leave you wanting and guessing more. This show is a frackin' professional at cliffhangers.

And then you have Olivia Pope. Prime time television hasn't had such a layered character like her in a hella-long time. Never mind the fact that this brilliant woman can somehow pull off white (jackets, pants, blouses), she can't be tied down, stopped, a force to be reckon with, kick ass.

There is a time as a viewer that maybe we should step back from our infectious love for Kerry Washington and Olivia Pope, and admit she is not a very lovable character. Underneath her incredibly powerful job, Pope pulls as many dirty tricks as the people she is representing in order to get the job done. In the span of two seasons, she helps manipulate an election, complies to confidentiality in covering up major world leaders horrible actions, concedes to participate in an extra-marital affair...to say the least. Some of her decisions are in the name of protecting herself but also others.

She is an anti-hero yet a villainous character would hardly stand up for the weak as well as the powerful. One second she is watching a woman's body being pulled out of the river, and the next she's holding airline executives responsible for not grounding dysfunctional planes which lost 120 plans in a fiery crash. As robust as she is convincing you of following her gut instinct over your own, she is one multi-tasking master caught up in webs of lies and manipulation.


She is a warrior, a leader of "gladiators in suits" who goes around the country tearing up and knocking down every crime or scandal that would become unavoidable tabloid conjecture. When you think her hands are empty and there are no moves left, she's got plenty of cards left to play.

I won't say the show is without it's imperfections. The firm has friends in every corner to get evidence, DNA samples, security footage, etc. Leaders from all over the world comes to Pope's door to fix their problems. They know her name and what she can do yet she remains un-arrestable by even the U.S. State Attorney whose on her every trail. The ties around the president are a mix of past and present; ala Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski scandal + Dream Acts brought to you by the Obama administration. Sometimes it can feel like the show is just amazingly well-written fanfiction or just amazingly well-written.

After watching the first episode on Netflix, it was too addictive not to stop. It has it's own quick witted and dramatic rhythm. The cast stares each other down with these impassioned monologues and arguments, who know at every turn of the conversation you will be under their command. The show can't be underlined just as a genre of mystery or suspense or investigative because it wavers with romance as well. (The relationship between Pope and President Fritz - don't get me started.) It's almost implausibly easy to fall under the spell of Scandal.

My love for this show is so not handled.

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