We are officially in the doldrums of summer television. Now that Mad Men and Game of Thrones are over, it’s relatively slim pickings until Breaking Bad comes back in August. Yes, there are breezy dramas on USA and TNT, but other than that it’s pretty much just reality shows and singing competitions. And we’re also in the baseball-only lull between basketball and football seasons, if sports are your thing. This simply will not do. So, allow me to offer a suggestion: You guys should binge watch Scandal this summer.
Quick summary: Scandal stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a powerful Washington D.C. fixer who politicians and the business elite turn to when they need help managing a crisis. It is addictive as hell. There have only been 29 episodes so far, so you can power through the whole thing in a few weekends. Or one really, really intense weekend if it gets its hooks in you and you have lots of free time. But anyway, what’s important here is this: Scandal is over the top and bonkers in the best possible way. Allow me to explain.
Scandal is the kind of show where something insane will happen and the characters will spend all episode trying to figure it out, and then just as they’re wrapping it up, something even more insane will happen. Remember the first few seasons of 24? Scandal is like that, but with sex and murder instead of nuclear bombs and government moles and torture. But there’s also torture. And government moles. Who have sex. So much sex. So basically it’s just 24 but with Kerry Washington sleeping with people instead of Kiefer Sutherland shooting them. Also, Scarface from Half Baked is Chloe now. Sort of. But we’ll get back to that.
Scandal is the kind of show where the president will be drinking scotch in the shower and the first lady will walk in and start giving him a blow job.
Scandal is the kind of show where there’s occasionally really awesome cheesy dialogue. Like, sometimes a character will be going through a rough patch or having a crisis of conscience and another character will give him or her a pep talk that includes exchanges like “You have to do this!” “Why?!” “BECAUSE YOU’RE THE BEST, THAT’S WHY!” And other times a character will attempt to make a point by staring out a window and beginning a long speech by saying “You know, you and I are not so different.”
Scandal is the kind of show where there’s a morally bankrupt billionaire with a Foghorn Leghorn-esque Southern accent who secretly pulls strings in the government and was largely responsible for a political cover-up in a town that is actually named “Defiance.”
Scandal is the kind of show where a character will smell something fishy so he or she will cover an entire wall with pictures and documents, and spend hours upon hours drawing little squiggly lines and arrows to connect them. Then eventually he or she will will step back one day to stare at the wall from a few feet away, have a revelation, and say, “Oh. My. God.”
Scandal is the kind of show where one character will try to end a torrid affair by saying, “I may not be able to control my erections around you. But we are done.”
Scandal is the kind of show where one of the main characters is a super-secret former government intelligence agent who is both an extremely skilled hitman and someone who is capable of hacking into the NSA’s system if you give him five minutes and a dusty PC. And, as I mentioned earlier, he is played by the same actor who played Scarface in Half Baked. This is hard to reconcile. I keep expecting him to bust into the White House and do this.
Scandal is the kind of show where a sitting Supreme Court justice will [HUGE RIDICULOUS SPOILER THAT YOU WON'T EVEN BELIEVE] so the President of the United States will [SOMEHOW EVEN HUGER, MORE RIDICULOUS THING] and you’ll just stare at the screen as the credits roll because you are incapable of getting your brain to process other requests like “blink” or “do anything else.”
Scandal is the kind of show where the main character is universally regarded as a genius whose gut is never wrong, even though her gut is repeatedly wrong, often with disastrous consequences. You know how Dr. House would always spend 45 minutes treating patients for diseases they didn’t have before finally figuring out the diagnosis at the last minute while someone was yelling at him? It’s a little like that. But with sex. Seriously, so very much sex.
Scandal is the kind of show where a character with zero surveillance experience will be assigned to tail the director of the CIA, and then everyone will be surprised when it backfires.
Scandal is the kind of show where, because all these insane things keep happening, you will sit down after dinner to watch an episode or two and the next thing you know it’s 3 a.m. and you are now no longer capable of talking about anything else but Scandal. “CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED ON SCANDAL??????” you’ll exclaim to your friends over coffee the next day, and they’ll all look at you like you’re a crazy person because (a) they probably watched it months ago, and (b) the way your eyes are bulging out of their sockets after being subjected to a 12-hour, all-night TV binge is disquieting, to say the least. (NOTE: This is why I’m writing this. I’m not getting a dime from the show. I just need to talk about it or else I will explode.)
And as if all that weren’t enough to convince you, Perd Hapley from Parks & Rec pops up every now and then as a reporter. So, I repeat, you guys should binge watch Scandal this summer.