Oprah’s Next Chapter With Kerry Washington & Shonda Rhimes
Kerry Washington, exquisite as Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, has brought fierceness and fashion back to prime time. “Washington made history as the first African American woman to play the lead in a prime time drama in 38 years. Her character has been criticized by some, but many laud Pope’s sense of independence, poise, professional success and even her vulnerability.” Find out you too can exert these same characteristics as prime time’s favorite Olivia Pope through your fashion and home decor.
Over the past four decades, cable has seen Jada Pinkett Smith as HawthoRNe (TNT) and Jill Scott on The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (HBO), but not since Diahann Carroll as Julia, a widowed nurse and single mother, has there been a well known leading Black actress on network TV. The onscreen power and success of both Pinkett-Smith and Scott, two bold, outspoken and extremely talented actresses paved the way for another prime time series featuring a leading Black actress. Each show brought in 3-4 million viewers on average, clearly there was an audience waiting to be tapped into.
Speed to Oprah’s Next Chapter aired on Sunday, December 9, 2012: Enter Shonda Rhimes, network TV’s most successful African-American writer and producer with Washington and Judy Smith, DC’s infamous political fixer for inspiration. Three of the most powerful women in television. Each with an individual, yet similar look of power, professionalism, and femininity.
Millions tune in weekly to follow the intense pace, political chess games, tormented love triangle, and to peep Pope’s style. Operating within a male-dominated political landscape, Lyn Paolo (Scandal costume designer) dresses Washington in soft silhouettes using “whites, pinks, peaches, and creams” to exude professionalism, femininity, power and leadership. As a political fixer, Pope often gives hard nosed advice under difficult circumstances; it’s important that others immediately feel comfortable and safe with her—soft, warm colors help make that happen.
Viewers also love Pope’s home décor. Bedding from West Elm and delicate, long-stemmed wine glasses from Crate and Barrel pop off the screen in her home. Your bedroom can add to or take away from the femininity and power you display daily.
As the second season came to an end, Gladiators—nickname for staff at Olivia Pope & Associates and for fans of the show—have many questions left to ponder:
- Why, Huck? Was Huck the actual shooter?
- Who’s behind it all? Mellie? Hollis? Sally?
- Will President Grant survive?
- How will Olivia and OPA be implicated?
- What will happen to the love triangle now?
- Can Olivia fix this?
Amid the steamy love scenes, high-powered career moves, and glamorous Diva style, the only other woman to rival Pope in running for best year ever is none other than Beyonce herself. In case you missed last night’s Next Chapter episode, check out the best moments below…
Tell us some of your Scandal predictions below… What will become of Olivia and Fitz?