Why (Some) Men Seem To Hate Scandal So Damn Much

olivia-pope-2

A few weeks ago, as Panama and I were discussing the logistics of the D.C. screening for our TV pilot, he offhandedly mentioned that the Scandal season premiere—which aired the night we scheduled the screening—might have an effect on the number of people we’d draw to our event.

“How so?” I asked in all my Pittsburgh naivety. “Our screening starts at 7:00 and should end by 9:00. It shouldn’t interfere with Scandal at all.”

“Dog,” Panama replied, channeling his best light-skinned Randy Jackson, “this is D.C.”

The screening went well. We had it at Busboys and Poets, we managed to fill the room, and those in attendance seemed to enjoy the pilot and the 45 minute-long talk back afterwards.

The talk back ended a little before 9:00. After hanging around to take pictures and close everything out, we left at roughly 9:15 to attend Scandal Watch DC—a Scandal watch party (duh!) that we were asked to live tweet.

Since Busboys and Poets and Jin Lounge (the site of Scandal Watch DC) are practically next door to each other, I was able to see Jin’s doors as soon as we left.

And, what did I see?

A red carpet. A backdrop printed with sponsor’s logos. A couple dozen people in line, all dressed like characters Anthony Mackie and Paula Patton play in movies. A doorman with the perfunctory “I’m working the door at a very important event” black on black suit and headpiece.

As soon as Panama saw this, he started to walk back to his car to change his sneakers for some, um, non-sneakers.

“Why are you changing shoes?” I asked, intent on keeping true to my Pittsburgh. “They invited us to the event. I doubt your shoes will be an issue.”

“Dog,” he replied, reaching deep to channel his best light-skinned Randy Jackson again, “this is D.C.”

Now, although my slightly sardonic tone may suggest otherwise, I had a great time at the Scandal Watch party, and I think the women who threw the event did a great job. I also do (gasp!) enjoy watching Scandal. Despite whatever criticisms it receives (and deserves), it has one quality that separates it from 90% of the shows currently on TV. It is always entertaining. Always. I can’t even say that about Mad Men, and that’s probably my favorite show on TV today.

Anyway, as I sat on a couch in Jin, listening to a packed house react to every line, heel turn, and Olivia lip-quiver like they were watching the Super Bowl, something finally dawned on me.

Although there were quite a few men at the watch party, I’d guess that 75%-80% of the people there were women—numbers that likely reflect the overall demographics of Scandal viewers. Yes, there are many men who enjoy the show, but it’s targeted towards, promoted by, and dominated mostly by women. Women are the ones who’ve made it a social media sensation and cultural force. And, while I’ve joked before that Shonda Rhimes is the Bougie Black Girl’s Geppetto—and that Olivia Pope is the patron saint of Bougie Black Girls— it’s not just Black women who love Scandal. It’s White women, Latina women, Asian women, women from Youngstown. It’s just…women. (Not all women love Scandal, of course. But…just stop making faces and bare with me.)

And this is why a week can not pass without another piece written by a man (well, usually a man) detailing exactly why Scandal sucks. It’s why you’re likely to see more tweets about “bed wenches” on Thursday nights between 10:00pm and 11:00pm than you will at any other time. It’s why there are men whose love for shitting on the show and its fans surpasses the love Scandal fans actually have for Scandal. 

While there are many very intelligent sounding theories for this level of pushback, I think the root cause is rather simple.

It’s created by, targeted towards, and loved by women. So, it can not possibly be any good. 

Although I do realize there are some racial, sexual, and socioeconomic factors at play here, the (mostly) male antipathy for this show isn’t so much a burning hate as it’s a never-ending attempt to dismiss and disregard the merits of something that’s unabashedly targeted towards and supported by women. Because of course “something created for women” = “something that likely sucks.

On that level, it’s not much different than the mocking disdain directed towards romantic comedies—well, romantic comedies not made by Judd Apatow—the Oxygen Network, women’s magazines, Twilight, cats, comediennes, and even any male entertainer who speaks more to women than men. (Hey, Drake!)

Interestingly enough, this level of skepticism towards “women’s” things isn’t only harbored by (some) men. I know women who, in an attempt to make themselves seem more “smart” or “serious,” will intentionally craft an affinity for things that are more traditionally male. I’ve even had a couple very talented female writers express to me that they won’t consider themselves successful until they’re published in GQ or Esquire.

It actually kind of reminds me of some of the criticisms certain things—the NBA, rap music, Atlanta, etc—receive because they’re considered to be a bit too Black. Not saying that every person who harbors a dislike for any of these things feel that way for that reason, but you can’t deny that an undercurrent of “This is a bit too Black, so it can’t possibly be any good” exists.

My girl and two of my friends came to the watch party with Panama and I. When the party ended, each guest received a gift bag as they walked out the door. By the time I got to the door, though, they had run out of bags. My girl left a few moments before me, and was waiting outside with a bag.

“What’s in there?”

“Lotion, a gift certificate for a massage, and some other girly stuff. They’re actually getting more bags from the back. If we wait a minute, you can get one too.”

