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Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair shows Olivia attempting to get back to her regular job in the aftermath of her kidnapping while being challenged by an activist who calls her out for being on the wrong side of an injustice. She is still feeling vulnerable but rather than taking time to heal, she dives headlong into this latest traumatic scene that stems from a police shooting of unarmed Black teenager.

Courtney B. Vance delivers a masterful performance as Clarence Parker, the bereaved father who is determined to get justice for his son who was left laying in the street for the entire episode reminiscent of the incident in Ferguson last year.

Fitz needs to come up with a new VP now that Andrew is incapacitated without picking someone who will pose a threat to Mellie’s future political plans. Cyrus encourages him to make a bold choice, but he wants to pick someone who is going to be a team player and won’t compete with Mellie’s plan to run for office. Fitz says that it’s her turn and Cyrus asks him if he has any idea how difficult it will be for Mellie to make the leap to the oval office. Why let a little thing like experience stand in the way of a bored First Lady’s dreams?

The DC Police  department hired Olivia in the wake of the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Brandon Parker by a White officer. Crowds of angry residents have formed, and the police chief does not want a riot on his hands.

The victim’s body is still lying in the street when his father shows up with a gun demanding to see the officer who killed his son.

Olivia tries to negotiate with Mr. Parker to keep the police from shooting him, but he will not leave his son’s side. A local activist brings the man a lawn chair to sit on and encourages him to remain there since that is the only power he has in the situation.

Olivia accuses the activist, Marcus, of inflaming the situation to try to make a name for himself. She told him that it would be his fault if the boy’s father is killed. “You don’t want justice. You want anger. You want outrage. You want retribution,” Olivia admonishes.

Marcus is not impressed by Olivia’s arguments and calls her out for living in DC but having never visited that neighborhood unless it was to pick up soul food. He lets her know that he knows exactly who she is and brings up the fact that she worked to get the President elected twice.

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair Black CardScandal Episdoe 414: The Lawn Chair

She tells him he doesn’t know her and that they both want the same thing, but he is not convinced. “You want to put it to bed quietly and go to the Hill and say that you came down to the hood and you saved us. No thanks Olivia. Your black card is not being validated today.” Sir, I am sure that Olivia does have an actual Black card – the kind that gets issued to high net worth individuals.

This Marcus character totally reminds me of Rev. Bullock from Preachers of Detroit (don’t judge me). But I digress….

The officer claimed that Brandon matched the profile of a shoplifter. He said that he stopped the young man who became belligerent and pulled a knife before charging him which is why he shot him. Yeah, because Black boys pull knives on police officers all the time.

Once Olivia realizes that the Police chief is trying to keep the protests out of the news so that he can unleash brutal tactics on the crowd, she joins the protesters behind the barricades.

Huck comes down to the crime scene and tells Olivia that the police have the surveillance footage from the night of the shooting but they have not released it.

Olivia goes to David and tells him that she needs his help. She explains to him that justice is not available to everyone and he tries to squash her comments, but she says that she felt helpless and afraid each day that she was in captivity and asks him to imagine feeling like that every day.

She also told him that Brandon’s father believes that his only way out of the situation is in going to lead to prison or the morgue. And he cannot argue with that.

Scandalepisode414fairnessScandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

David issues a subpoena for the surveillance tape which shows the victim reaching into his pocket for something, but it does not show the item. The father allows them to check the body for a weapon and they find a knife. Mr Parker kept repeating that his son does not carry a knife and raises his gun as if he is about to shoot.

Olivia and Marcus manage to walk away from him without being shot, but her hands are shaking, and she is clearly not okay. Ms. Pope is going to have to be checked into the psych ward before it’s all over.

Huck and Quinn discover that the officer planted the knife on the body because he arrested a suspect the previous night but the arrest was never formalized and the man’s knife was never booked into evidence. Brandon was reaching for his receipt when he was shot.

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

Olivia goes to the confront the officer who launches into this psychotic rant about “these” people and how they disrespect him. “Brandon Parker is dead because he didn’t have respect. Because those people out there who are chanting and crying over his body didn’t teach him the right values.”

Whenever someone starts throwing around “you people” it is always nasty business, and I would bet that he was speaking for many of his real life counterparts. Not all, but enough to create this constant mistrust and hostility.

