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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 142

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  1. Dec 28, 2012
    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
  2. Apr 6, 2012
    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. Expand
  3. Apr 7, 2012
    I lasted 15 minutes! Shonda you're a classmate but I can't stand your material. You present people as adolescent chatter boxes who glibly represent some shallow world I've never experienced nor want to. Souffles of faux angst and hollow people.
  4. Apr 5, 2012
    Wow, this show is painful to watch. If you like **** manipulative lawyers, being as awful as possible, then go ahead and watch it. Grey's Anatomy but they specialize in being terrible human beings.
  5. Apr 8, 2012
    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.
  6. Apr 8, 2012
    Based only in the pilot, this show was a bad mix of unbelievable characters, bad dialogs and cliché stories. We have a great and powerful lobbyist and a group of lawyers that could do anything for their clients, because they solve crisis, so they don't have to play by the rules.
    It sounded decent in paper, but there is no good reason to watch the show unless they add some
    depth to the characters, make them believable and improve the stories a lot. I really hope S.R. can improve, being a fan of some of her other shows. Expand
  7. Apr 2, 2012
    I just watched the pilot episode and I'm really looking forward to this series. This is a political/legal drama, featuring a crisis management firm led by a former White House correspondent. While it's too early to predict whether the writers will be able to come up with enough interesting plots for every episode, the characters have such great chemistry, that viewers will be drawn in. I really loved the casting and was particularly impressed by the female lead (played by Washington). who really shines. Expand
  8. vhw
    Apr 7, 2012
    The show was much better than I was anticipating it to be. Great performance by KW. The writing can be improved, and based on S.R's previous work, I'm hoping it will.
  9. Apr 6, 2012
    The pilot for me was a mix of good and bad. The good was there were some bright patches of snappy dialogue and interesting little character traits, such as the lead being someone who likes to fix things, including her co-workers. As for the bad, for starters, none of the characters really appealed to me in the pilot. I'd even say I actively disliked a few of them, including the lead, and not in a good way like Alex from the Grey's Anatomy pilot or House. I remember how much I loved the pilot for Grey's Anatomy, in no small part because I liked every character, even the ones who were dicks. But here, whether it's the writing or the casting (probably both), I found myself turned off. Also, the pilot fell back on the very well-worn cliche of having their big, unsolvable problem solved by one of the characters realizing there was a street security camera that may have filmed what they needed. In the last several years, how many procedurals have fallen back on the security camera solving the case solution? A lot. When they can't even muster up an original solution in the pilot, it doesn't fill me with great confidence for the series moving forward.

    The structure was a touch off too. It starts off with a new employee being hired, insecure and uncertain of herself. The large opening focus on her makes you think the show will be told largely through her perspective. But then she's pretty much ignored for the rest of the show, a passive bystander, and it all becomes about the lead character who runs the company and gets things done. I get why the new character was introduced, to allow us to see the main character through the eyes of a newbie, someone who isn't part of the culture yet and would question the lead character's motives and practices. But the fact that they opened with the newbie so prominently made the rest of the episode feel a bit fractured.

    Ultimately, I was really hoping for something of the quality of Grey's Anatomy, but this isn't it. Not for me, anyway. Maybe I'll watch another episode in a few weeks just see if it's gotten any better.
  10. Oct 26, 2012
    The show started out with promise, but it has been reduced to a show where everyone shouts condescending speeches at each other. There are a few just whiny and awful characters that need to go. The main characters are good if they could have better writing. I hope the show gets back to a more realistic dialogue.
  11. Apr 12, 2012
    Watched for about eight minutes. Not exactly sure why stuff like this gets made, it is like watching a mashup of the worst parts of ten different shows. Very poor.
  12. Apr 9, 2012
    Fantastic television. Fun, sexy, and smart. Reminds of how Grey's Anatomy was in the beginning. Can't wait to see more. I have seen the first two episodes already and just keeps getting better. The cast is fantastic especially Jeff Perry, who plays Cyrus. Keep watching, I promise you won't be able to stop.
