Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal is an undeniable hit thanks to the cast’s star-power, a killer wardrobe team, the salacious and secretive backdrop of Washington, D.C. politics, and perhaps most of all, the steamy, high-stakes relationship between President Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope. While I’ve participated in the edge-of-my-seat, self-fanning, “OMG!”tweeting that predictably follows each sexy encounter between the two lovers, the portrayal of this relationship has become increasingly uncomfortable to watch. Fitz and Liv’s relationship is looking a lot less like porn for women (horrible stuff, btw) and more like a textbook unhealthy relationship. Yes, yes y’all. Pull the fabulous cream-colored pantsuit from your eyes and see that what Fitz and Liv have isn’t something to be emulated, but something to be eyed with caution.
Is it just me or are a lot of prime time television shows airing episodes where a female character is struck deaf and dumb by the loud ticking of her biological clock? Has this always been a go-to plot contrivance or am I’m just noticing it now because I’m 31 and at least one of my peers is posting a birth announcement to Facebook every other month? The mass influx of baby shower invites aside, I find it rather offensive that TV shows are slamming this narrative down our throats. While there are real and significant concerns about fertility as we age, I see the media playing a role in the hysteria, desperation, and ultimate “settling” that a number of women engage in whether intentional or not. Think about it, what sparked the last conversation or serious thought you had about fertility, your Ob-gyn or the hens on Basketball Wives?
Like Parlourista Hillary, I too have identified with an episode of “Girls.” I remember having a Hannah moment in college when one of my roommates came home from the campus health center with tears in her eyes. As we sat together on our cheap first apartment furniture and I asked her what was wrong. “I have HPV,” she said through tears, “and there’s no cure.” While I wish I was the one who doled out my own smart, sassy retort, it was my other roomie who jumped in. “Oh. That? Everybody has that. It’s really no big deal.” And just like that, we kept on living as real girls do.