Thoughts about #Scandal now that #Olitzwithdrawal Season is over

It should come as no surprise to anyone who is even an infrequent visitor (as I'm an infrequent poster these days) of this blog that I'm a fan of the hit TV show Scandal. It seems like an entire lifetime has gone by since the last new episode aired and though there was some definite #OlitzWithdrawal on Thursday nights; I have to admit the break gave me some perspective (and oxygen). I stepped back and learned a few things:

1. There are some other really, really good shows on TV. Truly, if I had the time, I would DVR all of it and just sit zombie-like all day. One such show is House of Cards on Netflix. But having powered my way through, I'm confused as to why people keep comparing it to Scandal. Yes they both take place in Washington and yes they both have plenty of jaw-dropping oh-no-they-didntness but the similarities end there. There are no characters on House of Cards that I care to be friends with, sleep with or counsel. I wish psychologists and jail time upon most of their twisted heads. If Scandal is a sledgehammer, House of Cards is a nuclear bomb.

2. I like Scandal more when my own life is together. Really, it's hard to watch Livvy's man struggles and Quinn's "who am I this week" struggles and Mellie's "I want it all and then some more" struggles with any degree of patience when your personal dramas are swirling all around you. Hot mess escapist fiction is only fun when I can feel superior to the characters on it. Holla if you hear me.

3. I figured out why some guys get all up in their feelings about Scandal. I sat in a restaurant and blatantly eavesdropped a few of the brethren going in on the show. Basically, those women on the show are not being properly controlled by their men. O__o... Mellie, Abby, Quinn and Liv are not fitting into the norms that make some men feel uber-manly so the show is a bad influence. Like Oprah was when women started listening to her. I kid you not, these words were uttered. Wow. Fellas, don't be that guy. Ever.

Looking forward to what Shonda has in store for us over the next few months. The only thing I can properly predict is that it will not be boring. What do you think will happen next?

ITOFTS: When keeping it #Scandal goes wrong

*ITOFTS = I'm too old for this shiggity! And if you haven't watched last night's Scandal, quit reading!!

1:37am phone rings. I think I'm dreaming so I turn over.

1:39am phone rings again. I drank one glass of wine too many during #Scandal so I was in a deep, sound (there might have been snoring) sleep. Plus, the temperature dropped from seventy to thirty something so I was hibernating under the covers like a bear in winter time. By the time I got one hand free, the phone stopped ringing.

1:41am phone ring one mo' good time. Dammit. It MUST be an emergency, right? I yank it off the charger, press the ON button and mutter, "What?"

"So if I bought you a house would you come back?" Apparently, Dude had watched this:


I don't even open an eye. "Who is this?" I knew but I was testy.

"You know who it is. If I bought a house where you wanted and fixed it up exactly how you wanted, would that work?"

"Work for what?"

"Would that be what you need to see to come back, give me another shot?"

"You think you know me well enough to buy me the exact house of my dreams or might you assume, as you've done on other occasions, that you know better and do the exact wrong damn thing? And after I accept the house, I'm supposed to live there with you and suddenly we'll just live happily ever after like a damn fairy tale? I'm not Cinderella, you're no Prince Charming."

"I woke you up huh."


"But if I got it right and it wasn't 2 in the morning, would it work?"

"Was that your first episode of Scandal?"

"Yes. But that stuff he said about the dream was deep."

"And fiction. Dreams are dreams. Let me say this, you're no Fitz and I'm no Olivia. We don't have that climb every mountain, cross every sea kinda love. I don't embrace drama and I don't think love has to be crazy to be real. So... No. A house wouldn't work."

"I'm downloading Season One."

"Happy watching." CLICK. Flung phone across room mumbling, "Trifling Negreaux watches one episode of Scandal and thinks he's unlocked the secrets of the female psyche. Jesus be some sense and some call block." I was back to sleep as soon as I turned over.

My life, your entertainment. Say it with me now: I'm too old for this shiggity.

Thoughts from #Scandal - Good people do bad things, do they deserve second chances?

