Telly Text #17: Scandal + Big School

on Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Words: Jordan Andrew


Social media has changed the way we watch television recently, with "second screen activity" - when a television event happens, Facebook and Twitter explode. Good examples of this are when the Premiership or 'The X-Factor' start again, you can usually see your news feed covered in statuses and tweets.

One show that uses Twitter to connect with their fans is 'Scandal', giving users the nickname “Gladiators”. These “Gladiators” tweet their love for the show and even get the chance to have Twitter chats with different cast members each week. 'Scandal' is US political thriller that stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope a crisis management ‘fixer’ that leaves her job in the White House to start her own crisis management company. When anything goes wrong Olivia Pope is the one to phone to make things right.

Olivia Pope may seem very blunt when you first see her but underneath her sassy bravado, there is a woman wanting to be loved by the President. And no, not Obama! President Fitzgerald Grant played by Tony Goldwyn, who matches up very well with Kerry Washington giving us passion as well as making you want to keep his dirty little affair a secret, which does start to leak in this second series.

Even though Olivia Pope is seen as the ‘fixer’, she has a cracking team that helps solve her cases. Harrison Wright (Columbus Short), Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield), Huck (Guillermo Diaz) and Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes). Each one has been helped and personally picked by Olivia Pope herself, they are known as her Gladiators, and before you say it they are not as crazy as those ‘Directioners’. Their loyalty to Olivia is questioned throughout season two especially by Quinn who has a lot of questions but will she get the answers she wants.

My favourite character to watch is Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) who plays President Fitzgerald Grant’s devoted wife. At first, she does come across as your typical annoying wife that Fitz should get rid of. Her consist whining can give you a headache but during the second series we get to see Mellie grow into quite a dominating role, which may involve quite a bit of blackmailing and scheming. She is not your backstreet President’s wife and maybe one day she could be running the White House.

'Scandal' to me is one of the most underrated shows around - this silk style acting is a must watch. More4 is the perfect home for 'Scandal'. It means that it gives 'Scandal' a chance to grow in the UK without the pressure of ratings. With series three about to start in the US, I really hate the fact we will have to wait until next year for some of these US shows. However with the impressive ratings that series two had in the US, we will be seeing a lot more of Olivia Pope and her Gladiators.

Catch 'Scandal' every Thursday at 9pm on More4 or catch up on 4oD.

'Big School'

Recently, there has been a lack of decent British comedy shows in my opinion. When I see some of these so-called “comedies” advertised on my television screen, I go with my television instinct, which tells me to flick over. Maybe I'm being really snobby and not giving some of these new shows a chance, so when the trailer for 'Big School' appeared with an all-star cast I had high hopes. Set in Greybridge Secondary School, this comedy stars David Walliams, Catherine Tate, and Philip Glenister just to name a few.

When Miss Postern (Catherine Tate) the new French Teacher joins Greybridge, she is fresh meat for all the staff especially Mr. Church (David Walliams) and Mr. Gunn (Philip Glenister). Each episode this fight for Miss Postern affection gets weirder and weirder between Mr. Church and Mr. Gunn. Now I never thought I would see a bunch of men fighting over Catherine Tate but looking at the other female "talent" in this school I can make allowances.

Whenever Mr. Church has an issue with the school, there is one person that is willing to listen to his issues, Ms Baron (Frances De La Tour), headmistress of Greybridge. She is not your average headmistress - she drinks, smokes and does drugs right in her office. Not giving a crap about what anyone thinks or has to say which includes Mr. Church who usually comes out her office worse off. She is the true gem of this show, an outrageous headmistress played so well.

My main issue with this show is the lack of support it has received from the BBC. Firstly, airing this show on a Friday at 9pm when quite a lot are out or watching the 'Celebrity Big Brother' eviction is killing the potential ratings this show could achieve. Secondly, bringing this show out with the return of 'Bad Education' and 'Waterloo Road' in the same period does make me wonder if the BBC is running out of idea. Why not base a comedy series around a dentist or a department store, now that is very original!

If the BBC does decide to renew 'Big School' they need to fit this show in during the weekday when people are more likely to be home, I would say a Wednesday night when there is not too much on the television screen. Furthermore with the slow death of 'Waterloo Road' recently, there will soon be room for a new school-based show and 'Big School' has the chance to take that crown.

Catch 'Big School' every Friday at 9pm on BBC One or catch up on BBC iPlayer.

msn spaces tracker