by BREANA BACON
By this time, it should be obvious to the world that Thursdays belong to Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of three ABC shows that have captured our hearts and our televisions.
ABC’s drama-driven Thursdays start with 25-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee, Grey’s Anatomy. The series is followed by Kerry Washington’s Scandal and ends with a new thrilling series, How to Get Away with Murder, starring Tony Award-winning actress Viola Davis.
But out of those three shows, there’s one that has our Twitter timelines rolling with live tweets every single Thursday night: SCANDAL.*cues opening credit camera shutters*
Olivia Pope and her Gladiators, also known as the members of Pope and Associates, have made us laugh, cry, scream, stress, and drink to no end over the past 3 seasons. So far, season 4 has proven to be no different. What non-Gladiators may want to know, though, is WHY viewers prefer to be curled up on a couch with a glass of red wine and our eyes glued to the weekly escapades of Liv, Huck, Fitz, and friends……and possibly, why they may or may not go into a complete rage if they are interrupted. Lucky for them, I MAY HAVE THE ANSWERS, SWAY.
1. Mama Shonda means business
According to her casts from all three shows, Shonda Rhimes is similar to a mother figure and they all adore her. But like all mothers, she has a very low tolerance for foolishness. She has no issue firing actors for bad behavior on and off the set and has what she likes to call a “no a**hole policy.”
We were all in tears when Pope and Associates’ man-candy Harrison Wright was killed off by the shady Eli Pope, but we can’t say Harrison’s real life persona, actor Columbus Short, wasn’t given fair warning. After several headlines detailing domestic violence and death threats to his wife Tanee, Short was given an ultimatum from Mama Shonda: get it together or get a new job. Obviously, he chose the latter.
This isn’t the first time she’s booted a noted actor from one of her three hit shows and something tells me it might not be the last. Shonda is clear that she doesn’t care how many awards and nominations you have or how many movies and shows you’ve been in. She clearly wants publicity and attention to be on the show and its content, not her actors and their real-life drama, so if you can’t keep it cute, she’ll tell you to keep it moving and then continue to slay our Thursday nights.
2. It’s ALL. OVER. TWITTER.
It’s no surprise that social media has given Scandal the turbo boost to fame. Even the most anti-Gladiator critics on Twitter have to be tempted sometimes to watch the show because of all of the live tweets from the millions of Scandal fans. Even Oprah said she got into the show because of the attention it was receiving on Twitter. Scandal‘s Twitter followers are so serious about live-tweeting that even the cast tweets along with them.
The entity known as “Black Twitter” has played a huge role in the Twitter buzz as well. Gladiators waste no time adding memes and gifs to their tweets about the show. Scandal’s success can actually be measured in tweets: as of last season, the show generated an average of 2,200 tweets per minute.
3. The Fabulous Wardrobe of Ms. Olivia Pope
Olivia Pope is known for three things: her love for wine, her ability to handle the near to impossible and her impeccable fashion sense. Her hair is infinitely laid, she dresses to the nines at White House events, and she puts the power in the phrase “power suit.” Her coats have become a staple in her wardrobe, especially this white, gold buttoned Tory Burch coat.
Kerry Washington is most certainly one of Hollywood’s best dressed and even uses some of her own pieces to accent Olivia’s wardrobe. Liv’s clothes could possibly put a top CEO’s suits to shame. We ALL want Olivia’s clothes, from college students to the stay-at-home moms who watch. Liv is a style icon and we all love waiting to see what outfit she’ll wear next.
4. All the Drama We Can Handle- Or Not.
Fitz and Liv, Cyrus and James, David and Abby, Mellie and….well, Mellie. So much drama in one show takes us away from our own daily drama, which is part of the reason why we love watching it. We love yelling at our TVs when Liv tries to deny Fitz, we loved cursing Cyrus for pimping out James (God rest his fictional soul), and we LOVE our love/hate relationship with the one and only Mellie Grant.
All the relationships on the show are so strong, whether sexual or murderous and drama junkies love that aspect of Scandal. The debate about whether Olivia should be seen as a home wrecker and the prevalent issue of a black woman involved with not only a married white man, but a married white man in the Oval Office.
These two themes have sparked major debate on whether mistresses should be applauded, even if that mistress is the lead in a hit television show. But the criticism and debate have just led to even more publicity for the show and have caused us fans to hang on the edge of our seats waiting for the next escapades of Olitz. The diversity on the show also adds to the drama. Scandal features an interracial couple, a gay couple, and a slew of different races and cultural backgrounds in its cast. The different cultures give us different relationships and different drama, and guess what? WE LOVE IT.
5. Kerry, Kerry, Kerry
Kerry Washington has long been the Hollywood apple of our eyes. Starring in roles from Alicia in Fantastic Four to Jamie Foxx’s beloved Hildy in Django: Unchained, Kerry has proven to us that she is completely versatile and will excel in every role she plays. Kerry IS Olivia Pope. Liv IS her.
People Magazine’s second most beautiful person of 2013 has quite simply SERVED as Olivia and continues to in the fourth season. She is the true epitome of a leading lady as she handles her business on and off the show and balances life as the mother of a 6-month old baby girl and an acclaimed actress. Let’s be honest, although Shonda Rhimes is the brains behind the Scandal phenomenon, this is truly Kerry’s show and she’s the one that keeps us coming back.
So there it is. Long live Scandal and long live the Gladiators.