When I was first introduced to the show scandal, I must admit it was the highlight of my life. Considering I no longer had cable and everything on TV just seemed to be the same anyway, Scandal was an escape from studying as well as a refreshing and exciting concept which seemed to have captured everyone’s interest. You see, not only is Scandal a show that is on Primetime TV but it also casts a black woman who is beautiful, successful and sophisticated. Yes, she is a hot mess and always seems emotionless, or more like an emotional wreck, but Olivia somewhat represents the successful and ambitious side of black women which seems to be down played and excluded from American culture and media. However, I started to notice some things about this ‘Olivia’ which seemed to bother me the more I watched the show.
As easy as it is to say I was bothered because of her unquestionable immoral acts, I have to confess, I was more bothered by how it reflected my view and my mind set, than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, the show is brilliant and has given me essential breaks between studying and doing school assignments, however, many things in Scandal has brought up questions about how women are represented, how we see ourselves and the low standards which society expects from us. I first came across the idea that as beautiful and educated as Olivia is, Olivia is a mistress. I remember when I first started watching the show; Olivia and the President would always find themselves in a heat of emotions making out behind some campaigning bristle boards or in some random elevator somewhere.
This captured my interest even more because of the secrecy of their relationship and how much sexier it was when nobody else knew or understood, except them. Plus, their adultery was much easier to justify when the President’s wife seemed to be conniving and always out for self-gain. Unfortunately this idea of liberalism has impacted our minds and has allowed us to think that these things should not only be tolerable, but should also be glorified. Therefore, the life of a mistress and a cheating married man has been made to seem fairly normal and enticing rather than bothersome and degrading. You see, despite all the issues Olivia has with her stalker father and terrorist mother, everything seems to be survivable and better once she lays eyes on the president or softly brushes her index finger against his. In other words, the affection and longing to be loved comes from Olivia, while for the President, it is a comfort to his ego and a convenience in his schedule.
Usually it is the woman looking for love, affection and acceptance which makes her inclined to seek it from a man and give it to a man. This makes him Superman, being able to provide for the needs of a lonely, desperate woman. As for him, he is the hero who is the family man and loving father, while gaining emotional escape and sexual benefits at any cost, even the cost of his dignity, from his independent-dependent side chick. And so, I began to realize that the relationship between Olivia and the President was no longer sexy and mysterious, but rather it was a toxic case of addiction and deep unfounded obsession.