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“Scandal” Brought Down by Telegraphed Writing

 

Katie Lowes may not be a household name in her native Western New York but a good “Scandal” could have made her one.

Katie Lowes: WNYer stars

Unfortunately, the latest ABC series (10 tonight, Channel 7) from Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Practice”) is a preposterous series loaded with overwritten dialogue, telegraphed twists and pretty people.

With Rhimes’ series there are always pretty people. This time, it is the show’s main selling point.

Lowes, who previously starred in the short-lived CW series” Easy Money,” stars as a lawyer who also is the voice of the people, Quinn Perkins. Quinn is a naïve young employee in a crisis management firm run by her beautiful idol, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washingon). Olivia is a no-nonsense boss who goes with her gut and believes she can tell whether military heroes or U.S. presidents are lying just by looking at them talk.

If only it was that easy.

Her admiring team, who consider themselves “gladiators in a suit,” include a good-looking, commitment phobic Stephen Finch (Henry Ian Cusick of “Lost”); a hacker named Huck (Guillermo Diaz)); a slick litigator Harrison Wright (Columbus Short); and an overly enthusiastic investigator Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield).

Each member of the team has a secret issue that needed to be fixed and has been resurrected by Olivia. Presumably, viewers will discover what the secrets are down the road.

In tonight’s premiere, Olivia defends a war hero accused of murder and a President (Tony Goldwyn) worried about a potential sex scandal akin to the Monica Lewinsky mess (which is referenced, just in case you have a short memory). The presidential scandal reportedly is an ongoing story line. 

Lowes’ character gets quite a lesson in politics and hero worship as her “awe” leads to some “shock” about how Olivia operates and the goals of the firm. Rhimes’ script also throws in some lessons in hypocrisy.

“We’re fixers,” Quinn is told. “We’re crisis managers. It is not about solving a crime or justice. It is all about our client.”

Washington and Cusick’s looks can’t compensate for a see-through plot that is only likely to be applauded by the cynical and may even make Quinn become a cynic.

My gut tells me that “Scandal” will get better (but not enough for me to endure another episode) and these “gladiators” won’t get a second season. Sorry Katie. Just consider it another lesson learned. Rating: 2 stars out of 4

Attention Yankee fans: WBBZ executive Bob Koshinski says tests have been completed and this year’s schedule of games carried by the independent station will be carried in high definition.

CopperPremiere Date: Buffalo native Tom Fontana’s next series premieres on BBC America at 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. The cable network’s first original scripted series is set in New York City in the 1860s and is being shot in Toronto.

pergament@msn.com

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