SCANDAL: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
I’m not a fan of Shonda Rimes at all. While “Grey’s Anatomy” had an okay start, it went into the toilet quickly. “Private Practice” started in the toilet. I can’t stand either show, but I gave Rimes’ new series “Scandal” a chance.
It’s actually not that bad. From the promos, I was worried it would be an inside-the-beltway version of “Grey’s Anatomy.” While there are elements that suggest this, overall, it’s a different show than Rimes’ medical dramas.
Loosely based on the job of George W. Bush press aide Judy Smith, “Scandal” features the gorgeous Kerry Washington as a D.C. lawyer who can be hired privately to fix things for high-profile figures. She has ties to the President and dirt dug up on everyone. The standard episode follows her team as they try to protect their client, but the overall storyline follows an affair and murder that might be tied to the President.
Overall, the show is well constructed, though the snappy writing tries a little too hard to emulate Aaron Sorkin’s punchy “West Wing” dialogue. The characters get a bit preachy and arrogant, but that seems to be par for the course for the ABC Studios shows.
It’s a short season, featuring only seven episodes as a mid-season replacement. It’s true that I liked “Grey’s Anatomy” initially before it fell totally into the progressive evening soap opera. Hopefully, “Scandal” stays above this line, and with some political intrigue instead of the movie-of-the-week medical emergency, it has a chance.
For a first season, the bonus features on this two-disc set are rather slim. Still, there are only seven episodes, so expect the features of the already-renewed season two to be more meaty. As it stands, “Scandal: The Complete First Season” includes three featurettes: “Scandal: Setting the Pace” looks at the structure of the show and it’s fast-paced delivery, “Gladiators in Suits: Casting a Series” looks at the actors and “Scripting Scandal” looks at the writing process.