“I’m good. Let’s go. I’m hungry.” I replied as we started to walk away. But, as we turned the corner and neared a pizza spot, a thought shivered down my spine:

“Shit. I wanted a bag too!”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

  • eyecande

    Give us free.
    Sincerely,
    Women

  • mochazina

    word. it’s a show, we like it. I’ve yet to grasp why folks can’t let those facts simply be. smh

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

      This goes both ways Y’all gladiators need to stop caping for it like it’s your first born and non viewers need to stop acting like it’s social commentary

      • mochazina

        cuz no person has ever suggested that more people should give their favorite show a try…

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        So can the same be said for those who thirst after Breaking Bad? Mad Men? Sons of Anarchy? Game of Thrones? Dexter? (the list goes on) I had grown men nutting over the Breaking Bad finale but I wasn’t all up in their a*$ about men perpetuating domestic/international drug trafficking or raping their wives. It’s a show and I understand it to be merely that.

        • MsSula

          ” I had grown men nutting over the Breaking Bad finale”

          You ain’t neva lied. Homeboy straight up excused himself from a dinner party. Seriously? :)

  • Oshun

    This, AGAIN?! *rolls eyes till they refuse to come back to position*! Scandal cannot be the only show on this earth that is worth talking about. Urrrgh!

    Something created by women can and DOES and SHOULD suck, like scandal. LOL!

    • LMNOP

      I actually think most romantic comedies truly are awful though. I think they are made by both men and women though.

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

        Most romantic comedies are awful because they just hire token actors and forget that chemistry is what makes movies like that work which is why I’d be intrigued to watch Don Jon and not j lo plays middle aged white woman in generic a** movie

        • LMNOP

          Also because the name implies that they’d be funny, but they rarely are, so it’s just kind of setting you up for disappointment.

          • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

            It’s like quirky mom funny….like I went shopping and left my wallet or I wore a pencil skirt and guys saw my pantyline….shut the entire f ck up

  • Pype Williams

    It’s not that deep with me. I watched it for awhile, but the show never recovered from the lousy payoff of the “Who Is Quinn” angle. I stuck with it for awhile until I missed a couple of episodes and having no urge to catch up.

    The dysfunctional relationship at the center of the show that makes it controversial doesn’t really move me. Olivia Pope is a fictional character. Her sidechick struggles are none of my business.

  • Mel

    Not to mention men all of a sudden becoming the Moral Police. All the diatribe about Liv being a heaux, black women lowering their standards to be the white mans whore… Blah, blah, blah.

    We don’t care!

    It’s a tv show. It’s drama, it’s juicy, it’s entertaining. Let it be.

    • LMNOP

      Yeah, it would seem kind of obvious at this point that popular TV shows are notstep-by-step guides to living a moral and ethical life since other popular shows include Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Wire, etc.

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        Thank you.

  • T.Q. Fuego

    Champ, I was hoping you were gonna really do this topic justice if you insisted on forcing everyone to have a convo about it again, but since you were so lazy and inaccurate, I’ll break it down once and for all. The simple answer is that the show is too over the top, extra, and cheesy. Way too dramatic for my tastes. Everything from the dialogue to the overacting to the plotline. It has little to do with the fact that women like it (although it’s not surprising that they do) and more to do with the fact that the hype far exceeds the quality. I compare it to Spartacus (a show that’s geared almost exclusively towards men). I dislike it for pretty much the exact same reasons. Too dramatic and extra. Both shows try too hard imo and just annoy me. Both shows have a lot of viewers (though Scandal clearly has way more viewers and hype, which is why I don’t complain about Spartacus). I realize everyone doesn’t have the same tastes or requirements from a show that I do though, so I mostly keep my opinions about how cheesy the show is to myself. I’m glad yall enjoy it (and I wish I could), but before I stopped f*ckin wit Twitter I was beyond tired of hearing about the show (so I get why dudes vent about it). Now I’m just tired of hearing about it #progress lol

    • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

      Checks google… Spartacus is still being aired? I gave up that show at the end of season 1.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        Lol, I have no idea if it’s still being aired. I couldn’t even make it as far as you did. I was like “Ok, I get it. You’re trying to appeal to me as a man, but it’s not working. You’re doing way too much.” Smh, subtlety is a dying art.

        • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

          Apparently the final season ended in April of this year. I distinctly remember a large female fanbase for this one too. The ladies got some gladiator eye candy.

        • Agatha Guilluame

          Mad Men is subtle.

          • T.Q. Fuego

            Touche. If I didn’t feel so overwhelmed by how long it would take me to catch up I’d totally watch that show.

      • SweetSass

        It was too sad for me when the lead actor died… then they had to replace him and it was just not the same.

    • Oshun

      I ain’t gonna lie, but Keri is the main reason why I cannot watch Scandal. I don’t know about the other characters, but she be doing the most while acting-in anything. It is torture to watch her, but it is such a pleasure to watch her interviews! Articulate and poised. Downvoters, get to workin!

