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Scandal season 5 is on Netflix; everyone is still terrible June 12, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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So I’m having a nice quiet Saturday, catching up on sleep and looking up reference pictures of yurts (it’s gonna be a Leif & Thorn thing in a few months), when Netflix tells me it has a new season available.

Welcome back to Scandal, where the morals are made up and the facts don’t matter.

First episode opens with an in-universe TV show whose aesthetic is 100% a Colbert Report takeoff, except that the host is supposed to be an actual conservative. I say “supposed to be” because her big rant here is against…excessive military budgets and unnecessary army bases. Those sure are things Republicans object to, yep!

Dammit, I liked Princess Emily, and she’s dead 10 minutes in. (After which they try to hit every possible Princess Di conspiracy theory. We’re apparently doing two-decades-too-late headline-ripping.)

(The dorky new Vice President is still alive, and she’s one of the few people who made it out of last season without becoming a terrible human being. We’ll see how long that lasts.)

Shows like this do a lot of fudging with technology — they can’t make the protagonists competent enough to outpace what would actually happen (either because it’s not possible, or because the writers haven’t figured out how to do it), so they slow down the tech instead. It’s really blatant here. A high-profile death in a public place that gets swarmed by a dozen photographers — there is no way you keep that off the Internet. That was liveblogged! There would’ve been thousands of retweets before Olivia even got to the scene.

Liv snaps about having “a terribly misguided belief that someone in this office might be interested in doing the right thing.” Truer words.

…Didn’t we do the “story uncovering the Fitz/Olivia affair breaks” arc in some earlier season? As of episode 2, I could swear I remember some of these shouty scenes playing out already.

Although this time we get Vice President Only Ethical Person being flabbergasted at the very idea that Olivia would do such a thing, which is cute. (She’s so innocent! She still thinks the other characters are good people!)

(I had vague hopes for the Chief of Staff, then this episode happened. Thing is, she’s played by Portia de Rossi, so I’m gonna react as if she’s an AU version of Veronica Palmer and like her anyway.)

And I think I’ve said this before too — it’s ridiculous how often the case-of-the-week turns out to be Olivia’s team getting hired by a bad guy, and she ends up working against her clients. In a show like Leverage, that’s a shocking twist because the writers only rarely deploy it. In Scandal, it’s just another Tuesday.

Episode 3: “The plan was [Liv] standing by the one thing, following the only rule that matters to her, what is that? Do. Not. Lie!” Ahahahaha. This whole show is a clusterf@#k of lies. Ninety percent of these characters’ problems are a result of failing to properly coordinate their lies with each other.

And sure enough, after yo-yoing back and forth all episode about which story is going to come out on top, we settle on…a slightly-updated pack of lies! Good job, show.

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