Monday, February 15, 2016

TV: Shonda Wasteland

Last Thursday, SCANDAL finally returned to ABC with new episodes and the big question: Why?


"It's Hard Out Here for a General" managed to do something no one would have expected: Get the lowest rating for an episode since season two when the show was still emerging.

It's no longer debatable: SCANDAL has faded.

It started last season but no one wanted to address that reality -- certainly not ABC which was hoping to serve up another Shonda series.

Like CBS' THE GOOD WIFE, SCANDAL has simply run out of stories.

It has jumped and re-jumped the shark so many times that the characters no longer have any consistency and are largely unrecognizable to the audience that once like them.

At the start, SCANDAL was about fixer Oliva Pope (Kerry Washington) and her team of gladiators/white hats (Huck, Abby, Quinn, Harrison and Stephen) who solved problems when Olivia wasn't being romanced by President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant much to the dismay of First Lady Mellie Grant.

Oh, how things change.

The original gladiators are now reduced to Huck and Quinn.

And the president?

He's now divorced.

He left Mellie for Olivia.

He finally left Mellie for Olivia.

After she told the world that they were having an affair.

And then?

She didn't want him.

Or, as viewers learned in the November 18, 2015 winter finale, his baby.

For some time now, fans have been asking, "What does Olivia want?"
The chorus just keeps growing louder.

And finding Olivia back in bed with Jake last Thursday probably didn't help.

Nor did Jake killing the boyfriend of Olivia's latest client or being back in business with her father or they're asking/expecting Olivia to keep their secret.

As this nonsense continues and Olivia looks like the most indecisive fool in the world, it becomes very clear that Shonda Rhimes does not know what she's doing from one episode to the next.

She's also not too concerned with pleasing the viewers.

Olivia could have had an abortion in a way that moved the fans.

There might have been a problem with her health or the health of the fetus.

Instead, Shonda wanted to be 'political' and do a story about how a woman could just decide to have an abortion.

And, yes, a woman can.

But when that woman's the object of a million fantasies as part of a super couple (Olivia & Fitz), lots of lucks getting viewers to go along with the decision.

The contempt for the viewers?

They sense it.

That's why they've increasingly stopped watching.

Last week, Chris Rock had a lame commercial where he said the Academy Awards were the only thing Shonda Rhimes didn't control . . . yet.

Shonda's moment has come and gone.

She's is yesterday's flavor, as wanted as the avocado green kitchen appliances from the seventies.

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