Can’t Stop Watching: Olivia Pope’s Mom Makes ‘Scandal’ Debut, Mike Tyson’s One-Man Show Coming to HBO & More

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in "Scandal" (Photo: ABC)


Olivia Pope’s mother made her onscreen debut during last night’s “Scandal” episode! She appeared, as expected, during a flashback scene where she said goodbye to a then-12-year-old Liv for the last time (so, we think…LOL—it’s “Scandal.”) Though the scene was 45 seconds long (yes, I timed it) and she was pretty shadowed, I think many viewers were glad that her mother, Maya Lewis (she went by her maiden name), was finally featured. And I think Khandi Alexander is the right choice. I didn’t doubt it when the casting choice was announced a few days ago but watching that scene solidified it for me. It’ll be good to see more of  her in this role. Good for you, Khandi!

While we’re on the Popes, Eli/Rowan Pope seemed pretty choked up when he watched news of his wife’s airplane going down. No one was in the room, so his reaction seems genuine. He was hesitant and nervous to break the news to Liv. Wonder how he’s going to react if he found out she was alive?  I don’t think he was physically abusive toward her but seeing how he is with B-613, I can see her wanting to leave if she discovered his fondness for torturing and ordering hits. Plus, he’s a control freak (As I typed those sentences, it dawned on me that the Daddy Pope character is similar to Giancarlo Esposito’s character Tom Neville in NBC’s “Revolution.” Huh …).

Speaking of someone who needs to see a therapist, doesn’t Mellie, with her  creamy skin and chestnut-colored bouffant, remind  you of Delta Burke’s character, Suzanne Sugarbaker, in the earlier seasons of “Designing Women?” Something else I thought of during last night’s episode is just how immature Quinn’s behaving. Her role within Pope & Associates was limited for a reason, we see. I get wanting to take shooting lessons but to open yourself up to the likes of Charlie, the B-613 assassin, is very naive and proves that her co-workers behaved appropriately. Quinn knows what this guy is capable of and that he can’t be trusted.  You see Cyrus didn’t fall for the okey doke with Vice President Sally Langston. He knew her personality and tested to see if she was planning to run against the President. He was right. And we see that Charlie is using Quinn per Daddy Pope’s instruction. This may get rough for Quinn. As my grandfather used to say, “Let this be a lesson to you.” The saga continues … “Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.

Watch the latest “Scandal” episode
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Here’s what else is poppin’…

Not only will Spike Lee be visiting “Oprah’s Next Chapter” Sunday (watch the promo here) but his Broadway directorial debut, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” airs later next week, on Nov. 16, on HBO. The one-man stage show about Mike Tyson promises to be powerful, raw and humorous. The LA Times said Tyson had a “riveting stage presence.” I bet. For those you who don’t remember, Tyson was it when I was a kid. Yes, Muhammad Ali is “The Greatest” but Tyson was a force to be reckoned with too, hence the moniker “Iron Mike.” With all of the highs he’s had— multimillion dollar contracts, youngest heavyweight champion of the world, and worldwide celebrity— he’s experienced some severe lows—disastrous marriage to actress Robin Givens, rape conviction, bankruptcy, daughter’s death, biting folk’s ear. “But it’s molded me into the man that stands before you. This is my undisputed truth,” Tyson says of his life experiences during a promo for the film.  Teaming with Larry Sloman, Tyson also will release his autobiographical memoir, “Undisputed Truth, on Nov. 12. Look at the promos hereColumbus Short appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night, sliding and gliding a la James Brown onstage. Short portrays Gladiator Harrison Wright on ABC’s “Scandal.” I first started paying attention to him after seeing him in “Cadillac Records” as Little Walter (there was something very intoxicating about his portrayal. The same for Eamonn Walker as Howlin’ Wolf.). Short has a snarky, humorous side that he shares with the late night host. Check it out here.  While we’re on the young, gifted and black … Ashanti guest starred  as a celebrity judge on a recent episode of “Law & Order: SVU” and will appear in Lifetime’s “Christmas in the City.” On “SVU,” she plays a celebrity judge on a reality TV show that has a singing coach accused of sexual assault by a student.  I haven’t seen the episode yet but you can see it  here.  “Christmas in the City” premieres on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime.

On my watchlist tonight? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand this weekend…
“Boardwalk Empire”: With all that’s happening with Chalky White and Valentin Narcisse, you know it’s worth tuning in. It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO. [Watch here]
“Oprah’s Next Chapter’: As I’ve noted, Spike Lee will be the subject and he addresses a few controversies, including his feelings on filmmaker Tyler Perry. It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on OWN.[Watch here]
“The Walking Dead’: Well, Carol’s been banished and Michonne and the crew barely escaped from their run during the last episode. Let’s see what happens next.  It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. [Watch here]

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Judy Smith, the inspiration  behind “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope, has a new show coming to  CBS called “The Advocate” (That’s cool!).
NOT: Possible evidence tampering in the case of the Kendrick Johnson, the Georgia teen found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at his  high school (What’s really going on here).

HOT: World champion gymnast Simone Biles, 16, focusing on training for the 2016 Olympics instead racists taunts (Sounds like a plan to me.).
NOT: Biracial Kansas City teen changing her name from Keisha to Kylie because of—you’ve guessed it—racist taunts (Is “racist taunts” today’s catch phrase? Anyway, this is unfortunate.).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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