A few weeks ago on Da Twittahs, we were discussing how long someone has to wear a scarlet letter. In other words, if you are someone who once did a bad thing, how long should that really be held over your head? My answer? It depends on how bad it was and how long it's been. Biblically sin is sin but to me, I can let slide a lie or two as opposed to a dead body or two buried in the basement. I'm just saying. If you stole a snickers in 6th grade, we're cool. If you're still robbing folks fifteen years later, we have issues. 

I do believe that people should be allowed to evolve past youthful transgression. Even not so youthful transgressions. I believe that unless you've shown a willful disregard for any measure of "do-right" you have a chance at redemption though not necessarily with the person you've wronged.

This popped back into my mind as I watched #Scandal Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with wide eyes and slack jaw last night.[Again, my warning for those of you that haven't seen it. Stop reading. Hie thee to a DVR and then come on back] The list of transgressors on this show is quite lengthy but I'll deal specifically with the men in Liv's life.

Fitz is a cheater and a murderer but for some reason (perhaps the hotness helps or the fact that he's married to a raging sociopath monster and Verna needed killing was dying anyway) we tend to forgive him. Huck is a scary super-sleuthy killer but he has a heart of gold so even though he almost choked Olivia to death on the side of a car, we were left saying "Poor Huck" and kept it moving. Daddy Pope is Lucifer above ground. I can't find his redeeming qualities except that he provided the sperm to bring Olivia Pope into the world. The fact that he does bad things in the name of freedom doesn't really help his cause when he's too happy to blow up his daughter's life, have Cyrus thrown into trunks and chucks grown men into dark holes all before breakfast. Mostly because he can. 

My real issue comes with Jake. We don't know what the hell his motivation is. We know that he's a stalker but he appeared to be under orders? We know that he's kinda pervy and a sore loser but when you see a woman you slept with welcoming her married lover (who happens to be leader of the free world) into her apartment, you might be a wee bit bitter. He did save her life though. Yet when Jake appeared all frazzled and in great need of a shower outside Liv's front door, my first thought was "Girl, watch your back." Is that fair? Probably not.

I have an ex-boyfriend who is genetically incapable of doing right by me. Ever. Like if he tried, he would self-destruct. I spent years assuming that because he asked for a second (15th) chance and apologized for the shiggity he did before, he should get to take off the scarlet letter and start fresh. No. He shouldn't. The scarlet letter is who he is. With me anyway. So having been burned by that fire,  I tend to veer on the side of "sure I'll forgive but I'll never forget cuz mama didn't raise no fools."

What say you, BnB? In the bigger scheme of things, are you able to forgive and give second chances to the good people in your life who just happen to do bad things? Why or why not? And do we believe in #GoodJake or #BadJake? Do share...

How #Scandal reveals the Bougie Black Experience (Finally!)

Yeah uh so... if you haven't watched last night's #Scandal, just stop reading. Seriously. I don't need ya'll up in arms telling me I spoiled it for you. Back away from the blog and come back when you've watched television responsibly. ;-)

We were able to spend a little more time with Super Spy Rowan Pope, the leader of B613. And while he is still ruthless as all the damns, he also made some good sense. He was wildly derisive of Olivia's dream to become First Lady. "Were you not raised for better?" Um. Good point. Olivia need not stand in anyone's shadow so why is she so busy orbiting the sun? In fact, as much as my father wanted me to marry a doctor or a lawyer (bless his heart) he wanted me to become one even more.

My favorite line (and one I'd heard often growing up) came when Papa Pope reminded Daughter Dearest that to survive and succeed in this world, she had to be "twice as good to get half as far." Now this was so damn real, my older brother (who I hoodwinked into watching with me) and I had to fist bump each other. This is why we need a Shonda Rhimes writing and a Kerry Washington acting in prime time TV. That line is so deeply embedded in the black upwardly mobile experience that we could recite the end of line before she formulated it.

