Monday, October 1, 2012

What I’m Watching: Scandal (Season Premiere)

Scandal: Season 2, Episode 1 “White Hat’s Off” (C+)

It’s not necessarily fair to compare two shows that air on completely different networks. Watching all of this political drama, however, can’t help but invoke the far superior, extremely intense “Boss,” which is produced by Starz. An ABC primetime drama from the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” isn’t supposed to have the same impact or feel, but this show just seems so trivial and overdone in comparison. That’s particularly true when it comes to Fitz, who tries his best to be cruel with a declaration of “You’re ornamental!” to his wife after she nudges his foreign policy by making a loaded statement during a news segment about the gender of their baby. Fitz is far from a compelling character, and the same is true for the sometimes manipulative, sometimes sheepish Mellie. There’s so much shouting on this show that becomes grating rather than engaging, and Olivia keeping so many secrets from everyone does the opposite of enhance the intrigue. It was obvious that they were going to release the Rhode Island congressman’s sex tape themselves, and it wasn’t a surprise to see Huck on the video surveillance trailing Quinn and then getting into Olivia’s car when she woke up with a new identity. It doesn’t track that Quinn, who got a rather direct job offer from Olivia in episode one, would have this background, and that she nearly got the death penalty despite being entirely innocent of the crime committed. Weaving an overly complex web just adds layers, not dimensions, and makes this show much less of a priority to be followed.

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