What I’ve Learned from Watching Season Three of Scandal
I have been vaguely aware of the TV show Scandal: The Complete First Seasonfor some time, but never watched. That is until about a month ago when “enjoying” the consequences of having zoomed through writing the draft of the next book in the Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis series. In other words, my mind was mush. At the end of one day, when my mind had become even mushier that it was when I got up, I needed a very particular form of entertainment. Something that would grab my attention, without actually making me think.
This turned out to be the perfect televised popcorn to consume while my brain slowly knitted back together. I am not ashamed to say that in the last four weeks, I have binged on the first three seasons of the show. And I have learned a few things, especially from that third season (other than a) I love Mellie; and b) all the women need a sandwich). Be forewarned: there are a few spoilers ahead.
1. Olivia has terrible taste in men.
No, really. The push-pull of her affair with a certain high-level politician was only romantic for so long. At a certain point, you just want to smack the woman and tell her to leave this man who makes her so sad. She does, briefly. And who does she choose? An assassin.
The woman needs therapy.
2. When looking for a romantic partner, think of what would cause you the most pain. Then do that.
Once upon a time, I swooned over tragic love stories (Gerard Depardieu in Cyrano de Bergerac, anyone?). As I found myself telling my niece this weekend when she wondered why anyone would go see a tragedy like Verdi - La Traviata / Cotrubas · Domingo · Milnes · Bayerisches Staatsorchester · Carlos Kleiber, sometimes something very sad can be beautiful. In the case of opera, this is absolutely true. In the case of life, not so much. Now, it could be argued that Scandal is essentially a soap opera and I can get behind that. But still. Maybe it’s that I’m not so young anymore, but this being drawn repeatedly to pain like a moth to a flame just seems so profoundly unhealthy. And a little ridiculous.
In real life, people learn. Don’t they?
3. Sex always involves tearing clothes off your partner.
It’s amazing. All of them do it. They’ll be in the middle of something else, then all of a sudden look at each other, and before you know it, the clothes are being torn off and who cares about making it to the bed. The nearest desk/table/counter will do. These people must have cauldrons of sanitizer.
4. Doing bad things for good reasons still make them bad things.
Admittedly, I have never been exposed to the upper echelons of political power. I still find it hard to believe that everyone at this level is so unremittingly nasty, self-serving, and able to rationalize doing truly terrible things while telling themselves it’s all for the greater good. No, it’s not!
5. If there is Hell, it’s like the Washington, DC in Scandal.
Hell isn’t filled with fire. It’s filled with mean, nasty, immoral people doing unethical, hideous things (destroying people’s lives and careers, torture, murder) all in the name of The Republic. It’s like Survivor, but instead of being voted off the island, you’re voted out of your life. At a certain point, it stops being entertaining and just makes you feel like you need a shower after watching it. (Also see my post on Damages)
6. No one smiles with joy. Because there is no joy.
Very few of the characters seem to be able to muster an honest smile. Mostly, they grimace.
So why did I dive right into Season 4?
What’s your favourite entertainment popcorn?
I can count on two fingers the people who've returned my smile or at least looked at me without the "don't look at me" stare since moving here in June 2014. Bad look on everyone. Mean. Angry. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" face. But then those with kids probably look at their spawn that way with all the nannies pushing the "I love you enough to have carried you for nine months and endured unimaginable pain to push you out, just not enough to want to raise you. Besides, you'll learn Spanish! Bi-lingual looks great on college applications" little tikes around in strollers that cost more than my first car.
Ad posters line the metro station walls here. You know you're in DC when you see one reminding parents to pay their "nanny taxes!"
P.S. Before I recently started dating a man after five years of dating myself and having decidedly one-sided philosophical conversations with my cats, I used to watch the best Scandal sex scenes on YouTube with some regularity. I am not ashamed!