My father drilled this into us from day one and my mother repeated it in case we forgot. It's why they sent us to private school and forced us to go to cotillion dance classes and charm school. It's why they took us to the opera and theater and played Pavarotti with as much volume as Gladys and the Pips. It's why my sister took horseback riding, my older brother played the cello, I learned tennis and my younger brother had a clarinet. They wanted us well-rounded and able to hold our own in any situation this country threw at us.

We don't see enough of that (for lack of a better term) Huxtablism on TV or in movies or if we do, it's shown with a sneer as if all folks with a little bit of bouge are snobby and too busy looking down on everybody else to remember that they are black too. Trust, we remember. I'm so over the stereotype. But let's move on...

So as we watched them detail Liv's life in boarding school, on ski slopes and onto Princeton, we cheered. Not because her life was perfect (whose is?) or because she has overcome a "turbulent" family life (more to be explored there no doubt). I love Olivia Pope because she is bringing a multi-faceted view of the black experience to a wide audience. 

It's not just the steamy cocoa with Fitz or the brilliant dialogue with OPA or the droolworthy wardrobe. It's that she's allowed to be excellent and flawed, educated and silly, superb and sinful, paid and played. Her life may be going to hell in a hand basket but she's going to keep the ratchet in the closet and go down looking and sounding classy as hell. Even more importantly, she has the brain power, the upbringing and the education to put the basket back together and keep it moving. Olivia Pope is black 'n bougie, ya'll. Amen.

Thoughts, comments, insights? What did you think of Episode 3:1? Do share... 

p.s. Can we get a slow clap going for Joe Morton? "I am the Hell AND the High Water." Okay then, sir.

My thoughts on the government #shutdown? If only OPA of #Scandal could handle this...

Let's face it, what's going on between Congress and the White House right is some ugly, childish, we-want-what-we-want-when-we-want-it-and-we-don't-care-who-gets-hurt bullshiggity. I know I throw around the term "hot mess" but this right here takes that label and multiplies exponentially to the nth degree. This is a chess match where we've reached a stalemate. Or a poker game where neither side will fold or call. In the meantime, no one wins. 

I mean, c'mon on, people. If nothing else, America has always been able to say that we rock as a nation. It's inherent for Americans to look at other nations and say, "This is how we do it, get like us." No one is saying that this week. China is telling their people that America is closed, no need to visit. Kids on a field trip were turned away from the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is doing backflips in his grave. This is some epic buffoonery from a party that pushed Sarah Palin and then Mitt Romney at us with a straight face. Stop. Clearly, it's time for an intervention.

I won't point fingers (*stares hard at GOP*) or cite a lack of strong leadership (*shade thrown at Boehner*) but I will say that to unravel this will take a revolt, a revelation, a reversal or a Kennedy. Since only a few of those charming, reach-across-the-aisle Kennedys are in a position to fix this, I suggest Olivia Pope.

ABC's Scandal returns tonight to entertain us with the tale of a DC crisis manager who operates in a no-nonsense, non-partisan forward-thinking way. (Except when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend,  the President of the United States of America, but that's a whole other plot line) What we wouldn't give to have an Olivia Pope at the table with Boehner, Reid, et al to straighten this mess out. Though since the problem is budget related, this could be a problem:

My point is, maybe we need to lock Boehner in a room with Huckleberry Quinn and their power tools and see what happens. Maybe Harrison could hit the House floor with his epic money clip and change some yeas to nays or nays to yeas, whichever is needed. Abby could sleep with Jack Lew (Treasury Secretary) just to put him in a more mellow frame of mind all the way around and who knows what he's got locked in a safe at his place. Olivia, of course, would explain in rapid-fire detail the hellfire and brimstone that would rain down on their collective heads if they don't figure a way to fix this and right soon. And then we could get this:

While we're waiting for that to happen at least we have fresh episodes of Scandal on tonight at 9pm central on ABC. Lord knows we need some entertainment during this exasperating, shame-inducing, trying times. Who's watching with me? Anyone got words of wisdom for Congress? Do share...

Get out of your feelings, #Scandal is fiction. Great fiction but...

After EVERY episode...

