I know I’m late to the party, but I’m just now getting into SCANDAL. It’s good sudsy fun, as if Joe Eszterhas wrote WEST WING. There are elements that seem far fetched – Kerry Washington just yelling at the President of the United States and a woman getting to a fourth floor office in the Capitol building with a bomb strapped to her (good security at the lobby) – but overall it zips along. ABC was so right to get Shonda Rhimes to create this show instead of me. If I were writing SCANDAL this is what a typical scene might be between President Fitzgerald Grant (the always-evil, always-good Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia “Liv” Pope (Kerry Washington).
THE PRESIDENT IN THE OVAL OFFICE
OLIVIA IN A CONGRESSMAN’S OFFICE IN THE CAPITOL BUILDING.
Olivia places a call on her cellphone. The president’s phone rings. “I’m Saving All My Love For You” is his ringtone. He rolls his eyes and answers.
PREZ: This is not a good time.
LIV: It’s never a good time anymore.
PREZ: Seriously. The world is exploding.
LIV: You said you were going to call last night.
PREZ: A hurricane destroyed New Orleans.
LIV: Yeah, yeah. It’s always something.
PREZ: I had to fly down there and inspect the damage.
LIV: You don’t have people who can do that?
PREZ: No. I have to do it myself. I also helped out sandbagging the levee. I was up to my hips in water for five hours.
LIV: I stayed up past midnight waiting for you.
PREZ: Look, you knew what you were getting into when you met me.
LIV: No, I didn’t. You never said you were the president.
PREZ: I specifically… (realizing) What? You didn’t know I was president of the United States?
PREZ: We met in the Oval Office.
LIV: Well, there was some confusion. There was someone else’s portrait on the wall. I figured he was the president.
PREZ: That was Lincoln!
LIV: Okay, now it makes sense. I didn’t think Daniel Day Lewis was the president. He’s British. You can’t have an American president from a foreign country, can you?
PREZ: I just got the word. Our embassy in Libya was attacked.
LIV: No, no. You’re not using that old excuse again.
PREZ: What do you want? I’m in the middle of two major crises.
LIV: Do you think I’m pretty?
LIV: You never compliment me anymore.
PREZ: You’re gorgeous. Smoking hot. Amazing. I gotta go.
LIV: Should I get a Brazilian?
LIV: They hurt but I’ll get one for you if that’s what you like.
PREZ: (calling to someone) The War Room? I’ll be right there. Don’t attack anybody until I get there. (to Liv) Uh, sure. Fine.
LIV: Do you know anybody?
PREZ: What? No. How would I know anybody who does Brazilian waxes?
LIV: Can’t you call the CIA? Don’t they know everything?
PREZ: That’s not what they’re there for.
LIV: Then the FBI?
LIV: You’re right. They handle stuff inside the U.S. and this is Brazil.
PREZ: Just Google it!
LIV: Does your wife have one?
PREZ: Honestly. Truly. I have to go.
LIV: Wait. A couple of things. First – when am I going to see you?
PREZ: This is a bad week. Maybe Thursday if the government doesn’t shut down again.
LIV: Okay. Great. I’ll go back on the pill. Number second – I have a friend from yoga class who tried to get a tour of the White House and they said they were booked. Could you call someone and see if they could squeeze her in? Her name is Bambi Moneymaker and she’d like to go tomorrow so if you could call today that would be great.
PREZ: I’ll take care of it.
LIV: You won’t forget now!
PREZ: I said I’d take care of it.
LIV: I know you.
PREZ: I’ll do it!
LIV: Text me when it’s done.
PREZ: (to someone o.s.) How many are dead? Jesus!
LIV: Hello? You’re not listening to me!
PREZ: Liv, I can’t…
LIV: Last thing. Promise.
PREZ: Okay. What?
PREZ: You waited until NOW to tell me this?
LIV: I didn’t want to forget the other stuff. You’re so hard to get ahold of these days.
PREZ: A woman with a bomb? I swear, Liv, you are the Lucy Riccardo of mistresses. Every goddamn week it’s something else. Your father runs a super secret spy organization, you’re in a hostage situation…
LIV: Well, excuse me for having a life.
PREZ: Put the woman on.
LIV: Thanks. Oh… what time Thursday?
PREZ: Just put the suicide bomber on the phone!
LIV: Okay, but use your nice voice. She has her thumb on the button. One press and we’re all blown to smithereens. Love you. (to woman bomber). He wants to talk to you.
WOMAN: Me? That’s the president of the United States? And he wants to talk to me? What, what do I call him?
LIV: I call him Sugar Bear but you might want to go with Mr. President, although doesn’t that sound stupid? Shouldn’t it either be mister or president? (on phone) How come people call you Mre. Pres…
PREZ: Just put her on the phone!!
LIV: Don’t talk long. My battery is running low.
Liv hands the phone to the woman.
WOMAN: Hello, Mr. President.
PREZ: Who else besides you and Ms. Pope are in that office?
WOMAN: No one. It’s just us. I’m a big fan. I voted for you.
PREZ: Of course you did. Okay. Listen very carefully. I will release all the Kennedy documents, every single one, but only under one condition.
WOMAN: What’s that?
PREZ: PRESS THE FUCKING BUTTON!!!!
CUT TO BLACK.