  13. Apr 29, 2012
    This show is very refreshing when I think about the summer reruns and these crazy reality show .Think god there is some good writers still out there. Love this writers let your pen keep going don't let negative out weigh the positive. Can't wait to see more of you and you actor (Washington) she is is very refreshing.
  14. May 13, 2012
    Great show! I don't know what some people are watching to give it a 5.6?? Absurd. Excellent drama and writing. Some of the characters are underdeveloped, but it was just enough to want to know more!! My only criticism is the guy who plays Huck... I believe his character is supposed to be kind of "off." But his acting still isn't good to me. But pleeeeease give me more!! I haven't been this excited to watch TV since 24 was on. Expand
  15. May 17, 2012
    I love the show, it's better than those so called reality shows full of dramas that we could do without. A lot of people on here are saying the hate the show, but then probably watch the bachelor or bachelorette which shows a man or woman kissing 15 women or men before he or she can makeup his or her mind. This a really good show!
  16. Jun 3, 2012
    I don't get the negative reviews I'm seeing. This show is a great addition to Rhimes' portfolio of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. My entire circle of friends (ages 25-40) are addicted to this show. My only complaint being that the first season was too short. Revenge couldn't hold my attention, but Scandal sure does!
  17. Nov 12, 2012
    I am a big fan of this show Kerry Washington nails her performance she is magnificent. I have no problem with the plot. I think the way it was set up adds interest to the show.
  18. Jun 19, 2013
    This show is the best of it's genre of the moment. Scandal is intriguing, the love between Olivia (Kerry W.) and Fitz (Tony G.) is intense and you just get them and want to see them again and again. Frankly this show is a great show that you should definitely check out and I can assure you, you will get hook to it and will start dreaming about it. I didn't give it a 10 because I think Shonda Rhimes can still take the show to a all new level. Expand
  19. Apr 12, 2012
    I'll say one thing for Shonda Rhimes, her style is immediately recognizable. Unfortunately lines comparing surgeons to gods (Grey's Anatomy) create an immediate animosity towards the characters she tries so hard to elevate.
  20. Apr 24, 2012
    Characters and plot leave a lot to be desired but I find the show strangely satisfying. suspend belief for an hour and you get a fast paced show with some interesting plots. though those plots do have holes.
  21. Nov 30, 2013
    Scandal would be more appropriately titled "The Adventures of Mary Sue." Olivia Pope is the worst Mary Sue character since Wesley Crusher. But in this show, it's worse, because she's not some minor character--she's in the starring role. Pope is so brilliant that she's semi-psychic and can immediately deduce whether someone is telling the truth. She's so beautiful and charming that the President of the United States falls in love with her literally within five minutes of meeting her. People threaten to quit their jobs if she's mistreated. She can bully the U.S. Attorney General around and he'll still call her his friend at the end of the day.

    It's not in the show, but I'm pretty sure she also has nine Olympic gold medals and once saved some orphans by knocking out a grizzly bear with an uppercut to its testicles.

    The Mary Sue problem destroys the show. It makes it borderline unwatchable. There can be no genuine conflict in a show centered around the idea of "Look how AMAZING this woman is!! No, seriously, keep watching, we're going to keep telling you she's BRILLIANT AND SEXY AND PERFECT."
  22. Jun 12, 2012
    This show started with a group of highly unlikely characters, believing unlikely things uttering an unlikely dialogue. Initially we got only glimpses of characters. As the show has moved on, we start to get to know the characters much better, they have better dialogue and their actions make more sense. My primary objection initially was that the main character is described by her colleagues with awe yet she never inspires awe. She is still not an awesomely inspiring person but she does come across as highly competent at what she does. The show has improved significantly after its pilot. So I watched it some more and it has started to grow on me. Expand
  23. Dec 11, 2012
    Full disclosure: I watched two episodes. This promises to be a lousy show. This is for people who didn't watch "Lie to Me" and many other 6/10 and 7/10 shows that this one apes badly. I'm certain that Darby Stanchfield (Abby) can make more than two facial expressions, so I think she should have been asked to make them on this show. There's plenty of acting talent on the screen. This show doesn't give them the characters, lines, and direction they need to make it work. Expand
  24. Apr 7, 2014
    Season 1 is relatively short but the acting and dialogue make this show worth watching. Kerry Washington is gold and the rest of the cast delivers as well.