Spoiler alert - if you haven't watched the season finale of Scandal, stop reading. Go watch it. Come back. Ummkay?

Last Scandal post for a while. We ready? Okay...

Good people, I'll say this one more time for the cheap seats - Scandal is not a way of life, a reality show or anything deeper than a primetime drama. But for some reason, people tend to take it very, very personally. Like life as they know it must alter trajectory based on the goings-on of a TV show. While the show is on summer break, mayhaps folks can gain some perspective? Get out of their feelings a little bit? Here are ten things I need folks to wrap their minds around.

1. We get it. To many of you, Olivia is a side-piece and should behave as such (i.e. "know her place") - we get it. You don't need to tweet/FB a broadcast message talking bout "hoes" rejoicing or weeping on the ebb and flow of the Olitz relationship. Enough already.

2. Those of you determined to take the chemistry between Fitz and Olivia and translate it into an off-camera affair between Kerry and Tony - stop. If they are, it's none of your business. If they aren't? Still none of your business. As a matter of fact, stop superimposing the character on the actor. They are not one and the same.

3. Why so mad at Shonda for not writing the shows and/or characters exactly the way you want them? If you are that determined to have a hand in the plotline, put fingers to keyboard and write out your pilot for next season.

4. Brothers, Olivia embracing the swirl has nothing to do with you. She is not personally snubbing you by doing Fitz on all vertical and horizontal surfaces in the fake White House. If you are that worried about black women "leaving the fold" go pick you one and treat her right. Any questions?

5. Ladies, you are not Mellie. She's not real. If your man is as ratchet as Fitz, cut him loose. You are not married to the President, you can leave. Any questions?

6. This is TV, if a man has a heart attack at noon, he is not back at work at 6:00pm. He's really not. Heart attacks generally have a root cause and that generally needs to be addressed before you can put on your suit and go wreak havoc on your "best friends'" lives.

7. IRL, Mellie would have smacked the shiggity out of Fitz for coming back weeping on her lap after his boo-thang left. Nawl. No wife is that eager to have her man back. If I were him, I'd station Tom and Hal bedside or sleep with one eye open.

8. If you want to get mad about something, get mad about the fact that we have seen David, James and Cyrus shirtless more than once and Harrison not at all. That's just wrong.

9. I'm far more horrified about the bad branches of Olivia's family tree and the glee to which Quinn took to torture than I am about the Olitz break-up. Why aren't ya'll?

10. Shonda actually has a pattern with her shows. She puts things together, blows them up and puts them back together another way until we get exhausted and say "whatever, girl" and then she finds another way to reel people back in. It's what she does. Love it or leave it alone.

Scandal is done for the summer, what are we watching? 

About that #Scandal #IWillBeYourAnchor comment... whew!

Lookie here. I fully understand that I was 100% on board with Fitz wanting to earn him some Olivia on the "A Woman Scorned" episode of ABC's runaway hit, Scandal. The episode was thrilling, dramatic, flashy and capped off with some steamy cocoa-stirring powered by the undeniable chemistry between Olivia and Fitz.

The "Any Questions" episode kind of turned a corner for me. Let's be real, how often on the national stage do we get to see a brother stand for a sister like this? We don't know what the story is behind Olivia and Harrison's relationship but unless Shonda is going to tell me that they are blood relatives - I need to know why Harrison isn't being considered as a viable love interest for Liv?

As we've discussed over the years here on BnB, I love love. I'm all about the euphoric majesty of all-consuming love. Scale the highest mountain, swim the widest sea love. Breathless, heart-racing, need it, want it, gotta have it - yes. All of that. But then again... I'm all about practicalities too. Why can't you have the fire and the passion with someone who is, I don't know, already there for you? Does it always have to complicated and messy to be real? Olivia may think so, I do not.

The seductive promise of a man telling you he'll be your anchor had me topping off my obnoxiously large wineglass. And not just an anchor in calm seas but through the storm?! What?! Can we add that into some wedding vows? "I promise to love, honor and be your anchor?" I mean when you have an anchor - you can soar. You can try new things, you can take chances, you can be bold because at the end of the day - someone's got you. Ya'll don't hear me though - at the end of the day, someone has GOT. YOU. Whew!

