So I just had the chance to watch the first episode of this new series on ABC. I will say that the name of the show was somewhat disturbing to me but after watching an episode, I better understood the rationale behind it. I’m not a super big TV watcher but this one intrigued me. Without giving away any super huge spoilers I wil say that this show addresses many of the challenges that comes along with being black in a very professional, corporate, and majority European American environment. Many times in these situations, you end up being a scapegoat for the entire race. I’ve been in situations where I was asked for the black perspective. Honestly, to this day I have no idea what exactly that is. This show is a depiction of the challenges of being black but not fitting into the neat little box of stereotypes that people envision you to be. The challenges of going against the status quo while not leaving your people behind. Playing the line between being relatable and competent while not losing your credibility with those who look like you is really hard. That’s one of the reasons why I really like the honesty in this show so far. There’s not an exact science to it and you can’t please everyone.
First of all, I’m not a huge TV watcher. I don’t have cable or satellite but I must admit that this particular television show has caught my attention. Scandal is a television show that is based on the life of Olivia Pope who fixes scandals that arise with many of the leading people in Washington. Ironically, Olivia has a scandal of her own and a closet full of skeletons. Olivia is also in an on-again, off-again relationship with the (married) President. This show has numerous twists and turns that you would never expect and there seems to be a new development in every episode. One of the reasons why I think that Scandal is so popular is because people can identify with one of more of the characters in some way. I think that the show depicts true human nature and life in general. On the show, individuals do things that you might not expect. While the characters on the show present themselves in a certain light, as the show continues, you discover that these people have done things in their past that have been either illegal, ethically wrong, or put other people in danger. Some of the questions that Scandal forces us to ask ourselves are: Where is the limit to human greed and selfishness? If you love the “right” person and marry them, is it then acceptable to fall out of love with them and pursue another relationship because the “right” person has now become the “wrong” person for who you have become? Is cheating really cheating when it is done fairly openly and the other partner knows about it and may even encourage it? The truth is that Scandal makes us take a look at ourselves. What lengths would we go to in order to protect the people that we love from harm? How would we say no to someone who is like a drug to use and makes promise after promise but is still married to someone else? As a therapist, one thing that fascinates me about the show is the effect that Olivia’s childhood has had on her significant relationships. There’s so much to say about her experience growing up and her lack of a secure attachment as she was going through her teenage years. But I digress. I say all that to say the answers to the above questions will vary based on your beliefs, background, culture, and a myriad of other factors. The question remains; If you were in a similar position as the characters in the show, would your decisions be different?