Scandal::Side Chick Syndrome
It's here. The post most of you have been waiting for and some of you have been dreading. Scandal and the Side Chick Syndrome!
What is Scandal?? It's a series that airs weekly on ABC which in all honesty I'm relatively new to. I just started watching in the middle of the last season and if I'm home and free when the new season is on, I usually tune in. It revolves around "Olivia Pope", played by the gorgeous Kerry Washington; who leaves her post as the Communications Director for the White House to start her own firm where she and her team of 'gladiators' are basically the 'fixers' for...well scandals. I'm talking big ones that big names are wrapped up in. Like say a senator who's married with kids and has a squeaky clean image...but secretly has a serious thing for hookers...and one ends up bludgeoned to death next to him in a swanky-or ratchet-hotel room. Olivia and her team jump into action to save the senator's reputation, coaching everyone in the family and prepping them for each and every press event. Aside from that, the show has focused more and more around Olivia's love triangle with the President-Fitz (played by Tony Goldwyn) and Jake Ballard (played by Scott Foley)-a military man and 'former' member of a top secret hit man group...that the President also used to belong to. It's a big messy bunch of sex, murder, lies and betrayal and at the end of the day...Olivia is the shiny, successful, beautiful image of none other than...a "side chick".
What's a side chick? Let's take a look at the urban dictionary for that:
the other woman; also known as the mistress; a female that is neither a male's wife or girlfriend who has relations with the male while he is in another relationship
Got it? Ok, good. So, the President is (obviously) married and happens to have a new baby. He and his wife despise each other and this season she officially figured out that the "other woman" is Olivia.
What does this have to do with today's woman? Well...aside from the fact that people really do rely on television to tell them how to live and use it to determine what is and isn't acceptable...women actually in this "side chick" situation are looking at the glamorous life of one every Thursday and saying to themselves..."well hell SHE does it and her life looks pretty damn good". Or even worse, they're getting themselves INTO this kind of situation "because Kerry did it"...on a sitcom.
The relationship between Olivia and the President goes through the usual eb and flow of any other relationship of this kind- he tells her he's going to leave his wife and marry her and she's going to be the first lady...she believes him...then he goes back on his word for the 782nd time...then he pulls her into a random room and ravages her...she leaves telling him this was the last time...then over the course of a few days he chases her down...they go through the cycle again... and the fans rejoice. "Their love is so strong"..."They're meant to be together!!!"..."They'll never leave each other alone!I love it!"... exclaim fans nationwide.
It's genius when you think about it. An intelligent black woman with a serious law degree and crazy successful business is having relations with the President, who's white. But...he's married. *gasp*
The whole ordeal has gotten so out of hand that even though the wife, "Millie" (played by Bellamy Grant) knows her husband is in love with Olivia and hates them both because she can't do anything about it; AND he will boldly tell her he's in love with another woman to her face...she's now secretly asked Olivia to help her husband win the next election. And I quote, "HE NEEDS YOU. WE NEED YOU"...Yea.
So what's the big hoop-la all about? Everyone seems to fall somewhere on the love to hate spectrum. Women watch it because it's interesting. It's fast, it's intelligent and it's a little raunchy at times. It's the perfect modern soap opera. There's also women who refuse to watch it because of the message it seems to deliver-that affairs are ok and it's just fine to be in one even though you're losing all self respect. Same with men who hate it. They think it's a ridiculous portrayal that puts "side chicks" on a pedestal. Then there's the men who are into it. They tune in every Thursday and yes, they're straight. They say it's a very well written show and watch it for the espionage, action and drama...but also think it's a little ridiculous that the majority of viewers actually root for this affair to continue even though they know it's wrong.
Oh, did you think there was going to be a 'be all end al'l conclusion to this? Nope. It's just a show, guys. You either love it or hate it...you watch it or you don't...you may tune in tomorrow to check it out, or not. But whatever your feelings are, the show is having some serious success.
Perhaps, if I may...just suggest that grown women (and men) be sure to differentiate between TV and real life; teens either not watch it or know NOT to mimic it before they start...and kids just go the hell to bed when their babysitter or mom is tuning in. Control your own mind and monitor your kids. Remember...
Furthermore...I'd love to bring back more problem solving and spread out the love triangle business a little more sporadically. I'm starting to read a book while the show is on. Maybe that's best though. Ha!
Anyways...until next time LADIES and GENTLEMAN... Peace, love and red wine!