So “Scandal” is on everyone’s mind today! And with hours until the season 3 premiere, it’s understandable. As gladiators gear up for their favorite show’s return, I find myself reflecting on its first two seasons. Since the ABC hit premiered last year, it hasn’t been without its share of praise and controversy. Many people immediately loved the show, praising Olivia Pope’s elegant display of power and influence. And she looked good doing it! It was championed as a step in the right direction, the antithesis of the shameful bottle-throwing antics of reality TV stars. But there are detractors. Primarily those who feel that Olivia is no different than reality TV stars who scheme to get a baller. Olivia (played by Kerry Washington) was sleeping with a married man, a married white man who happens to be President of the United States, President Fitzgerald Grant. And some black men thought that had the tables been turned and it was Oliver Pope who had been sexing a powerful white woman, the black women who cheer for Olitz would be enraged. I’ve listened to both sides and understand their viewpoints. But there was another relationship that Olivia was involved with that stuck out to me when I recently binged during the show’s first seasons: Olivia and her her crisis management team member Harrison Wright (played by Columbus Short). I hadn’t heard much about these two as I had with Olivia’s other beaus but their relationship is the most endearing, in my opinion. She helped him out of jam and he offers his undying loyalty while encouraging es the other gladiators to have the same (Huck Finn needs no convincing; he’s very loyal to Liv too). Harrison and Olivia have a very platonic friendship that’s positively portrays black male-black female relating. He’s not bopping around trying to get in her pants and she’s not reenacting some Sapphire caricature emasculating every man in her wake. They’re supportive of one another. I like that. And it’s important to see this when you have commercials (remember that horrid 2011 Pepsi Super Bowl spot featuring the angry black girlfriend? Yeah, still trying to forget that one ,too.), TV shows (HBO’s “True Blood’s” Tara Thornton) or just about any reality TV show featuring a black woman showing black women as stereotypically rowdy and unsupportive of others, particularly black men. Do I know where Shonda Rhimes and her writing team will take Liv and Harrison’s relationship? No (But fans wonder whether they’re related). Do I hope it remains respectful and endearing? Of course. But in the meantime, while others will cheer for Olitz (and that’s fine) and determining if her father, Rowan, really tried to have her killed (I know, kind of goes against my point, eh?), I will be rooting for the wholesome relationship that is Olihar (Yep, I made that one up myself!). In case you forgot just how loyal Harrison is to Olivia and her firm, be sure to check out the clip below. “Scandal” premieres at 10 p.m. EST tonight on ABC.
Harrison Wright and Abby Whelan discuss how being a gladiator comes first
50 Cent, David Arquette and other celebs become head back to school: Imagine Grammy-winning producer Swizz Beatz as your music teacher or Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone teaching you history or attending a science class taught by NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison — this is what you get when you attend “Dream School.” Sundance Channel’s “Dream School” six-part docu-series where 15 troubled teens ages 17 and 18 have the opportunity to turn their lives around. I watched the first episode early on XFINITY and really liked it. People can make sweeping assumptions about troubled kids without taking into account any contributing circumstances. The students are from all ethnicities — black, white, Asian and Latino — and have varying reasons that led them to “Dream School.” For example, one student is a transgendered boy born a girl who dropped out of school because he was bullied. There was another young man who dropped out of school to care for his cancer-stricken mother. Suze Orman, Jesse Jackson Sr. and Soledad O’Brien are some of the other celebrities who will be teaching. Sure the facility is set in a beautiful environment where students have access to a pool and technology but this isn’t a fluff school. And the celebs aren’t pushovers. “It’s an opportunity for me to have you learn from my mistakes instead of your own mistakes,” 50 Cent said of his participation. Well said. “Dream School” premieres at 10 p.m. EST Monday on Sundance Channel but you can watch the first episode on XFINITY. [Watch here]
Kerry Washington on “David Letterman”: Honey, “Scandal” comes on tonight, so you know it’s all about its star Kerry Washington. Last night she visited “The Late Show with David Letterman” shared a few things, including that her mother’s favorite show, other than “Scandal,” is HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (Mrs. Washington, I’m with you). Apparently her mother had a groupie moment when she met Jason Momoa, who starred as Khal Drogo during its first season, at an HBO Emmy’s party. Washington also danced the Lindy Hop and briefly talked about her recent nuptials. I loved that the house band played Prince’s “Scandalous” as she walked out. It’s easy to see why people love Washington. She handles herself well, coming across as elegant and well-mannered. [Watch here]
On my watchlist tonight? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand with…
“Scandal”: Did you even have to ask?! [Watch here]
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”: Missed this week’s episode so will cozy up with my laptop. [Watch here]
“Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell”: Been turning in rather early so look forward to staying up for this. [Watch here]
The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: “The Best Man Holiday” cast on double covers of “Ebony’s” November issue (Fingers crossed this will be good like the first one).
NOT: Gunfire at the U.S. Capitol (Really?!)
HOT: Actress KeKe Palmer learned to love her brown skin at age 13 after years of praying to be lighter skinned (I’m very happy that she learned to accept herself at an age where so many kids struggle for self-acceptance).
NOT: The fact that Palmer even felt that her brown skin was inferior to lighter complexions (Colorism is ignorance in the most basic form and needs to end. NOW.).
HOT: Kerry Washington! (No explanation needed!)
NOT: The government shutdown (Yep, I ‘ll probably keep saying it until it ends).
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.