The officer is arrested and the police department is placed under a federal probe,

Olivia takes Mr. Parker to the White House to meet the President, and he breaks down in tears talking about his son.

Scandal Episode 414: The Lawn Chair

This episode was so powerful and emotional because it is loosely based on real events.

Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson and left lying in the streets for hours last August. Massive crowds showed up to protest for weeks after the shooting, and the police treated them like enemy combatants.

The similarities end there because there has been no arrest to date.

Although the Justice Department recently released a report on the Ferguson police department that found a pattern of systemic racism, discrimination and hostility toward Black residents, federal charges will not be filed.

This was an important episode because Ferguson is a deeply divisive issue and unfortunately, it is but one of many stories about Black men being killed at the hands of law enforcement.

As much as I disliked the recent episodes about Olivia being kidnapped and trafficked, I have to give kudos to the writers for getting it right this time.

Olivia is very much a person of privilege living in her own little bubble even as her own father tried to warn her that she would never be one of “them.” So she needed that reality check that Marcus gave her.

Well done Shonda and crew.

Now can we please get our girl some counseling before she completely loses her mind?

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Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper

Olivia has completely torn her drawers with Daddy Pope in Episode 408: The Last Supper, and he washed his hands of her after she tried to manipulate him in order to take him down. Formerly Smelly Mellie gets her groove back again with Vice President Andy who is having a secret affair with Mrs. Ellen, and Cyrus’ paid boo thang may not be totally in it for the money after all. Also, Huck is spending more time with his son which is not necessarily a good thing. This episode made me a lot more sympathetic to Daddy Pope because he is Olivia’s father and she seems to have no loyalty to him whatsoever. Yes he’s lied and killed, but he always had her best interests at heart – can she say that about either of her boyfriends?

Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper

Scandal Episode 408 opens with the love triangle in a bunker, and Jake is letting the President know that they are no longer friends which should have been obvious after he was beaten while cuffed and left to rot in prison. Olivia is caught between their bickering and Jake attempts to stake his claim calling her his girlfriend and talking about their plans to walk off into the sun while Fitz just sits there looking like the third wheel. He later corners Olivia in the hall and begs for a kiss for old times sake. It did not take much to convince Olivia, and that ole petty Fitz did it mainly to make his competition jealous. She needs to get a crucifix and back up when he starts closing in on her because ole girl has no backbone at all where this man is concerned. She was probably still thinking about that raunchy call from the last episode.

Scandal Episode 408: The Last SupperScandal Episode 408: The Last Supper

Cyrus gets busted hacking The Republican National Chairwoman’s phone and tells Olivia that he knew that Michael was a hoe, but he was a distraction from his real life. He even had nerve to say that Baby Ella cries when she sees him because she thinks he’s a stranger – yeah because he was spending all his free time, and her college fund, on a gigolo. Miss baby said don’t try to get all parental now that your feelings are hurt. #TheseDadsAintLoyal.

Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper Cyrus

Speaking of Cyrus’ boo for hire, he may have some actual feelings for the old man because he only leaked minor info to the woman who hired him when he had access to plenty of damning information if he really wanted to be dirty.

Realizing that he is in big trouble, Cyrus begs Olivia for help and despite her having recently accepted Elizabeth as a client, she agrees to help him. Olivia has Huck check on the evidence their new client has on Cyrus and he discovers many videos of him and Michael getting busy, and I really could have lived without seeing any of it. And it might be my imagination, but Cyrus’ wig looked much better in this episode. It was less greying cockatoo and more Hair Club for Men. He was so upset over Michael that I really did think he was going to be on the next episode of Snapped. Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper

Vice President Andrew surfaced for the first time in weeks and nearly dies after a car bomb goes off in his vehicle. Mellie runs to him in his office and they rekindle their affair. He later calls her out for ignoring him up until she was ready to resume swerving, but she explained that he chose the vice presidency over her and says that after little Gerry died it was just easier to pretend that he did not exist. She begs him for another chance.

Little does Mellie know that ole randy Andy has another woman — Elizabeth, the one who has been asking for Mellie’s help bringing Fitz back in line with the Republican party’s message. Poor Mellie – even her sidepiece is cheating on her. This may well drive her back to fried chicken and hooch. Mrs. Ellen AKA a Lobbyist Called Slickback is making a lot of dangerous enemies to be a newbie because Cyrus and Mells are likely to join forces and slap that pomade out of her hair.