  25. May 8, 2012
    Love this show. It is smart and has potential. Characters are interesting and somehow entertaining. However, Kery Washington could do better (too many unnecessary funny faces). It's also good to see Guillermo Diaz and Henry Ian Cusick in other interesting roles !
  26. Oct 8, 2014
    There are so many mysteries and secrets that make this show really addictive. The first season is a little bit too procedural for me, but still a great way to start a show. I think the first season is just an introduction of what's coming next (which will get even better). Acting-wise, sometimes i find the actors overact the scene (i think it's because of the fast-paced things of this show), this makes the acting a bit unnatural for me. Overall, this show is really really addictive. If it's not really your cup of tea, just give it a little time. It works for me. Expand
  27. Nov 21, 2012
    An entertaining minefield of political mishaps and steamy campaigns
  28. Apr 1, 2014
    So I've only watched the first episode of the first season, and I am really disappointed. It's a miracle it even has a score higher than 6/10. It just throws a whole bunch of stuff in your face and expects you to sit back and enjoy it. I don't get it. It's an irritating show, with irritating characters, and a ridiculous over-the-top plot that somehow manages to be boring. I'm going to watch the second episode, and if I don't like that either, I'm done with this show. Expand
  29. Feb 17, 2013
    I hated "Grey's Anatomy". I didn't care for "Scandal" when the first season started. The dialogues were (are?) quite heavy-handed and written. But I stuck with it b/c of the fascinating milieu. Now the show is a must for me every week. It gets more and more intense. Aside from being topical and political, it's also quite psychological and scandalously delicious!
  30. Feb 2, 2013
    I love the show, the plot, and the dialogue. The characters are somewhat relatable-not in the professional aspect but in the basic things we crave: loyalty, love, and respect. The acting is fantastic and the show makes me question how things really happen in the White House. I look forward to the show each week and my newsfeed on Facebook every Thursday is filled with other excited Scandal fans.
  31. Feb 8, 2013
    When I first got into Scandal during it's first season I found myself liking my first political drama. While I know some view the show as ridiculous,; for the first time in a long time I can't wait to see what happens next. While it takes most network shows a while to have a big reveal it takes this show only a matter of a couple episodes to do so. I like that. I'm never bored with this show. As for the cast, it's a wonderful ensemble. Kerry Washington is such a powerhouse; and I can't remember the last time I loved a TV couple as much as I love Fitz and Olivia. Expand
  32. Jun 29, 2013
    Scandal is a political drama that has Olivia Pope as the protagonist. She is literally superwoman, which wins a viewer almost immediately because she isn't just a damsel, or a confused girl, or a trusty sidekick. She is the fixer. Kerry Washington plays the part so well and viewers become entangled in the web of political secrets and conspiracy. There is a love story in the background but that gets old really quickly, and unfortunately it is a major part of the plot lines. Otherwise, its a great show with extremely memorable characters. Expand
  33. Jul 12, 2013
    This is the best show on television right now and I have watched a lot of shows recently. Kerry Washington does a really good job of taking the seriousness of this show and mixing it with pleasure. The acting and writing for this show is extraordinary. It is a show that you have got to keep up with because it is a fast-paced show dealing with the white house and other things around that. I hope this show stays on for many more seasons to come. Expand
  34. Nov 12, 2013
    Decent show. Olivia's dad intriguing, cy is fun. smart writing. interesting enough to continue forward, prefer back to back episodes to get deeper. the photo click scene changes get annoying! love the assassin. decent tv
  35. Oct 19, 2013
    I don't know why people keep on comparing this with Grey's anatomy. I don't know other people's standards but watching the first season, this is one hell lot of a TV show! Good casting, incredible acting, US-TV show standard twists and entertainingly addictive. This is even better than Suits!
  36. Oct 27, 2013
    Amazing. Since the beginning of the show in the trailer. Shonda Rhimes carry us to DC. Shonda Rhimes give us material every week in order to put us addictively fans of the show. Kerry Washington makes a perfect work in the pilot. And Bellamy Young, Jeff Perry and Guillermo Diaz make notable works. It's so twisty, and well written show. 10 of 10. Excellent. The new hit.
  37. Nov 17, 2013
    The first season is a little bit shaky. Understandable, since the plot is quite complicated. The show's got potential, big ones, and Shonda Rhimes is usually the person to trust when it comes to good drama. Apparently, she's not only good at medical shows, but also political ones.
  38. Mar 23, 2014
    Kerry Washington totally ruins this otherwise pretty good series. I don't think I ever saw such poor acting anywhere else. Every single scene she plays is overacted and fake.
  39. Mar 29, 2014
    The acting by the major characters is absolutely terrible, the worst culprit being the lead character, "Olivia Pope," who seems to think acrobatic facial twitches while yelling at people is acting. The main characters are unlikable. The President is a putz and the aforementioned lead character is a moron. The supporting characters are great, but they have too much idiocy to overcome. I powered through 6 shows because this was recommended to me and I thought there must be more to it. I can pretty safely say I tried. Don't waste precious hours of your life on this. Expand
  40. Apr 29, 2014
    I love this show! Every week i can't wait to see what's gonna happen next, always keeps you guessing and surprised at just how scandalous and juicy the story can get!
  41. May 10, 2014
    I have already seen the first season and I really love it. It's an American political thriller serie, but love is also part of the story. It's about Olivia Pope and her associates who protect and defend the nation's elite. They are always trying to solve important people's reputation. There is a lot of plot and you always want to know what's happening after, so you can't stop watching.
  42. Sep 4, 2014
    I've just finished the first season and for every episode I thought how pathetic is this show. Kerry Washington is beautiful but her acting is fake. How can be possible she was nominated at the last Emmys?!?
  43. Sep 21, 2014
    Well first, the show is a bad reflection and demeaning of US politics. Second Olivia Pope Played by Kerry Washington has sex with multiple men (a slut with no moral , she watches her dad kill, she knows that Jake is sicko Jake serial killer and has sex and hangs out with him and the creepy Huck the psycho dude who is having sex in the streets and open places with Quinn. Cyrus is a really creepy psycho dude to. Blow to morality in the United States! Expand
  44. Oct 13, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Scandal is a political thriller that premiered on April 5, 2012 and continues its fourth season as of September 25, 2014. This show uncovers the scandals going on in the government to the highest authority. The main character Olivia Pope is an independent African American woman who is hard working as well as hard headed, striving for success and always going with her gut feeling. She’s truly inspiring. Olivia is a former white house staff member living in Washington D.C. who worked on the presidential campaign. She works with a group of associates that help her to “fix problems.” These problems include getting people out of situations to where they might be charged with murder or assault. Olivia Pope and Associates (OPA) consists of Olivia, Harrison, Abby, Huck, and Stephen. Pope and Associates can also be described as a crisis management team. They’re “gladiators in suits,” which is said frequently throughout the series. The show’s characters all talk at a very fast pace and makes you interested because they know exactly what they’re talking about down the smallest detail. Some people can’t keep up with the pace, but I don’t think it would be the same if they were any different. I think very highly of this show, coming from a person who isn’t very interested in politics but can watch this show for hours on end.