      • T.Q. Fuego

        Lol @ “downvoters get to workin”. I actually liked her in “Why Did I Get Married”. She was still SLIGHTLY extra, but she was more believable in that one. It was also a well written movie. I haven’t seen enough of her catalogue to really judge her as an actress though.

        • Oshun

          I have and Jesus weeps with me errytime.

        • Mel

          She wasn’t in Why Did I get Married?

          • Val

            I think he means “I Think I love My Wife”.

            • T.Q. Fuego

              Thanks for the correction Val. That’s definitely what I meant.

      • TheOtherJerome

        “Downvoters, get to workin!”

        Done. Lol

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

        Kerry can’t act but she’s beautiful and looks like she smells like honey and almonds…even the commercial whens she’s like “what did you do” I cringe everytime

      • Joanna

        The way she enunciates on the show just highlights her sharp bone structure and makes her look like she’s doing the absolute most. I love me some Scandal but sometimes I’m watching and I’m like, “This conversation isn’t that serious for your face to contort like this.”

    • Mel

      A tv show drama, that’s too dramatic. Oh.

    • The Champ

      So far this week I’ve written three different 1000 word long posts about three completely different topics, wrote another 1000 word long piece for Complex about another completely different topic, have a 1500 word long piece about another completely different topic that’ll appear on EBONY, and found some time to work on both books I’m writing now while performing my editor duties at EBONY and shuffling between home and my parent’s house to spend time with my mom.

      Now, I don’t mind criticism at all. I’m sure you’ll find that VSB is one of the few popular blogs that allows people to regularly disagree with and critique the writers. But lazy? Really? Shut the fuck up.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        Lol, you mad bro? You just effectively simplified the problems “men” have with the show into one sentence “women like it so it must suck” and that’s not lazy? No, YOU shut the f*ck up. Clearly you do mind criticism since you gettin mad and throwin temper tantrums like a lil kid lol. The sh*t was lazy. So was that response (but more bratty than lazy tho)

        • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

          ok chill….

          • T.Q. Fuego

            AP, you responded to the wrong comment

            • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

              No I didn’t.

              • T.Q. Fuego

                Well, 1st off I’m calm. More importantly though he’s the one that started cursing and throwing tantrums. He could’ve just as easily made the case that the analysis wasn’t lazy, but he didn’t. He took the middle school route. So why exactly am I being asked to “chill”? I’m supposed to let him come at me sideways because he’s in his feelings about my critique? #stopit

                • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                  smh you’re doing a lot and I don’t blame Champ for coming at you the way he did. If you didn’t like today’s topic that’s fine. But going out of your way to throw him under the bus and act like he’s “lazy” for one sentence you disagree with? I just think you were doing a bit much.

                  • Oshun

                    Imma need Iyanla to come fix this! Uh uh. We can’t have two strong black brothas going at each other’s neck over Scandal…a tv show!! Breezy I know you like praying, imma need you to intercede!

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      Girl…….

                    • BreezyX2

                      Mami, I felt something was in the air tonight. You know I am usually asleep but low and behold I am up and this mess is going down. No no no…Just Me The Guy, no sir. No bueno.

                    • WIP

                      Not Iyanla! lol

                    • Oshun

                      girrl do you see what Olivia Pope has em doing, cursin each other out, losing weight. I betchu one of them was jumping around, while typing out a response….

                  • T.Q. Fuego

                    That’s fair. Maybe I was. I could’ve worded that better I guess. I thought it was clear that I thought his explanation of why men don’t like the show was lazy. Not that he was lazy. What you and him both seem to be missing (and I’ll take responsibility for not communicating it) is that I had higher expectations from him as a writer. There’s a reason I frequent this site. He used to do so much better with nuance about these types of analytical opinion pieces. I was disappointed. Next time I’ll just keep it to myself or word my critique better though. If both of you took it as disrespectful then my wording must’ve been disrespectful. My apologies to Champ for the using disrespectful language. I don’t apologize for the opinion though.

                    • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                      No one is asking you to keep quiet if you disagree. I’m just saying you were coming off abrasive and down right obnoxious to be honest. Champ was bold enough to open us up to his personal struggles with his mother and you’re going hard in the paint about him not delving deep enough into a vague topic.

                      Perspective is key though. Remember that. Any who, it’s water under the bridge if you say it is.

                    • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

                      If you can’t take criticism on your writing, don’t write a blog. Just because you write popular blog doesnt mean you are entitled to universal praise on everything you write. Get off your high horse and remember you wouldn’t have a popular blog without the readers.

                    • WIP

                      STFU was a little out of line from Mr. Champ.
                      Lazy can be that trigger word though, especially when you’re working you’re a$$ off. You ever been working real hard and someone hit you with that “what have you been doing all day?” LOL

                  • T.Q. Fuego

                    I don’t think I went out of my way though. I honestly said it in passing (didn’t expect all this drama). By the way though, that one sentence was the thesis sentence of the whole piece…so it was kinda important. We can agree to disagree that the way he handled it was justified. I ain’t worried bout nothin either way.