You find that and it's a wrap. Lock it down and let no man put it asunder.

The shiny allure of a "watch me earn you" kind of fades (for me anyway) next to the rock solid resolution of "I will be your anchor." You find someone willing to hold it down, who doesn't have to explode everything in his world to make that happen? Well that's a no-brainer for me. Le Sigh. I understand the heart wants what the heart wants. But at some point I need the brain to kick in and be like - "Girl. Anchor. That way. Let's go."

But I'll ask you - which line resonated more for you? #EarnMe or #IWillBeYourAnchor? do share...

Lessons from #Scandal: Ladies, before you start declaring #EarnMe...

Sorry all - Spoiler Alert. If you haven't watched May 2, 2013 episode of Scandal this post spills all the tea...

Last night on the "A Woman Scorned" episode of Scandal, Olivia issued a challenge heard round the world to Pres Fitz: "I am not a toy you can play with when you’re bored or lonely or horny. I am not the girl the guy gets at the end of the movie. I am not a fantasy. If you want me, Earn me!" Cannot deny - it was epic. Immediately, 80% of the bruhs sent up collective groans while 100% of the women-folk screamed out, "YES! You betta earn me up in here!"

#EarnMe became a thing. Instantly. I'm waiting for someone to hook up the purple "Earn. Me. Dammit." tank top so I can purchase and rock with much attitude.

But hold up ladies, please press the brakes for a minute. The same way I begged of you not to put your hand in your man's face whilst screaming, "If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it." I also implore you not to  get to issuing "Earn. Me!" ultimatums to your boo. Unless you're worth it and you're absolutely sure he thinks you're worth it too.

I'm just saying.  A week or so ago I asked the fellas to check their dateability stock on the open market. I'm going to ask the ladies to make sure you are not in the bargain bin expecting some Neiman-Marcus type return on investment. Look, I love ya'll. I think each (okay most) of you are worth your weight in gold. Just make sure your boo feels the same before you talk that talk.

You don't break "Earn Me" out of your book of tricks for dinner on a Wendesday night. There's proper place and time to bring out that kind of heavy artillery. I mean, you can just be all willy-nilly with the "Earn Me" of it all. Also (as well) make sure you want to be earned before you toss it out there. Maybe you are worth it and dude is not. Poor Edison put his time in and tried to earn him some Olivia only be sent packing with an old ring and high-heeled pump in his hind parts. Jake didn't even get a goodbye (not that he deserved one). Hear me ladies, words have power. Use them correctly or not at all.

First Lady Mellie thought she was worth it too. Ivy League grad, old money, good to luck at, stands by her man, brings him scotch in the shower and still tries to swirls the cocoa. Mellie is the wife and sat over in lonely stale-ass Blair House expecting her man to show up and earn back her love. He was too busy saying, "Hi," in the shower with Olivia. Yeah he was. 

Um. Hmm... We see ya'll.

The next and last lesson we need to learn from last night's Scandal? After the man makes the grand gesture and the girl takes him back? Someone should think about what happens next, shouldn't they?

No one ever thinks about how that "happily ever after" is actually going to work. Fitz blew up his marriage, Liv blew off a guy we all think is suspect and a lot of moving pieces are still on the loose and up to no good. So now what? In real life? I think we all know this scenario ends poorly. But this is ShondaLand. Lawd knows what she's got in store for us.

Oh, one other thing - fellas please - we know this is fiction. You don't have to worry about an entire nation of side chicks rising up talmbout "Earn me." 
Rarely happens in real life, we know this.
Also, Fitz is a fictional President, he can do the ratchet stuff he does because he's cute and he's a fictional President... you all may not. Calm down. (The innanets were alive with the haterade from some of the fellas last night, calm down ☺)  

BnB - ready to tell the one you love to "earn you" yet? How do you think that would go over in real life? Inquiring minds want to know.