|Actor Columbus Short|
The Bar Loves Columbus Short
Black Girls' Night Out: Carter & Pope
What's going on with Harrison Wright on Scandal? Oh, right...nothing. Nothing's going on with Harrison.
Some 2-3 weeks ago we saw him get all bent out shape over someone named Adnan Saleif. So bent out, in fact, the episode ended with Harrison turning to Huck for a "favor" about making sure this Adnan fellow never stepped foot back on American soil. Okay...it was weak, and vague, and the audience felt nothing, but we figured it would lead into something bigger. Nope. We haven't heard about Adnan since.
This past week's episode showed Harrison in bed with the sister/daughter/whatever of Congressman Josie Marcus (Lisa Kudrow). His lover? A stereotypically idiot blonde named Candy - literally.
Now, I knew right away these two would sleep together this week. From the moment they stepped onscreen, I knew. What galls me is 1) I saw it coming so easily, 2) it didn't do anything for the plot, and 3) this is a really irritating pattern with Harrison's characterization.
We have had flashbacks and flesh-outs of damn near every character on the show by now, including the mysterious Olivia Pope herself, but when it comes to Harrison, it's the like the writers draw a blank. He's the actor they signed on too quickly as though to fill a quota, without stopping to think ahead about how he would contribute to the show (aside for being eye candy). Harrison is like the fanfic character you eventually have to cut out because you have Absolutely No Clue what to do with him, and in some ways, he holds the story back.
Granted, Harrison runs Olivia's office and to remove him from the cast would have a destabilizing effect upon the fictional business. However, this in-between status of his, this bland, boring limbo he's stuck in makes you wonder why the writers are having such a hard time finding an interesting way to flesh out a successful, functional, intelligent black man.
Wait...is that it? He's not playing a hard ex-con seeking revenge or redemption? He's not playing a hard-nosed soldier or some white guy's comical BFF? He's not playing a rapper/spoken word artist/broke jazz musician in a straight-to-video movie? He's not playing a slave - is that it?
I mean, is anyone else baffled as to how the same woman who "designed" Dr. Preston Burke is having trouble with Harrison Wright, Esq.?
This bothers me. This really troubles me. We only have two black men who appear regularly on Scandal (and Joe Morton is new) - one's the villain, and the other's...Harrison.
Meanwhile, where white men on Scandal are considered, we have Cyrus (evil), James (good...ish), Jake (good...ish), Charlie (evil), Hal and Tom of the Secret Service (good), and oh yeah...the President of the United States (don't even get me started on the Prez).