Scandal Season Premier Part 1: What we can learn about Relationships from Scandal


scandal-imageBy George James

Scandal has taken the country by storm. People across the country are eagerly anticipating the new season and will schedule their Thursday night around the show (a client of mine debated between watching Scandal and going to the gym). What’s made this show so popular? Is it Kerry Washington (for guys and fashionistas the answer is YES)? Is it the acting (strong cast with compelling story lines)? Is it the idea of fixing the mess that people get in to? Or is it the $ex, romance and relationship saga of the main characters? Most viewers would say it’s all of the reasons mentioned and more.

The success of Scandal shows that viewers are intrigued and captivated by relationships and drama. With that said, here are a few things you can take from Scandal to help your relationship or potential relationship.

1) Check the Baggage: Everyone has a backstory. When the team takes on a new client they do extensive research to know who they are getting in bed with. In my clinical practice, I’ve seen too many people not do their research. Everyone has baggage. The person you are with, want to be with and even you have some baggage. Can you accept the baggage the other person brings to the relationship? Baggage doesn’t stop you from having a good relationship but it could sabotage or even destroy your relationship if you do not know what it is.

2) Fix the Problem – Olivia Pope’s job is to fix problems. Just about any problem that comes up they can fix. They tackle the problem head on and do not avoid the issues creating the problem. I work with couples to help them fix their problems. One thing I see often is avoidance. Many couples avoid their problems and the issues creating the problem. With the use of good communication skills, it is important to fix the problems in your relationship. If you continue to avoid the problems you could remain unhappy and could possibly create additional problems such as resentment.

3) Attraction, Love & a Good Fit – Many of the characters on the show get in and out of various relationships. The main character, Olivia Pope is in an on again off again relationship with the President (who is a married man). They have a strong attraction to each other and have even professed their love to each other. One question that the two struggle with is does love and attraction equal a good fit? Just because you are attracted to someone or even love that person, it does not mean that being in a relationship with him or her will be a good fit. Sometimes there can be significant barriers keeping the relationship from working. It could be another person (like a husband or wife or a disapproving family member), personality differences, financial struggles, racial/cultural differences, faith differences, communication difficulties or something else. I have seen many clients try to force a relationship to work that might not be a good fit. You could love the person and be attracted to him or her but it might not be a good fit to be in a relationship with the person.

If you are having difficulties in your relationship or have some problems you need to fix, find a therapist and let him or her be your Olivia Pope/fixer.

George James is a Licensed Couple & Family Therapist
and CEO of George Talks, LLC,
Where Your Relationships Matter.
For more on this and other topics, please visit,
Twitter: @GeorgeTalksLLC
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