                • b sweet

                  I’m hard pressed to find anything in JMTG’s “critique” that warranted that response. Passionate critical engagement is what makes this community so special. We are playful and like to have fun, but if a topic hits home, I’ve seen the opinions get serious.
                  Was his comment biting. Absolutely. Was he coming for Champ-I don’t think so. It’s obvious that the Champs response is coming from a place that has nothing to do with what JMTG said. We all know that place, which is why the comment is coming off as doing too much. The Champ took the exchange to a place it didn’t need to go. Given his headspace and what he’s going through, I get it.
                  Maybe JMTG’s “crime”is timing. But The Champ experienced a celebrity moment-being criticized when you’re not in the mood.

                  • T.Q. Fuego

                    Thank you B Sweet. I knew I wasn’t crazy (props to you, WC, and WIP) for being brave enough to disagree with the mob). I didn’t attack him personally at all. I’ve seen people critique his writing MUCH harsher and he barely flinched. So I wasn’t expecting such an overreaction. You’re right about the timing/context. I should’ve been more considerate of the circumstance. I rarely give people passes when they come at me like that, like VERY rarely, but he is dealing with some HEAVY sh*t right now that I’m fortunate enough to have never had to deal with. Godspeed to his mom and her recovery. It’s understandable that a person would be more sensitive while dealing with that. I take responsibility for having bad timing. Not cool on my part

        • The Champ

          You need to read it again. Also, there’s a difference between critiquing the work—which is fair game—and calling me “lazy” which is a personal dig. (And, this isn’t the first time you’ve done that.)

          I’m not going to go back and forth with this anymore and continue to derail the conversation. Instead, I’ll just remind you to remember where you are.

          • T.Q. Fuego

            You need to read my comment again. I said “you were lazy” as in when you wrote this article. That’s not a dig at you as a person. I’ve complimented you as a writer on more than one occasion. I’m not gonna pat anybody on the back about a product I’m not feeling though. And you say it’s not the first time I’ve done it. I didn’t take a personal dig at you the last time either. You ASKED Aly what bothered her about the post and I jumped in and explained cause I understood where she was coming from. Even then though, it was about the tone of the piece and how it came off (and it was in response to your own question). And I don’t need a reminder of where I am. If you don’t want me to comment you can block me. You say you don’t mind your work being critiqued, but I can’t tell from these comments. But I’m done with this convo though. Good day sir

            • Oshun

              ooooooweeee!!! You turrrrrrrrrrrrnt it up!! Breeezy, is Jesus n em asleep?!?!?!?! Your intercessory prayers ain’t working ma.

              • T.Q. Fuego

                Oh relax Mami. It’s done. I buried the hatchet. Quit instigating lol

            • LMNOP

              Sometimes it’s more important to act right than to be right.

              • T.Q. Fuego

                Yeah, I agree, Which is why I let it go even though I got plenty more to say. I’m not one of these Internet gangstas that go to sites to troll. I just felt like he escalated the situation unnecessarily, but what’s done is done.

          • Amber

            Just noticed that I down voted you SORRY… just me and my fat fingers I was trying to see more on my phone not vote.

        • BreezyX2

          Sir…SIR..come on man. Not cool…not cool at all. Remember if you don’t have nothing nice to say don’t say anything. To the corner!

      • Val

        Congrats on the Complex piece. I like that mag. Let us know when it goes to print.

        • The Champ

          Thanks. It posted online yesterday. I might post the full thing on VSB later today.

          http://www.complex.com/music/2013/10/miley-cyrus-hip-hops-reckoning

          • 321mena123

            “by doing this doesn’t add insult to injury as much as it reinforces the
            idea that Blackness is an accessory. A prop. The clown hats, lenseless
            glasses, and plastic machine guns available at wedding photo booths.
            It’s post-racial the same way the GOP is feminist.”

            I don’t know if your writing is growing on me but lately i have been nodding my head a lot to your work. Please continue to post your other writings on the VSB site. I do click on the links and read them as i am sure many others do as well. This should be yours and PJ’s article hub for when you guys write for other magazines.

            Nice work on the Complex piece Champ.

            • The Champ

              Thank you

              • Kema

                Great article. It reads like a motivational speech.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

      And brick killed a guy.

    • Maris

      Now y’all know I cape for commenters…but Fuego. Bro. You critiqued an objective price (which is your right, regardless of how a$$holish you came off)…but then you followed it with your PERSONAL OPINION as to why the show isn’t liked, which had nothing to do with what he was talking about (the fanatical left) and tried to pass that drivel off as better, which is 10 times lazier than what you accused him of. Imma need you to do better if you’re going to break it down so it is forever broken.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        I didn’t try to pass it off as better, just as more credible. You know why I think it was more credible? Cause it comes from someone who actually doesn’t like the show. Women on here often get mad (or at the very least irritated) when men (the writers included) speak for how women feel. Which is understandable, cause who wants people speaking for them and telling them how they feel/think? I wouldn’t have minded him speaking for the men who don’t like the show if he would’ve given it more nuance (and thought) than that. “While there are many very intelligent sounding theories for this level of pushback, I think the root cause is rather simple.” Really? “intelligent sounding”? If he wasn’t being lazy with the oversimplification of why so many men dislike the show then he was being obtuse or dismissive. I feel like both of those adjectives are more harsh and rude. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and just said “He didn’t give this one that much thought like he usually does” No way I could’ve foreseen him to take it from level 2 to 8 from that. I’ve seen people be MUCH more critical of his writing on here before. I just don’t see the reaction matching my critique.

