Scandal strikes the streets of D.C.

Spoiler alert.

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Scandal strikes the streets of D.C.

courtesy of ABC Television Network

courtesy of ABC Television Network

courtesy of ABC Television Network

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) worry that the public will discover their affair.

By Sophie Haddad, Carlmont High School

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Red wine spills on the white couch. Twenty-five seconds more and they’ve made the capture. Screams are stifled and scuffles silenced. The next red substance to stain the furniture isn’t wine.

Scandal, an ABC television series, kicked off its winter premiere with surprise and enigma. Season four continued with episode 10, “Run,” which aired on Jan. 29, 2015.

Following Olivia Pope’s extravagant life in Washington, D.C., Scandal pools the problems of politicians with those of everyday Americans to establish the clientele of a fail-safe firm headed by Pope, the fixer in the flesh.

Pope, played by Kerry Washington, is effectually the woman behind the curtain. She pulls the strings and makes sure the American government doesn’t collapse. As if there wasn’t enough weight on her shoulders, Pope finds herself torn between two studly and powerful men, and one of them is the fictive President of the United States, Fitzgerald Grant III. Often, these men prove to be more hassle than they’re worth.

The President has his wife to attend to, not to mention the story-hungry press who scrutinize and sensationalize all allegations concerning the administration. The other man of interest works for an ultra-suave, highly-classified CIA extension which engages in the dirtiest of all special operations.

Where the show falls short, unfortunately, is in its ability to incorporate legitimate political elements. The series holds its ground when it comes to complex characters, piquant plot, and afflated artistry. But when compared to reality, the similarities are few.

Oscillating music matches the mood swings constantly characteristic of Pope. Almost the entire soundtrack is comprised of Stevie Wonder songs, and Pope herself even reveres the singer in the show. On the other hand, Pope and the President’s theme is something to scoff at, considering that it is nothing more than a few unconsidered notes dwelt on for far too long.

Director Shonda Rhimes plays God by manipulating time to fit her fancy. She experiments with artistry in stretched-out scenes and overused idioms. In one scene, anxiety accumulates as Pope runs the same ten-foot stretch ad infinitum. Shots switch back from her face to the door, accenting the peril of the precipice.

Despite its overdone cinematography, Scandal, at its core, amounts to little more than larger-than-life quagmires and slow-motion sob scenes. The show, however, also stimulates seriously sensual situations when it syndicates real American law with Hollywood dramatics. With plot twists profound enough to chasten viewers, the show keeps the audience on its toes.