How Scandal on ABC Got Off the Ground
This trio is keeping politicians’ secrets—and breaking ground at the same time.
Female writers and producers are no longer a rarity in television—think Chelsea Handler, Whitney Cummings, and The Good Wife co-creator Michelle King—but it’s hard to not notice that most of these shows are written by and for and feature white women. All that changes with Scandal on the spring lineup. When the hourlong drama—the brainchild of Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and starring Kerry Washington—debuts in April, it will be the first time in 30 years that a single African-American woman leads a primetime show on network TV. (The last time was Teresa Graves’s turn as an undercover detective in the 1974 made-for-TV flick Get Christie Love!)
Scandal is inspired by the real-life story of Judy Smith, the noted African-American political-crisis-management expert and former White House aide. Smith’s work over the years has included cooling the fires of such high-profile controversies as Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick’s dog-fighting charges, and the disappearance of D.C. intern Chandra Levy.
Though the show is only “inspired by” Smith’s career and has a few embellished details, it promises to keep audiences engaged with sizzling storylines straight from recent news events. One steamy subplot suggests that Olivia Pope—the main character, played by Washington—had an ill-fated romantic liaison with the commander in chief. (“I can assure you that didn’t happen,” says Smith, laughing.)
I’M SO PROUD OF MY WIFE! I LOVE YOU KERRY!
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Music is life.
The other day I was at work and one of my co-worker’s from the previous shift walked in and asked me to just hit one note before he left because it would make his workday complete. That’s when I realized that I sing a lot…I mean a lot. I can take a sentence and turn it into some theme music in a minute. I love to sing, life is music. It makes me happy. I get it from my parents. My dad whistles all day and when he’s not whistling he must be thinking about it because you can catch his lips puckered in preparation at any given moment. My mom sings like a bird and constantly lets us know that even if she just happens to fall ill and is laid up unresponsive in a hospital bed somewhere that we should just plug in some music and she’ll be back. Wow, that’s deep. Music.
I remember my first record player. It was red and little girl sized. It was big enough to play the 45’s I stole from my dad’s stash…I played them for hours and hours in my room. Heaven. I could give a live concert at the drop of a dime, mustard colored platform boots included. It was the 70’s and life was good.
As I got older I would jam my boom box and make tapes from the music on the radio. What an invention! When rap came out I was mesmerized by how fast my lips could move. Rapper’s delight made me feel like I could out-rap anyone, anywhere. Ha! Then MC Lyte quickly put me in my place, how I loved that woman, so talented. I fell in love with DJ Jazzy Jeff (the DJ) and the Fresh Prince (the rapper) and omg, when the Bodyguard came out and Whitney killed the soundtrack I must have died and gone to heaven. I would belt out each song as if I originally wrote, produced and performed it. I fell in love with singing then. “Iffffffff, IIIIIII, could staaaay. I would oooonlyy be innnn your waaaaaayy. Yes! Sing it, Whit!
Since then I have gone through countless songs to go with countless experiences, good and bad. Carl Thomas’ album Emotional got me through a breakup with my first love. Snoop’s Doggystyle and Dr. Dre’s The Chronic provided the soundtrack for many nights out with my bestie. I will never, ever forget us belting out songs by Escape and TLC. I was her faithful backup on Right Kind of Lover by Patti LaBelle because she sang it the best. Good times.
When my husband and I started dating, it was all about Boyz to Men, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Musiq Soulchild. I got the chance to meet Musiq and I told him that he represented our entire relationship, it was surreal; from courting to marriage he was there.
Last night I sat at my parent’s dining room table after eating a lovely Christmas dinner, soca Christmas music playing in the background, and I launched into everything that Christmas represents to me. Not only the food, the homemade bread and ham but also the music that we would blast on Christmas Eve while we decorated and cleaned. A little Johnny Mathis, a little soca (parents are from Trinidad), a little Jackson 5 Live, a little Michael Jackson Off the Wall…made Christmas complete. I could finish all of the 863 chores dad had for me because of music and I was happy while doing it.
Thank you, music, for putting into words what my emotions sometimes won’t let me. It has been a beautiful love affair and I look forward to the infinite memories we have to come. Smooch!
Oh that made my day, went to unsubscribe to emails from a co. and they linked that 80’s video “every time you go away.” ha! Almost made me resubscribe. Laughter will get you everywhere.
Crackle nail polish is ugly. Yup, I said it.
Wow…I have seriously neglected my tumblr.