        • Kema

          I agree with Maris. I’m not into the show because I just dont do overly dramatic in a scripted show. However, Champ didnt seem to be talking of people that dont like the show for those reasons. He’s talking about men that claim to dislike the show and link that dislike to the affair Olivia’s having with a married white man.

          • T.Q. Fuego

            If he would’ve acknowledged the other reasons I wouldn’t have said what I said, but it seemed like he brushed them off and trivialized them as some pseudo-intellectual babble. I didn’t see the part where he specified. (I went back and read it a few times)

            “He’s talking about men that claim to dislike the show and link that dislike to the affair Olivia’s having with a married white man.”

            Are you disagreeing with the reason they say they dislike the show? You don’t believe them?

          • T.Q. Fuego

            If he would’ve acknowledged the other reasons I wouldn’t have said what I said, but it seemed like he brushed them off and trivialized them as some pseudo-intellectual babble. I didn’t see the part where he specified. (I went back and read it a few times)

            “He’s talking about men that claim to dislike the show and link that dislike to the affair Olivia’s having with a married white man.”

            Are you disagreeing with the reason they say they dislike the show? You don’t believe them?

    • Shamira
    • The Champ

      Word choice matters, and “…since you were so lazy and inaccurate” does come off as a personal shot, even if it wasn’t intended to be. So I took it personally.

      That said, I shouldn’t have used that type of language, and I apologize for taking it that far. It was unnecessary.

      • T.Q. Fuego

        No doubt. Apology accepted. No hard feelings. Word choice does matter so I’ll make sure to choose my words more wisely next time. Takes a real man to apologize when they were outta line so kudos to you.

    • SweetSass

      Spartacus is NOT geared towards men… well… maybe not straight men.

  • Eastern

    Most of that man hate is sexist belief and misogyny. Many dudes can’t stand to see a woman, especially one of color, in a lead role and handling it with respectable style and power. And they hate women even more when they call out the abuse of male privilege. Having needless gender roles means certain things concerning women are unworthy of respect or attention from men, and therefore “it doesn’t matter.”

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

      Who hurt you?

      • Rog

        I dont know why this response has me chuckling so hard in my office

      • Freebird

        The patriarchy?

        • SweetSass

          Love it!

  • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

    Why can’t women like a show filled with a black woman getting d*cked down in the oval office? Sh*t. Men can have all the TNA but I can’t get some cheap show with a few scenes of Kerry Washington getting her yoni serviced and rotated. It’s just SO unfathomable that women lust after men and enjoy fictional television.

    • Oshun

      I just wish it was another ACTress get dictated though.

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        The main issue men have with the show is the fact that she’s getting d*ck though. Her acting aside, men just have this uneasiness with women actively engaging in an affair or having a good time having chex in general. Like men are the only humans who have a monopoly of fukcing for sport or something. GTFOH.

        • Oshun

          Ain’t nothing wrong about getting d*ck. Now, how you go getting it is your business. You grown, it’s your body, nobody should be policing your bodily choices. The disgust of course is attributed to the fact she is getting dictated by a white dude…that’s where the problem lies. When the roles are reversed and it’s a black man and a white woman playing as leads/getting it on or whatever, why don’t they write long blog posts about it?! Mschew….

        • LMNOP

          I wonder if the fact that she is so powerful (much more so in the first season and a half or so) bothers men too. Really though, I doubt most men who hate scandal have actually watched enough to know much about the characters or plot.

          • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

            No….it’s not very Good, Why can’t it be that

            • LMNOP

              because that is incompatible with my worldview as a scandal fan lol

            • T.Q. Fuego

              And the church said amen. If people wanna break down the core reason we don’t like it and keep it real simple, that’s as far as they have to go. Cause it’s that simple.

              • BreezyX2

                You are right it would be that simple, but the folks who don’t like it tend to take the conversation to another level.

            • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

              LOL. I actually wrote about the same thing on my blog a few weeks back and the Gladiators came at me like, ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! Not really. I really tried, though. Really.

              • LMNOP

                As much as I want to be like “And the gladiators were RIGHT dammit!” I tried watching breaking bad, since the entire country seems to love it and I was not impressed with the first episode at all. The desert setting was pretty, but that was the highlight of the show for me, so I get that sometimes people just don’t appreciate shows that other people love.

                • Sahel

                  “Finish Her”

    • Val

      Did you watch Frontline tonight, AP? It’s the one on the NFL.

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        Nah. What did they cover tonight???

        • Val

          Concussions in the NFL and the lives of former players who suffered lots of head trauma during their playing days.

          • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

            Ahhhhhh.

            Yea, in recent years the NFL is starting to act like they care for the health of their players. I’m hoping once this med school things gets on and popping I can specialize in orthopedic surgery and start to bridge some gaps. Concussions are something that many sports organizations have taken lightly over the years. Smh. It’s really sad. Lots of players end up killing themselves due to repeated head trauma like that.

            • Todd

              Damn, it was last night? I missed it. Maybe I can catch it online.

              The big issue is how much players didn’t really GAF until they were forced to by the staffs. Yes, the league is culpable, and should have warned the players. On the flip side, the mindset around the players was one of “eh, a concussion isn’t a big deal.” Yes, the league is responsible for not stopping it, but there wasn’t a major hue and cry about it from the players.

              • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                I think someone needs to educate players about their bodies outside of the usual anatomy they are somewhat familiar with. If they are concerned about preventative measures to ensure they aren’t pulling hamstrings and groins, they need to be concerned about the fact that their brains shouldn’t be bruised to high heaven as well.

                • Todd

                  I would agree with that. Things are slowly changing, but they haven’t changed fast enough. At least let there be informed consent, if nothing else.

                  • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                    I think informed consent should start at the Pee Wee level. You’ve got these 8 year olds running around and being told by grown men to “shake it off”. People don’t understand how fragile the body is. Any type of imbalance that upsets the system has the potential to do serious damage if gone unchecked. If NFL players grew up knowing that XYZ isn’t something to be ignored then they’d be better off.

    • Todd

      Hey, I’m with you on that. Scandal IS TNA for women. I think that dudes should let women live on that front. Let them have their hour of fun and move on with life. Not everything has to be with dudes. Heck, if my woman was a fan, that would be an opportune time to catch up on some pr0n. :)

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        I’ll never understand why men don’t see women as chexual beings in our own right. We lust after men in the same way men lust after women. Heck, many of us have higher libidos as well. But society would have men believe that women can only be fit into Maddona/Wh0re box.

  • Rayjefury

    Women love it. So, it can not possibly be any good. I’ll see you oversimplification and raise you an oversimplification. What some men hate about Scandal isn’t that women like it, it’s that the lead character is involved with a man she knows is married, and the relationship is not only tolerated but promoted by many real life women. I really like everything about the show EXCEPT for that. Huck hacking into an encrypted CIA database, Olivia’s ability to slip out of every noose at the very last second, and a President willingness to throw away his Presidency for love, all seem more plausible than seeing real life women celebrate even fictitious infidelity.

    I have suggested to female friends that the show would benefit from ending the relationship between Olivia and Fitz and giving Olivia a new love interest, what I was told was that, the Olivia-Fitz relationship was “the show” and without it, there was no reason to watch. So…

    I like the Scandal, I watch it with the wife and I like the plot twists, but if I’m honest, I can’t say that I am always a fan of it’s fans.

    • LMNOP

      I have been rooting for the affair to end for a while. More because I hate fitz than because its infidelity though.

      • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

        YES! I actually liked the show before they made the affair the central plot line. It worries me that if the affair goes away, the entire “juiciness” of the show dissipates. And I want Scandal to stay on the air. We need this. But a strong drama can’t drag out the same premise for its entire run. Shonda is going to HAVE to pony up on strengthening the cast and reinforcing the original “fixer” appeal of the show.

        • LMNOP

          The affair is by far the boringest part of the show. There are so many new crazy plot twists and turns that could come up, like what’s in the envelope? Did Fitz do some evil crazy CIA killer stuff? What is Harrison’s back story? Did Olivia’s mom really die? If so, was her dad involved? But all the plot turns will really be stuff so crazy I can’t even think of it now. I get a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about all the possibilities for season 3 though lol.

  • Val
    • iamnotakata

      My exact sentiments!!! I get no life from her character.

      • Val

        My thing is, the show is modelled after an actual person. That person has an amazing life, which doesn’t include being a sidechick. So, why can’t Olivia Pope have complicated but decent relationships?

        And, why, for the sake of all that’s good in the world, do we have to keep seeing pretty Black women actresses paired with White men? Isn’t that played out yet!? I’m sick of it. IR relationships between Black women and White men are so overrepresented in TV that these portrayals are so obviously propaganda and social engineering.

        • Oshun

          LOL!! I knewed it, Val. I knewed that you were going to go innnnnn!! *waving*

          The lack of representation of black love-yes, as far as I’m concerned, there is such a thing, is worrisome. But, I think I gave up hope. If they are represented, it is stereotypical….they drug dealing or are in a phakked up relationship like Ike and Tina Turner. There is no balance in Hollywood in regards to the portrayal of minorities, their struggles, successes and lives in general. If we want our stories told, or rather projected in an accurate manner, we do it ourselves. That’s why I tend to support a lot of independent projects.

          • Val

            Exactly, AM. Black relationships are almost unheard of on TV and when they are seen, like you said, they are dysfunctional ‘ghetto’ relationships. It just gets so tiring and trite.

            • LMNOP

              To be fair though, the interracial relationships between wealthy, powerful people on scandal are also extremely dysfunctional.

          • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

            Part of the issue is that shows with these questionable relationships are getting views, which translates into $$. Guess how much extra we get to see now? (This is NOT a subtle shot at sisters, just something to think about)

            • Val

              Yep, and Shonda Rhimes has another show in the pipeline, so get ready for more of the same.

              • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                There’s plenty of black nookie in Greys Anatomy. Successful black doctors who are married to other black doctors, black politicians, etc. Shonda ain’t stupid lol

                • Val

                  Really? I thought there were only two Black doctors on that show. But, I’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not a soap opera fan.

                  • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

                    Yes. One black doctor on the show was married to the lady in Funny Valentine who got raped, but she dies of cancer or something. Then the short light skinned black lady doctor is married to the other black doctor. Black excellence all around in that show. Shonda knows wussup. She hasn’t let our people down Val.

                    • mochazina

                      yup – the two major black doc characters (both on the show since season one, mind you) have both had black spouses. the dude was married to a character played by loretta devine (but cheated on her with the main character’s mom {a white lady, *gasp*} for many years) and is now seeing a character played by DEBBIE ALLEN!!!!! you can’t get more “epic black” that when it comes to the arts, imo. the lil short one is on her second marriage, both to black men, played by cress williams (scooter from living single!) and jason george (who’s “black” credits go back as far as moesha, barbershop, and eve). shonda is no stranger to black characters having black partners, and she pulls them from everywhere.

                    • 321mena123

                      Shonda’s shows are the one place where you can find every hue and nationality.

                    • 321mena123

                      What short light skinned black doctor? Are we still discussing Grey’s? Bailey isn’t light.

                  • mochazina

                    there are two that have been on since season one, but many others have come through at various times for various lengths of time.

                • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

                  Exactly Shonda been doing infidelity as plot since Greys and Private Practice. She knows where her bread is buttered. And nobody ever gave her heat about sidechicks on Greys, where THE MAIN CHARACTER was booed up for years with a married man. I’m not studying the affair-as-plot-device critique, but eventually, Shonda moves on from it.

          • Sahel

            Got to let it go my dear. Hollywood works with an eye on profits. Its just business.

        • Rayjefury

          Why can’t Olivia Pope have complicated but decent relationships?

          I said the same thing. Does her character have to be a home wrecker for her to have a hot steamy romance? Does she have to be a home wrecker to have that relationship that you know is wrong but you don’t leave? He can black, he can be white, make him dangerous, make him mysterious, but just give her someone that isn’t married. I think one day they’re gonna write a Harrison-Olivia thing, but even if they don’t, just give her someone that isn’t married. Everything else you can keep the same.

          • Val

            I know, it’s like she’s not good enough to not have to share a man. It’s sad.

            • LMNOP

              I think they’re going for the tragic doomed love angle, which has some dramatic potential to me. I’m over it though.

            • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              I don’t see how having a man has anything to do with a woman’s value

              • ME

                i Cant see why people voted this down!!

                What does having a man have to do with any woman’s value?

                Not a damn thing.

            • Rayjefury

              To me it’s worse than that. It’s not a situation where you just aren’t suspending your disbelief (you have to do that with every show). Some of the implausible has to be plausible for any show or movie to work. You can write a believable character that genuinely believes she’s not good enough to share a man. But Liv’s character is supposed to be smart (and I realize that smart people can still do dumb things) but she is smart enough to have gotten out of this relationship by now. My guess is that they are probably retaining it because, as some of my female friends suggested to me when I said Liv needs a non-married love interest, the Fitz and Olivia relationship IS the show. It has to exist the way it is right now; never advancing, never complete, dangling, destructive, dangerous, and morally inexcusable.

              That bothers me. Not the character development, but the audience essentially WANTING no further character development. It is COMPLETELY counter-intuitive to me. To me, it would be like if I, as a black man, like a t.v. series about a street cop named Octavius Dope. He could be smart, he could be witty, and well respected, and the best at his job, they could even make him likable in every other aspect. But every few episodes he blatantly profiles, harasses, arrests, and uses excessive force against black males.

              I can’t overlook that. This is something I feel strongly about in real life, I would not be able to just turn that part of my life off and say, it’s acceptable because I have to suspend my disbelief or because it make the character more real because he has flaws. He is a symbol for something I hate, the LAST thing I will do is cheer it on. And I won’t say that this character flaw is central to the story line, when he can be witty, well respected, and the best at his job without being a racist a$$hole.

