So I was watching Scandal on Hulu last night and I thought it was really well done. From a dispassionate point of view, I feel like Shonda really changed the game with this episode with regard to the new dramatic direction. Of course I wanted Olivia to just shoot every white man that stood in her way and I didn’t understand why she couldn’t kill the dude (Ian?) who set everything up as well as the guy who imprisoned her.
Oh wait! I do know.
It’s a television drama and that’s what television dramas are built on. That’s what all drama is built on.
When I was a girl I remember re-enacting soap operas that I never even watched with my Barbie dolls. My brother and I had a series of dramas that we role played literally every day, scenarios we had no real life experience with which were lifted from television, movies, books and comics. Drama is the easiest narrative to develop because it’s perpetuated everywhere. And I’m not judging it. So many good things can come out of drama if the conscious intent is to see how unnecessary drama is, in order to resolve deeper issues.
But as we know, that is not what television dramas are about. Television dramas are about keeping you strung out on a series of teasingly hopeful storylines in which the main characters, who may or may not actually be likeable, are people who’s values, hopes dreams and ambitions are put through a series of obstacles and challenges so that we can watch them expose an emotional see-saw of “morally” questionable behavior before they get killed, killed others, get married or the season ends because they jumped the shark.
Dramas are even shamelessly promoted as “addictive” which is why “reality” TV has such a massive following. Drama is addictive. And addiction is a sickness, so be careful what you consume and why.
When I consume shows like “Scandal” and HTGAWM, I realize now that I am only watching something that is seeking to entertain, not to heal or transform. Any healing or transformation I get from drama comes from the intent behind my conscious and critical viewing. I have to be mindful about balancing out the amount of entertainment I consume with the things I consume which are actually meant to guide me towards realizing my best self. Knowing the difference is huge.
Drama is like junk food. It’s fun to snack or binge every once in awhile but no one should make it his or her entire diet. Drinking some water, eating some fruit and vegetables, getting some sun, connecting with others, reading a book and watching a documentary about actual reality is essential to preventing the sickness that arises from a diet composed primarily of drama.
Drama can only sustain you as long as there continues to be more, which there always is, until it kills you, one way or another. But like the guy in this episode of Scandal (and every other TV bad guy in this Century) said, “There are many things much worse than death.”
See what I did there?