For nearly two decades, we’ve been told that this is the Golden Age of Television: the smartest, deepest storytelling, the most nuanced and morally complex characters, are found here.
Perhaps it’s time for a reconsideration.
Thursday night, on ABC’s “Scandal,” Olivia Pope, the protagonist — long established in the show’s vernacular as a “white hat,” or good guy — beat a wheelchair-bound stroke victim to death by pulping his face with an aluminum chair.
It was a lengthy scene, and even for a Shonda Rhimes soap that bills itself weekly on “OMG twists” — gruesome scenes of torture and dismemberment, politically expedient murders and illegitimate war, rape, kidnapping, blackmail, and one interminable scene where an imprisoned terrorist chewed through her own wrist to escape — this one was morally and artistically bankrupt.
“One of the worst things I’ve ever seen on television,” said the Onion’s AV Club.
“Making Liv an outright murderer? Come on,” wrote a commenter on Vulture. “Alt