Daddy Pope calls Olivia after the explosion to make sure that she is alright. She seemed surprised that he called, but he told her that they may fight, but they will always be family and unlike those “boys” he will always be there for her. “I am still your father, and I will be here for you long after these boys have revealed themselves to be who they really are. To pick up the pieces, to put you back together and to remind you of who you really are.” After all that she has nerve to tell him that she has to go and hangs up. He warned her just last week about being disrespectful, but she still is still acting like she was raised on time outs and temper tantrums.

Huck’s son has been spending time at OPA, and when Olivia walks in on them he sends him home to his mother. Olivia asks if Huck’s ex-wife knew about their visits, and he basically tells her to mind her business and asked if she had any work-related questions for him. He should have listened to Olivia because he lets Javi tag along during a stakeout where the boy witnesses a murder, and he runs off in shock. Gee, who could have known that having a child at a stake out was a bad thing.

Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper

While the boys are squabbling over the best way to bring Daddy Pope in, Olivia calls him and tearfully tells him that he was right about the men in her life and their true motives. He seems to buy the act and agrees to meet her for dinner where Olivia and her crew are planning to arrest him but they have underestimated this man yet again.  Not only does he kill the snipers and get rid of the evidence, Rowan informs Olivia that she is now on her own.

Before dismissing Olivia, Daddy Pope gives her yet another epic read about the path she has chosen warning her that she may have been blinded by her desires, but she will never be one of them – the people she has chosen over him.

Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper Scandal Episode 408: The Last Supper

You would have thought she’d learned her lesson during that episode where her mother called her the help and Fitz yelled that he was talking to his wife, but she is still clinging to the idea of wearing the white hat. And while I knew those clowns were no match for Rowan, I never expected him to cut off his own daughter.

  • Daddy Pope may be the Devil’s prized pupil, but I do not like how Olivia is determined to bring him down herself. Let someone else do it. Not that they have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting to this man. She is going to fool around and he’s going to let Mama Pope out of the hole again, and no one wants that.
  • How is Olivia going to be more loyal to that old weasel Cyrus than to her own dad? After all his dirty dealing, she is still willing to do favors for him yet she is willing to hang her own father out to dry.
  • What is Mrs. Ellen up to with Andrew and that dirty cop who was tailing Olivia? I am not buying that this is a simple affair because Andrew is still salty about lots of things including having to give up Mellie to remain on the Grant Presidential ticket.
  • Is there a future for Michael and Cyrus? I cannot believe that they are going with that old cliche about the hooker with a heart of gold. And I really did think that Cyrus was going to kill him when he showed up at his house unexpectedly and he told him to bend over.

Scandal Episode 403 Inside the Bubble

 

Scandal Inside the Bubble

Scandal Recap

Scandal’s third episode shows things improving nicely for the Grant White House. The court upholds the President’s gun control bill, Mellie snaps out of her grief and Cyrus gets his groove back even if he does have to pay for it. Alas, you know in Shondaland nothing is ever what it seems.

Inside the Bubble is where new Attorney General David Rosen finds himself after his passionate defense of the President’s Gun bill lands him in the President’s good graces. It’s a short-lived glory because despite his convincing arguments one of the judges, Sparks, indicates that he is going to overturn the law causing Fitz to have a meltdown about how he has given up everything for his job and it has to mean something. Desperate for a much-needed win, David blackmails Judge Sparks securing the victory along with his place in the President’s inner circle. David is all like Call me D.J. Khaled cuz All I do is Win ….for now.

Olivia drops by her dad’s house to say hi and he invites her to bring Jake over for dinner. Jake is not interested in dinner because she is not his girlfriend, as he keeps reminding her, but he tells her to let him know if she is up for any other activities. Boom chicka waa waa. This new Jake is a cheeky monkey, but I like it
Jake raunchy again

Mourning Mellie Comes up for Air

Mellie is strangely invigorated by a story about a newlywed bride who is accused of pushing her husband off a cliff. Everyone is assuming that the woman is guilty, but Mellie is determined to prove her innocence and throws herself into the case. She is looking and acting like her old self for the first time since her son’s death, and Fitz orders Abby to give her whatever she wants when she starts acting like the defense counsel. Mellie’s rebirth is short-lived because some tourists come forward to vindicate the wife, and that was the end of that. She is soon back on the couch in her pajamas and Fitz has to apologize to Abby for being a jerk when she tried to warn him that his wife was being weird.

Jake hems Charlie up to confirm that Daddy Pope killed Adnan and Harrison and is prepared to torture him, but Charlie offers to tell him everything he wants to know in exchange for one night with Quinn. Ick. Now I do not know what he expected to happen, but she winds up putting him in a chokehold after telling him that she is not interested. She stays there all night and is disgusted when she gets back to the office the next day and no one even realizes that she was gone. She reads them off and tells that’s how Harrison wound up dead – because they were distracted. Actually he wound up “dead” because Columbus Short lost his mind and Mother Shonda had to regulate.

Mrs. Robinson and the Cloud

Olivia gets a call from an old law school friend whose stepdaughter has gone missing. Her friend Katherine is married to a high-powered lawyer who is currently out of the country, and she is trying to locate the daughter without involving the police. The girl has gone missing before so good ole stepmom doesn’t seem too worried, but it turns out that the girl didn’t just run away because they had a fight about college like Katherine originally said. Huck finds a sex tape that the stepmother made with the girl’s 17-year old former boyfriend and a voicemail from the girl that confirms the real reason for their fight. Huck had a laptop and may have gotten the video from its cloud storage.

Huck does not find out about what really happened until after  Quinn had already located the girl at a hotel and Olivia told Katherine where to find her. Olivia offered to have Quinn bring the girl back home, but the stepmother insisted on going to get her on her own. And by the time Olivia realizes what really happened, the girl is dead and she immediately suspects that her friend killed the kid to keep her quiet. Katherine denies any role in the girl’s death, and Huck finds elevator footage showing the girl in an altercation with a man who is trying to take a folder from her. They cannot determine his identity, but they suspect that he may be the killer.

Papa Don’t Take No mess

 

Jake decides to accompany Olivia to her dad’s house for dinner, and when she excuses herself to take a call, he tells Rowan that he knows about him killing Harrison after he learned the truth about how little Gerry was killed and warns him that he better pack up and leave town before Olivia finds out. Daddy Pope jumps up with a knife and tells Jake that not only is not going anywhere, he will be standing over him when he dies. So much for polite dinner conversation.Daddy Pope about to set it off

After a couple more flirty encounters, Cyrus seals the deal with his new friend who charges him $2,500. Cyrus pretended to put up a fight talking about how he doesn’t pay for sex, but the gigolo informs him that the money is for discretion and suddenly that makes it alright. For $2,500 ole dude should have painted the house, cleaned the gutters and raked the leaves. I hope Baby Ella has a college fund while he is out here procuring services at that rate.

At the end of the episode, we see Katherine being arrested for her stepdaughter’s murder, and David learns that Judge Sparks committed suicide. David dug up an old hit and run case where the judge killed a mother and child but was never charged. I really enjoy how they are finally letting David experience some wins even if he is playing dirty. He is finally using those B613 files that Jake gave him, but is he going to become just another heartless manipulator? It has not worked out that well for the others – just ask Cyrus.

  • Will David keep blackmailing folks now that he’s driven one person to suicide? Or is his newfound power too irresistible?
  • Is Olivia friend’s really guilty?  Or was she set up by someone else who knew about her predicament? And how dumb is she to have uploaded a sex tape to the cloud. These freaks are going to learn their lesson about that one of these days.
  • Just when is Daddy Pope going to off Jake? Because you know those two cannot peacefully co-exist and when he sat up in that man’s house and told him to shut up, I was very afraid for him. Jake, you in danger girl. I was sitting here like this while he was spouting off missjayshocked
  • Why was Olivia not wearing a scarf when Huck rolled up on her in the middle of the night? I know good and well her hair would not be laying that flat if she was just sleeping on it all loose like that on a regular basis.

    Olivia Pope Scandal

    This is not the hair of someone sleeping w/o a scarf

  • Is Cyrus going to figure out that he’s getting tricked?  His nose is wide open right now and he is about to wind up in the National Inquirer. The old Cyrus would have peeped this guy’s game from the first time they met and sent him packing with the shadiest of takedowns this side of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
  • I am very happy to see Olivia not running back to Fitz and getting back to fixing stuff for other folks. And I want her to have a real relationship with her dad which means that Jake has to go. It was fun while it lasted, but this girl needs parental guidance and her mother is not available at the moment. She’s also an unrepentant terrorist, but no one is perfect.

