• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 5, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 5, 2012
    83
    On "Grey's Anatomy," particularly in the first two years, Rhimes proved herself skilled at crafting gripping love stories. She's outdone herself here.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 4, 2012
    75
    The formula doesn't always work (insert memories of your least favorite "Grey's" story arc here), but when it does, Rhimes is as successful at tugging for the heartstrings as anyone in the business.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 30, 2012
    75
    Scandal is about as realistic as Mamie Eisenhower Witch Hunter but it has so much headlong energy, you may not care. [9 Apr 2012, p.40]
  4. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Apr 6, 2012
    70
    It's still a fun, fast ride, with lots of twists and turns, murder and menace, and after only a few episodes we know enough back story about most of the main characters to care what happens to them.
  5. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    Rhimes hustles the audience into episodes in the middle of things. Pope and her colleagues speak at a clip suggesting years of study at the West Wing School of Elocution and Composition. In the rush, I scarcely had time to scoff at the over-the-top content of the pilot.
  6. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    Scandal isn't a deep show, but it's bright enough.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    Even if Scandal isn't quite as instantly addictive as "Grey's Anatomy" was back in the day, this is a well-paced, generally well-acted show with some promising elements (though there is also an occasional tendency to offer contrived redemptions that don't make a ton of sense).
  8. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    It's entertaining to watch, though, distracting in a highly caffeinated way, and Washington and Cusick are especially fun together, but at no point do the characters seem like people or the venue anything but a fast-paced, occasionally clever television show.
  9. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    It's energetic and inventive enough that I suggest you check it out. Maybe twice. Shonda Rhimes has certainly earned at least a second look.
  10. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    This may not be Peabody material, but if you like a show that's not afraid to go bananas, this might just be your type of low-hanging fruit.
  11. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    It is stylish, hammy, sexy, dirty, devilish, laughably bad TV, the guiltiest pleasure since the network unveiled "Revenge."
  12. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Apr 5, 2012
    70
    While there are bouts of facile speechifying, some of the twists are predictable, and the plot gears are greased a little too easily in the pilot--the various OPA employees know, and have dirt on, everyone from cops and mobsters to politicians and reporters--it's a satisfying, fast-paced, well-acted hour with flashes of humor.
  13. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Apr 4, 2012
    70
    While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
  14. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Apr 3, 2012
    67
    Clear away the soap bubbles, and you'll find ... more soap bubbles. But you won't be bored.
  15. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Apr 5, 2012
    63
    This female-skewing drama gets points for its actors' performances and its originality.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Apr 5, 2012
    63
    At just seven hours, you can think of Scandal as the modern equivalent of those old Sidney Sheldon miniseries and enjoy it at that level. Assuming you can get through the first hour. And past the main character.
  17. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 4, 2012
    63
    A tantalizingly juicy soap opera.
  18. The cast around Washington is also quite solid, and the show looks and is refreshingly different from a typical procedural. But it also feels a little too slick and superficial, and those gaps in logic may be a problem for some viewers.
  19. 60
    It's the new Revenge, but so much goofier and more shameless that it makes Revenge look comparatively measured.
  20. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Apr 5, 2012
    60
    If Olivia can keep her edge, if Rhimes can keep the stories as strong as the soap, and if we start feeling we don't know exactly what to expect, "Scandal" could become a habit worth forming.
  21. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Apr 5, 2012
    60
    The show's formula looks to be this: the silly plots swirl, the brokers scheme, and the minions toil, but in each episode, Liv finds a moment to chat with one of these wise, powerful, and inevitably troubled women. In these moments, Scandal is slightly less tabloidy and soapy, and slightly more beguiling.
  22. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Apr 3, 2012
    60
    While the characters are slight and the dialog is silly, there's a story there somewhere.
  23. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Apr 2, 2012
    60
    The show's set in Washington, where the crises that need managing are unending, so there's bound to be material, some of it all too familiar.
  24. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 5, 2012
    58
    Over the top? Yeah. Closer to the truth of the matter? That, too.
  25. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Apr 2, 2012
    58
    At once cynical and softhearted, Scandal is a nighttime soap less believable than Private Practice. Good acting, though.
  26. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 5, 2012
    50
    If only what's new about Scandal was supported by something better than blah writing, ludicrous situations and cardboard characters.
  27. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Apr 5, 2012
    50
    The banging-the-president plot may outdo "Grey's" and "Private Practice's" in sheer headline-grabbing, gonzo boldness, but it's still ill-advised. The chief executive needs to button up, and even Shonda Rhimes can't make a TV show escapist and over the top enough to obviate that--though, it sure should be interesting to watch her try.
  28. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Apr 3, 2012
    50
    To enjoy the show, though, you really have to suspend disbelief at many points, just as you do with "Grey's." There are moments when the frenetic drive for cleverness prompts some rather silly decisions about plot points.
  29. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 30, 2012
    30
    As usual, Rhimes' workplace characters talk very fast, but the manic visual style can't obscure a series flawed on most every level.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 45
  2. Negative: 12 out of 45
  1. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    I discovered Scandal really late. I am not a fan of Private Practice or Greys so I avoided this show but I am now hooked,. Scandal is smart, fast and sexy. Its like a romance ,mystery , crime novel wrapped up in a nice package . I love it Full Review »
  2. Apr 6, 2012
    2
    This show had a lot of promise and decent production values but the writing and acting are simply horrible, on the caliber of high school. The characters are unimaginative stereotypes which allows you to know what's going to happen in every scene without any effort. After slogging through this premiere ep I couldn't delete it fast enough and to unschedule all future recordings of it - this show needs to be cancelled asap. Full Review »
  3. Apr 8, 2012
    1
    Very disappointing. Unbelievable storyline, no depth to the acting. I lasted 20 minutes and could not continue. I particularly didn't like the lead character who so seemed somewhat vacuous. Full Review »