The ABC Series, Scandal, now in it’s second season, is a must watch for any feminist supporting television watcher. I will provide you with three reasons you really should watch this show.
First, Kerry Washington, the lead actor, who plays Olivia Price, is the first female Black lead on a major network since the 1974 show Get Christie Love starring Teresa Graves. Other shows with leading Black women have included cable’s TNT’s HawthoRNe produced and starring Jada Pinkett Smith and HBOs The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency starring Jill Scott. Both of these drama’s were short-lived, with HawthoRNe pulled after three seasons. Diahann Carroll was the first African-American woman to star in a sitcom, Julia, which debuted on ABC in 1968 and ran for three years.
Next, Scandal is also the first dramatic network television series written and produced by an African-American woman for an African-American woman in the lead role. Shonda Rhimes, the creator, head writer, and producer of Grey’s Anatomy and it’s spin-off, Private Practice is a role model for other women in television writing and production. Another first is the show’s inspiration, Judy Smith, Washington, D.C. crisis communications pro, now co-executive producer of the show. Smith served as Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary under the first Bush Administration earning a “reputation for being straightforward, honest and hard working,” along with being “instrumental in . . . controversies surrounding the nomination of Clarence Thomas . . . and the Gulf War.” Smith started a company “Smith & Company,” specializing in crisis management and media relations. Some of her clients include Monica Lewinski and Michael Vick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Smith
The third reason you should watch this show is because it is really good. It is a political thriller with twists and turns that constantly leave you guessing. I have only watched part of Season two and am counting the hours until the weekend when I can get caught up on the rest of the season as well as finding a way to watch Season one.
I owe my inspiration for this blog to my friend and colleague, Cynthia Cummings, who encouraged me to watch the show as part of my exploration into women’s miss-representation.