 

 

Scandal Episode 401: Randy, Red, Julia and Superfreak

Olivia Pope is back

Olivia chilling on the Beach

Scandal is back!

Season 4 of Scandal opened up with Jake and Olivia relaxing on a beach with him being very attentive. Apparently he had been  listening to some 90’s R&B because he was all like “All I Got Is 15 Minutes,” and suddenly Marc Nelson is relevant again. Ole Jake is still sprung and is really feeling himself in this episode.

We knew this idyllic scene could not last. They ordered a shipment of wine that was delivered by boat, and the captain handed her an envelope containing an article about the death of Harrison Wright. So, it’s really a wrap for Columbus short and they didn’t even take long to settle it. Olivia, now known as Julia Baker, is surprised to get the mail since no one knows her location and the sender did not include a return address.

Olivia returns to DC to bury her friend and finds the OPA office empty and full of old mail and periodicals about the second Grant Administration. Quinn is waiting for her and gloats about how she tracked Olivia to the Island based on her fondness for rare wine. She updates Olivia on what happened with her two other former employees neither of whom is glad to see their old boss.

Huck is now a computer repair guy named Randy and wants no parts of Olivia unless she is back for good. White House Press Secretary Abby is still angry with Olivia for leaving and blames her for Harrison’s death which causes Olivia to tell her to back all the way up and check herself before she wrecks herself.
Pump Your brakes Abbie

Back at the White House, Mellie is a disheveled mess walking around unwashed in a robe with Uggs while eating cereal from the box. At first I thought she was just drunk, but she is still mourning the death of her son and everyone is being very patient with her because of it. She doesn’t even bother to get dressed before going to visit Little Gerry’s grave where she lays down on the grass. Poor Mellie.

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Mourning Mellie is fresh out of damns

 

Portia Di Rossi made an appearance wearing Hillary Clinton’s old hair and a fierce power suit. Werk Mrs. Ellen! She’s playing the new RNC chairman who is in town to get Fitz to play nice with the party because he has been alienating everyone by working with the Democrats. He is also thinking about nominating David Rosen for Attorney General which is a non-starter for the Republicans.

PORTIA DE ROSSI

Portia De Rossi channeling Hillary Clinton

 

Daddy Pope is Back

Olivia meets Daddy Pope for dinner at their regular restaurant. He knew she was in town and ordered her a glass of wine in anticipation of her joining him and gets on her case for coming back. He even had the nerve to say that he was sorry for her loss when she told him that her friend had died. Deadly dad denied having anything to do with it, which we all know is a lie and claimed to have killed Mama Pope at the President’s request. The last time we saw the Notorious MOM she was chilling in the hole, so I am not falling for the okey doke. Nice try Pops.

Daddy Pope Scandal

He’s not really sorry

 

Jake comes back from a burger run to find Olivia moping on the couch about planning Harrison’s funeral.They are interrupted by a young Senate staffer whose female boss may have killed a colleague after a sexual assault at the male senator’s house. The victim says that she met up with her colleague late that night to discuss an Equal Pay bill, but he grabbed her and when she tried to get him off of her, she shoved him,  he fell down and is likely dead.

 

Jake Stakes his Claim

Jake and Olivia are in the sack and she is talking about her new case to the point where he has to tell her to hush up and enjoy the moment. Olivia is not trying to be silenced and starts ranting about how unfair the situation is to the victim because the rapist is getting all the sympathy. She then calls the lawyer representing the Senator and tells him to hold off on making a statement.

Jake knows where this is headed and says that as long as they are in DC she will be tempted by Fitz despite all the knocking of boots that’s been done by the two them – only he was way more graphic about it:  “I’m the one you like to ride. That i’m the one that makes you moan that I’m the one that reaches you in places that he can’t begin to touch.” Sir, it’s only 9:00 pm and this aint HBO. I never really much liked him before, but he is winning me over with this newfound machismo. After he said all that, he got up and strutted off like a peacock.

.Jake getting raunchy jakeII

Olivia figured out that the Senator is lying about being attacked and learns that the real victim was her young staffer.  The female senator knew that the guy was a perv and she used her employee as bait to try to have some leverage over him! The staffer overheard the boss admitting what she’d done and accused the legislator of dangling her in front of the old man like a piece of meat.

Harrison’s funeral is a small gathering only attended by OPA staff and Jake because he had no family and was raised in a group home. Toward the end, we see Daddy Pope watching from his car as Jake consoles a weeping Olivia while Aretha Franklin sangs – not sings -“Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I don’t know what Mr. Pope is up to, but something tells me that he was not there out of purely paternal concern for his daughter.

Harrison's burial

Harrison’s burial with no ushers on duty

Mourning Mellie Lays Down the Law

Mellie is outside looking over the rail of the balcony when Fitz tells her to come in because it’s getting cold. She says that she is not going to jump because she’s not him, and we find out that Fitz attempted suicide after his son’s death. He says he had a bad night and warned her not to mention it again. He also tells her that Olivia is back in town. Mellie says that he must tell her when he sees Olivia to give her time to prepare for sloppy seconds once he comes back home all hot and bothered. Oh and she also mentioned that she stopped waxing, “and it’s 1976 down there.” Yikes. I did not need to know that.

The show concludes with Fitz passing Olivia in the hallway after she finished a press conference with the young senate staffer who had been attacked. She’s decided to represent the girl which means that she is staying in town and is back to wearing the figurative white hat. As she and Fitz pass, neither speaks or acknowledges the other outside of a very subtle hand gesture. Olivia does offer up a faint smirk because she knows as well as the rest of us that those two are never finished and are likely to be locked in a broom closet by the next episode.

Olivia Passing Fitz

Olivia Passing Fitz

 

The season premiere was good and lays the groundwork for a great fourth season, and I have just a few final thoughts.

  • How are they going to have a funeral for Harrison but not James? As much work as some of us put into planning James’ imaginary funeral, surely someone could have given us a heads up or at least used some of our ideas.
  • Where were the ushers during that graveside service? Olivia and them were about to hop down there on top of the casket and there was no one around to hold them back. That was just irresponsible.
  • We never saw the body, so there is a chance that Harrison is not really dead. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. And I’m not the only one speculating.

  • What is the deal with Cyrus’ hair? I know that he is still in bereavement, but that hair is downright disrespectful. He’s never going to find another man looking like a greying cockatoo, and Ella will eventually need a new mommy.
  • I loved the Julia Baker pseudonym  which has to be a reference to the legendary Julia Sugarbaker who is probably one of Mellie’s matriarchs. I wrote about this last week.
  • Is Jake ever going to get tired of being Olivia’s fallback guy? Everyone knows that she thinks the President is her soulmate and will go back to him every time. I just hope that Jake doesn’t turn on her when he finally accepts the truth.

Scandal Season 4

Shonda Rhimes is Not an Angry Black Woman

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes looking decidedly not angry

Shonda Rhimes Angry Black Woman?!

 

The New York times is still dealing with backlash from a recent article that reduced television creator and producer Shonda Rhimes to an angry Black woman. In a horribly inaccurate article written by tv critic Alessandra Stanley, Rhimes is accused of polluting the landscape of prime time television with her army of angry and intimidating Black female characters. Unfortunately for Stanley, the show that she spent the most time discussing, “How To Get Away With Murder” was created by a White male. The article was posted online on 9/18 and has since been corrected after Rhimes took to Twitter to address the nonsensical claims.

 

A Persistent Stereotype

This article made lots of people angry because it trades on an old stereotype. Although Rhimes and the characters she creates are well-educated, powerful and complete human beings, Stanley could not help falling back on a tired old label. For the record, Mellie is the most angry woman on Scandal (a show that Rhimes actually created) yet  the writer focuses on Olivia and her supposed anger issues. Hmmm, sounds like someone has been sipping on haterade.

Shonda Rhimes is not one to suffer fools gladly, and the writer would have done well to read up on her before trying to come for her in a national publication. Folks are still reeling from her takedown of Twitter militants who were angry about her commencement address at Dartmouth earlier this year. Her speech warned the new grads that hashtag activism was no substitute for going out in the world and actually doing something.  Some Twitter activists got upset about and started reckless typing that built up to a fever pitch about the supposed slight in the days following the graduation speech. The vacationing Ms. Rhimes basically dismissed folks by saying she wasn’t even talking to them. This woman has an empire to run and is not here for the foolishness.