    The season starts by introducing us to Quinn Perkins. Harrison walks up to Quinn in a bar, and begins making conversation. Quinn, thinking this is a blind date, declines Harrison and begins to walk away. Harrison states that this is an interview and she should really stay. As soon as he tells her who he works for, it quickly grabs her attention. She knew exactly who Olivia Pope is and what she does. Quinn is baffled, but quickly accepts his offer and becomes a part of OPA. Shortly into the season, Stephen leaves OPA to further his career elsewhere. The thing about OPA is that it’s not a law firm, or people working for the common good; they’re all people who have problems themselves that need or have needed fixing. Olivia has pulled them all out of their bad situations. They owe their lives to Olivia. She is their savior; not many of us have someone that we owe everything to. They will do anything with no questions asked. Olivia still does small work for the white house because she still has many connections; including a very close friend Cyrus Beene, who is the president’s chief of staff. Quinn is trying to piece together why she is at OPA and finds herself in a tragic situation.
    As season two begins, OPA does their duty and works on getting Quinn get out of her situation. Shortly after, they start to find out who she really is. They realize that this is a bigger scandal than they thought, and goes up higher than they imagined. David Rogen, who is a U.S. attorney, finds evidence linking to voter tampering for the presidential election. David is the kind of guy who is always seeking justice, no matter what. As the president’s 50th birthday arises, they throw a huge party. Walking up the event, there is a shooting killing one and injuring few. Olivia comes back to the white house for the remaining time while they look for the shooter and while some are fighting for their lives. Secrets keep pouring out as we find out about Huck’s past along with Olivia being the president’s mistress. The twists and turns just don’t stop here, they uncover more and more every episode. At some points it’s completely jaw dropping.
    Season three starts by continuing the president’s mistress scandal. Olivia’s name is leaked to the media and her personal life soon becomes public. You see throughout the whole series so far that Olivia and the President can’t keep their hands off each other. Even though the president is married, he still can’t get over the fact that Olivia is the one for him. Personally, I love the romance conflicts and the emotional involvement because as much as she may not want to admit it, she loves the President. Season three also brings about a new government secret. We learn about B613, which is basically like the CIA but with super-spies who kill people to keep the government’s top secret information, a secret. The command of B613 turns out to be none other than Rowan (Olivia’s father). Here, we are introduced to Jake Ballard whom works for B613 and is under the orders of Rowan to keep her safe. Olivia’s mother has been out of the picture since she was young. Her father told her that she had died in a plane crash. Looking into it further, she discovers that her mother may not have died that day. There was another reason she was on that plane, and Olivia can’t let it go. She looks into it further, endangering herself as well as her team. Olivia works with Jake and others to try to take out B613 for good later in the season. This leads to many other conflicts including the death of a husband of a white house official.
  45. Nov 11, 2014
    I do not even know where to start. Does anybody in the cast know how to act? Or is the director simply craycray. The script is ridiculous, seriously, make it real, when we watch a show we want to immerse in it and do not even notice if its acting or reality, they just do not get it, the dumb repetition, the completely long and fake monologues, just a minute makes you feel lime you are watching a 7th grade drama project. And what is going on with the way they speak, paused and like they are on meth. I. WILL. SOLVE. THIS. THIS. IS. MY. FAULT. KILLING. IS. GOOD. ITS. WHO. I. AM. Really? I usually watch these series to see what happens with the dialogues, whit the actors, maybe to see some improvement but Scandal was a burden to watch, i could not make it after season 3, enough is enough. I do not recommend it even if you are looking for something dull to see. The characters are very bad, nonsensical, the plot is even worse, the acting (if you can call it that) makes me want to cry, Kerry Washington should seriously consider another career. Expand
  46. Nov 16, 2014
    Oh my goodness. I love this show. Olivia is in big trouble!! She has made her daddy made...lol. I have to admit that I am addicted to this show. This show keeps me on the edge of my seat..

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. 60
    It's the new Revenge, but so much goofier and more shameless that it makes Revenge look comparatively measured.
  2. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Apr 6, 2012
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Apr 5, 2012
    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.