Kerry Washington

Shonda Rhimes, you are forgiven for Off the Map.

Last night, the Grey's Anatomy guru unveiled her latest femme-tastic creation, Scandal, and from the insta-addictive pilot, we've got ourselves a hot one! Slick, sexy and mercifully set in a world other than the medical field, it's like the anti-Private Practice And look, kids! Nary a Fray tune to tell us to how to feel while characters slo-mo their way through montages. Instead, we get Kerry Washington tearing around D.C. as Olivia Pope, the stiletto-sharp, morally ambiguous attorney at the head of a crisis-management A-Team, Henry Ian Cusick (Lost) as her right-hand man, and some juicy back story between Olivia and Tony Goldwyn's President of the United States.

Of course there's also clichés aplenty to remind us that we're still on network TV. It's the kind of show where lawyers describe themselves as "a gladiator in a suit" and work in cavernous lofts that look like the set of a CW photo shoot, while gay soldiers go from closeted suspects to heroes at the drop of a red herring. But for an empty-calorie escape, it's fun enough and Washington is sheer fabulosity. It also helps that Rhimes has focused the action on Olivia, a complicated, seasoned pro, instead of the firm's doe-eyed newbie (Katie Lowes), and has injected the proceedings with an over-the-top sense of urgency — not to mention self — that practically screams "buckle up!" As long as she keeps the adrenaline pumping and leaves the angst to her two scrub operas, we're happy to go along for the ride.

Did you take in Scandal last night? What's you take?

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