              So I guess some of this is just on me for projecting what I thought would happen on to other people (and I’ll own that). When I see a show about a woman who is a side chick and knows it, and understanding how important fidelity is to women IRL, I don’t expect them to turn this part of themselves off for the sake of steamy story line. Right now Liv is a more polished Monica Lewinsky. I don’t expect women to cheer for her or the relationship. Who Liv is IRL is your enemy the same way Octavius is my enemy IRL. Liv is the woman that knows your man is taken but still flirts with him at the office because she is attracted to his power. Liv is the woman who lives down the street from your man and knows that you are with him but still sees him on the side because she like the steaminess of their relationship. I don’t know how you cheer for her anymore than I could cheer for Octavius IRL… Sorry for the essay but I hope this makes sense

              • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

                “You can write a believable character that genuinely believes she’s not good enough to share a man. But Liv’s character is supposed to be smart (and I realize that smart people can still do dumb things) but she is smart enough to have gotten out of this relationship by now.”

                You just wrote out exactly why I’m over the affair. If they diminish that aspect, I think I could overlook my other questions. I love the character of Olivia Pope. She is pretty much the dopest woman on television. And since I like her, I am, like any good homegirl, rather disappointed in my pretend homie’s addiction to toxic d!ck. In no way has this relationship been healthy for her. I just want Liv, too, well, LIVE.

              • SuperStrings

                While the Liv-Fitz relationship is an adulterous scenario, I think many women are drawn to it because to them it represents more than that. It represents forbidden love, a love that never can be. Whether in the context of adultery or otherwise, probably most people can relate to that on some level. About a month ago, the topic here was about a real, genuine, non-reproducible type of love for a person from your past. I could be overstating, but there was an abundance of commenters who said that they had such a person in their life. Some even admitted that they would seize the opportunity to reconnect with that person. So, it isn’t surprising to me that people feel some type of connection to the scenario in Scandal.

          • Michelle

            It would’ve been interesting if her love interest was a hired assassin or CIA agent.

            • LMNOP

              He was! But then her dad locked him up in a hole in the ground.

            • Rayjefury

              I think either one would work, and to give the writers credit, maybe they were trying to do that with Jake Ballard, but that’s all fizzled out.

        • iamnotakata

          I completely agree again! I really don’t have a problem with Scandal all of my friends and associates are here for it and spend the entire day ranting and raving about it. But I just couldn’t get into it even after watching four episodes.

          As for pretty black women and white man portrayal well…We’ve always been their fantasy, you know those exotic forbidden fruit. That’s kind of how I look at it when they counter a pretty black women on screen with a white man who is usually not even of the same caliber as them appearance wise…

          • Todd

            And that’s about it. :)

        • Todd

          It’s simple. The only time America is comfy with Black men and White woman paired together is when it’s something presented as different at best or perverse at worse. That’s why it’s a huge part of the pr0n industry, gotten Lex Steele 3 male performer of the year awards…and is so incredibly rare in mainstream entertainment.

        • MsSula

          “So, why can’t Olivia Pope have complicated but decent relationships?”

          Maybe because that’s the story the writer of the TV show is willing to tell? There are a gazillion million stories to tell, each writer selects the one they are willing to tell and tell it. We may not like it (I don’t watch Scandal mostly because I haven’t found the time) but that’s the right of any writer..

          • Val

            Wow. You just said exactly nothing very eloquently.

    • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

      Jumpoff is a term used by people with limited vocabulary or only 140 characters.

    • Kema

      Olivia is the other woman. Not a jumpoff which would refer to a woman that was a ‘pump and dump’. Their relationship is too complicated to consider her a jumpoff.

      • Val

        Lol. You Scandal fans sure love equivocating in regard to Olivia’s questionable relationship.

        • Kema

          Not a Scandal fan but know enough about the show to know she’s not a jumpoff. There are levels to this $hit!

      • MsSula

        The funny thing is, I have NEVER heard anybody call Carrie Bradshaw a jump-off. Granted I don’t watch Scandal so I don’t know if the characters are as complex as the ones in SATC, but I am sorry but Carrie was also the other woman in an entire season of SATC!

        • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

          Black bodies vs white bodies. I know y’all get tired of me comparing but it is ALWAYS worth noting. Carrie nor Samantha will ever be called jump-offs. And yet, here we have Olivia Pope. The patron saint of all wh0res.

          • Val

            Like I said to that Sula person, when we have balance and variety in the roles portrayed by Black women then I think it’s fair to compare roles of White women vs roles of Black women in media. But, there is no parity. We rarely get to see Black women in leading roles. So, when she’s portrayed ;like Olivia is it makes me wonder why.

            • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

              Now we all know why black women are portrayed in these proverbial Aunt Jemima, jump off, crack wh0re, etc. roles. We’re clearly a monolith and only fit into these neatly packaged boxes. Duh!

        • Val

          Yes, because of course the portrayals of White women and Black women have always been exactly the same in the media. And, Black women have been portrayed in a variety of ways just like White women throughout the history of media. So every night of the week we can see dozens of Black women in roles all over TV just as we see White women in dozens of varied roles on TV.

          Your comment makes you sound like you were born yesterday.

        • T.Q. Fuego

          You might be right, but I don’t know that SATC was on black dudes’ radar as much. I definitely did hear white guys express similar disapproval of her. Them Internet white dudes called them all sluts religiously lol