I loved Scandal when I first started watching it. It was just the right amount of soap to watch when I came home from work and needed to turn off my brain. And with Revenge’s second season on the decline, it filled a hole in my draaaammma-loving heart. Also it made me think a lot about white hats, a topic I’d neglected thinking about for far too long. But then, like Revenge, Scandal got over-excited with plot twists and dead-moms-come-back-to-life that it took a turn for the worse. Don’t even get me started on how much Fitz and his stupid Vermont house sucks. (Okay, fine, get me started, I can talk about it almost as much as Fitz can complain about how hard it is to be the leader of the free world.)
As someone who invests far too man of my emotions into TV shows, I always take it really hard when shows I once loved start sucking. It’s like seeing my once brilliant child get kicked out of the gifted and talented program and stuck in with the normal kids — who have names like The Big Bang Theory and CSI: Kentucky. “Why doesn’t your friend The Good Wife come over and play anymore?” I’ll ask. And my once critically-acclaimed show will look at me with sad eyes and say, “I dunno, but, um, I was wondering if, I could hang out with reruns of According to Jim later.”
Luckily Shonda Rhimes is throwing us a bone by acknowledging that Scandal can’t go on forever. In fact, she said at the TCAs this week that she already knows that this isn’t the kind of story that can drag on indefinitely. (Which is pretty refreshing to hear from the woman who’s somehow kept Grey’s Anatomy on TV for 400 seasons.)
I’m not worried about that at all. I’ve already decided when Scandal is ending. I think there’s only so much Scandal you can tell satisfactorily. The Fitz-Liv thing can only be told so long and in such a way. It’s not a 10-season or eight-season show. I’ve already decided how long that is and what that’s going to be. I’m not really worried about that.
Since so few shows are successful, I think that the ones that do well stay on the air forever simply because they can. (Again, I’ll bring up Grey’s Anatomy.) I’m a strong believer in ending on a high note, rather than dragging a show on and on and on until fans are simply watching it out of habit. In fact, I think all dramas would be stronger if they mapped out all their seasons before even filming their pilot so they knew exactly where everything was going. Or at the very least planned beyond the first season. It’s why I love American Horror Story so much. Even though it’s beyond fucked up and even though it gives me nightmares that turn into daymares, there’s a planned end in sight. It’s reassuring to know that everything gets wrapped up — give or take a few alien plot lines.
So yay for Shonda Rhimes realizing that Scandal’s not an eight-season show. And here’s to hoping that she doesn’t try to stretch it to seven.