• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 5, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Scandal Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

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  • Summary: A former White House communications director, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) now runs her own crisis management firm, helping clients fix potential career-ending problems.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 5, 2012
    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: Maureen Ryan
    Apr 5, 2012
    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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Apr 5, 2012
    This female-skewing drama gets points for its actors' performances and its originality.
  6. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Apr 5, 2012
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 30, 2012
    As usual, Rhimes' workplace characters talk very fast, but the manic visual style can't obscure a series flawed on most every level.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 40
  2. Negative: 10 out of 40
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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 Expand
  4. 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 Expand
  5. 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.
  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.
  7. 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. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews