I missed the debut of ABC’s new “Scandal” last night, but caught it online today and liked it — mostly.
It was created by Shonda Rhimes, the woman behind “Grey’s Anatomy,” which got off to such a promising start before every episode became exclusively about the relationships between the characters, who ended up sleeping with each other in every possible combination. Then TR Knight left and Katherine Heigl went off to set the record for the most Bad Romantic Comedies Not Starring Jennifer Aniston, and we stopped watching. I was amazed while browsing the listings last week to see that “Grey’s” is still on the air.
As for “Scandal,” I said I “mostly” liked it because Kerry Washington is both likable and intense in the lead role of a DC fixer, the ensemble around her does a good job, and the plots seem clever (even when they cover the same ground as “Lie To Me” did on Fox) — although I bet they won’t make it through a full season before at least two of her employees end up in the same bed.
But a couple of things really bugged me as I watched the first two episodes online. One was the way the interior scenes were shot, with the camera constantly panning past windows, with the wooden frames or beveled glass getting in the way and distorting our viewpoint. There may be an “artistic” reason for that directorial choice, but it’s annoying as hell.
The other is that the ads that run on ABC.com during the episodes are repeated ad nauseum. Sure, each of the breaks only lasts :30 instead of a few minutes, but it’s the same commercial over and over again. In the first episode, it was a spot for Crystal Light. In the second, it was for the re-release of “Titanic.” Neither spot is particularly bad (in fact, the Crystal Light ad is well done), but seeing it four or five times in a 46-minute show was irritating.
I’d like to hire Kerry Washington to fix that.