Even my shero of style Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing and former White House Social Secretary, weighed in on this nonsense in an interview on CBS This Morning.  Rocking a fierce haircut, Ms. Rogers noted that while Sheryl Sandberg might be encouraging women to “Lean In” Black women are being told to fall back.

 

 

#LessClassicallyBeautiful

New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan launched an inquiry into how this hot mess of an article was allowed to be published  and she spoke to the author who is standing by her offensive words including this gem about actress Viola Davis  “Ms. Rhimes chose a performer who is older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful than Ms. Washington, or for that matter Halle Berry….”

I’m just surprised that the author didn’t mention Ms. Davis’ hair while she was at it since Davis has been known to sport a natural style that is definitely outside of the mainstream of beauty standards – surely that has not escaped Stanley’s highly refined sensibilities.

Black Twitter lives for this kind of thing and #lessclassicallybeautiful has been trending for a few days now with Black women posting pictures of themselves and affirming their beauty despite other people’s misgivings about it.

I understand that tv criticism is subjective, but this article was clearly offensive and a backhanded way of trying to account for the success of a talented woman. Black women have the right to have a personality that is not docile and shouldn’t be pigeonholed because of it.  Furthermore, many of us have good reason to be angry even if that makes some people uncomfortable. The fact that this horrible article made it past the editors is disturbing because someone should have been able to predict that it was going to make people upset. The New York Times editorial staff is either oblivious or just does not care, and I’m not sure which is worse.

 

 

Claire Underwood

House of Cards

House of Cards is Thrilling

House of Cards is my new guilty pleasure and the main reason why I have been getting very little sleep for the last week. I am late to the party since I just signed up for Netflix again. I had Netflix back in the day when it was $19.99 per month and handled through the mail with DVDs. You could only have three out at a time, and you had to return one DVD before they would send out the next item on your list. They kept on offering me free trials to come back and I finally agreed to try it again. Scandal is done for the season and Mad Men has only one episode left, so the time was right for me to indulge in some marathon tv viewing. Plus darn near everyone that I know has been raving about this show.

This show has everything that I love: political intrigue, shade, indignant monologues and a fierce wardrobe. While Francis Underwood is notoriously evil, his wife Claire is every bit as ruthless and underhanded; she is just less obvious about it. If you provoke her, my girl will issue a verbal shanking that will make you sit quietly in a dark room and rethink your life. What is it with these female tv characters named Claire anyway? Huxtable or Underwood will eviscerate you with a smile while impeccably dressed, and you will deal with it. Claire Huxtable is the holder of prime time tv’s most epic side eye, but this new Claire is a lot meaner.

If You Thought Season One Was Bad….

There is one scene from the first episode in Season 2 between Claire and a pregnant woman who was trying to play hardball that ended very badly for that poor misguided soul. Mrs. Underwood looked ole girl in the eye and declared “I am willing to let your child wither and die inside of you if that is what’s required. Am I really the sort of enemy you want to make?” That woman has ice water in her veins, and she is not here to play games with lightweights as demonstrated by her fabulous wardrobe. Claire’s wardrobe is very elegant and minimalist, and she is not one for a lot of colors, frills or patterns. Costume designer Tom Broecker says that she wears clothing as armor, and these are definitely the clothes of a woman who is to be taken seriously. She has worn Armani, L’Wren Scott, Prada and Zac Posen along with more accessible labels like Banana Republic, Calvin Klein & Ralph Lauren. No matter whose clothes she is wearing, Claire always looks like money.

Another thing that I like about Claire is that she is playing a mature woman who is not trying to be younger than she is. She is embracing her age without falling into the trap of looking too matronly.

 

Frank and Claire Underwood Claire Underwood is fierce

Claire Underwood is fierce in Zac Posen

Dress by Zac Posen, bag by YSL

Claire Underwood is Complex

Claire is a great character because she is complex. At the beginning of the series, we see her running a non-profit that provides clean water in Africa which makes you think that she is a philanthropist and a compassionate person. But don’t be fooled by that one part of her life. Although Claire does occasionally try to serve as Frank’s moral compass, she is not above getting dirty when necessary. She is willing to turn a blind eye to her husband’s behavior so long as it furthers their goals — even if it means him hooking up with a girl young enough to be their daughter. Claire has also had an affair of her own. This woman is not exactly a role model, but she is fascinating to watch and not just because of her clothes.