Scandal stars Kerry Washington (Broomhilda in Django Unchained) as Olivia Pope. She fixes problems as a profession. Her clients are rich and powerful people that even include the President. This is a 44 minute long show (one hour including commercials) that will be entering its 6th season on ABC. Each week Olivia and her team race against the clock to solve tough work problems before they become national headlines, and of course also deal with their own personal issues. This review will specifically deal with the currently released Season Five on DVD. Is Scandal Season Five worth your hard earned entertainment dollars?
There are 21 Episodes for Scandal Season Five on 5 discs for a complete run time of 882 minutes. Like the previous 4 seasons this release is only available on DVD. The package is the size of a regular DVD case, which is space saving and comes with a slip cover. The art on the case is replicated from the slip. This has a suggested retail price of $45.99 but you should be able to find it right now for around $35 at major online retailers. Previous seasons can be found new around $15 to $20 each so it is not cost prohibitive to get caught up quickly on the show if you choose to do so.
The story moves along rather quickly so it may be most advantageous to start from Season One if you are new to the series. The episodes are basically self contained stories, but the characters have arcs through the entire series. A lot of the story has to do with their interpersonal relationships and secrets from the past. Episodes usually take place in Washington D.C., but at times they will venture out a little depending on the story. It felt a bit like an evening soap opera to me. Characters were constantly figuring out new ways to get into relationships with one another or finding out secrets from their past that came out to haunt them. The characters go on a roller coaster of tragedy and triumph. Nothing really stands still, the scripts are generating lots of changes for the characters even within each episode.
I can see this being a divisive part of the show with people who have watched these characters for years and then suddenly get the rug pulled out from under them. I never really had any personal attachment to any certain actor so I was fine to just go along for the ride, but your opinion may vary. I think it is an interesting enough show that can be engrossing depending on your taste. It can get a little over the top and sensational; like I mentioned before it seems to be a bit like a late night soap opera, but it didn’t stop me from being entertained as long as I didn’t take it too seriously. There are truck sized plot holes in the stories, but I think this is a show that you watch more for the character interaction and the big picture of what happens in the long run rather than the minute details. It’s more a show to watch with popcorn or a glass of wine rather than a magnifying glass and notebook.
Audio and Visuals:
I am not sure why none of the Scandal seasons are available on Blu-ray. It seems like the show was shot in high definition, but DVD releases are all that has been created so far. With that being said, the audio and picture quality seem to be pretty solid. I had no issues with sound and this release sports Dolby Digital 5.1. This type of a release is heavy in dialogue so it doesn’t specifically make use of tons of surround sound features. The dialogue is clear and what you would expect from a modern release. Also included are English, French and Spanish subtitles.
The visuals are similar to the sound in the fact that nothing spectacular is on display here but it is a solid modern release that is in line with other standard definition TV shows. It is presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio.
This release is pretty bereft of special features. There is one extended episode and a 3 minute long blooper reel.
The show seems to have a decent budget and is filmed competently. It’s difficult to specifically explain much about the show without spoiling things. The whole show has to do with revelations about the main characters within the construct of their jobs of covering up political scandals. It is a show about secrets, both in professional life and private life. If that sounds interesting to you then you should check out Scandal Season Five. I don’t think it is a show for everyone, as the style of writing and character interaction could be off putting to some viewers. It is rated TV-14, and while not being extremely vulgar, in my opinion it might contain situations that some find disagreeable, although it didn’t bother me at all. The show itself never seemed boring as there were plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep the viewer interested. Scandal Season Five on DVD comes recommended.
Note: This DVD was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.