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Has anyone else seen Scandal? It’s an American TV show which seems to be illegitimate lovechild of The West Wing and Hustle. It’s not as good as either, but it could well grow into the role. The show has only turned up recently, mostly to fill in between releases of other shows. The very short first season (7 episodes) implies that the network wasn’t that confident it would work, and I can see why; this is a strange little show, but also gearing up to be a big wodge of fun.

Scandal revolves around former presidential aide Olivia Pope; she and her team of mostly lawyers who don’t practice law but do get things done. They’re sort of like the A-Team, but instead of making a fully functioning air craft carrier out of a battered Ford Fiesta, they instead use a variety of skills to fix things for people who can’t get help in the usual way.1 Clients may be super-rich or super-poor, it doesn’t matter; every week a new challenge. What does the team actually do? They stop people from getting their lives ruined by bad choices. They fight scandals, but in an LA Law sort of way.

Hard to be subtle when you have the words SCANDAL on your face in big red letters…

Well sort-of. You see, in addition to court-room, law dodging shenanigans, there is also an arc-plot involving the President of the United States, his aides, his ex-lover and this is actually where the show gets a bit interesting; it starts off fine as a series, though a little gutless and pedestrian, when then suddenly, about halfway through, the whole thing dips into real darkness. I like a good poltical conspiracy, and though the show may be biting off more than it can actually chew, it is fun to watch it try.

What began as a ‘scam of the week’1 style show looks like it will quickly shift into something that is actually about the collapse of a government, and possibly a nation. Scandal has the potential to deliversomething rather unique. Let’s hope it does.

1: They couldn’t build an aircraft carrier, but they could certainly get it out of jail if it got arrested for speeding.

2: Similar to monster of the week. Basically, the sort of show where the main draw is the monster, or the heist, or what have you. This is a pretty typical format, though with Scandal, it does just seem to be the minor-plot. It’s almost a bait and switch, though if it does go very weird later on, I may well become hooked.

Categories: TV
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