In Scandal, created by Shonda Rhimes and starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a woman leading a crisis management firm called Olivia Pope and Associates, we have one of the better political thrillers. Even though the show has ended, it continues to be well-liked by viewers and critics alike for its exploration of the White House staff and Pope’s own firm members in a politically charged and power-packed environment of Washington DC. Here is our pick for the best Scandal substitutes on TV right now. Some of these TV shows, such as Scandal, are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
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12. The Good Wife
It’s important to remember that Scandal is primarily a political thriller, so this show serves as an excellent stand in. The story revolves around Alicia Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies. The State Attorney of Cook County’s wife Alicia has long been a homemaker, but after her husband becomes embroiled in a sex scandal, she is forced to return to her career in litigation in order to support their family. Viewers are sure to enjoy the similarities between this and Olivia’s, a smart and critically acclaimed show that has at its mantle a fiercely independent and strong woman.
11. How To Get Away With Murder
As another Shonda Rhimes production, expect some similarities to Scandal in this one as well. According to the plot, Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating, a Philadelphia law professor, is caught up in a murder plot with her students. For her fierce independence, Annalise Keating’s character has received high praise. If Olivia Pope ever had a mentor, it would be Annalise Keating.
10. Being Mary Jane
Olivia and Pauletta ‘Mary Jane Paul’ Patterson, played by Gabrielle Union, are good examples of a single black woman who knows what she wants and is in charge of her life. If office politics are excluded, Pauletta has never been in a politically charged environment. She works as a news anchor for a local television station and manages to find time for both her family and her career. Scandal’s drought will be broken by this highly acclaimed and thoroughly enjoyable show.
9. The Honorable Woman
This is more of a miniseries than a television show, but it’s still an excellent political spy thriller. Of course, this is perfect timing for Scandal fans who understandably may be wary of starting a new show with so little time left until the new season. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the lead role, which is an added bonus. After her partner’s suicide, a woman entrepreneur’s ambitious projects come to a halt as various stakeholders try to exert influence. Ephra Stein (Maggie’s character) faces a landscape that’s every bit as treacherous and perilous as Olivia’s, so sit back and take in this brief moment of brilliance, which will keep you guessing until the very end.
When it comes to the power game, Olivia Pope runs a crisis management firm in Washington DC. But when it comes to the power play in New York City, Jessica Pearson runs a law firm where business moguls and power-hungry attorneys are at the forefront. Olivia and Pearson, Specter, Litt is a law firm that controls damages and represents clients with the help of their star fixer and closer Harvey Specter, a suave and tough Harvard-educated lawyer and his sidekick Mike Ross, a plucky brilliant kid who fooled people into thinking he went to Harvard, will remind the audience of the cutthroat world in which she operates. Also, if it’s of interest, the dresses on Suits could compete with Olivia’s.
What is the most coveted position in the world? Currently serving as the country’s leader. In a fictionalized version of events, the woman Vice President takes over as President after the current president dies of a cerebral aneurysm. And that’s what this show does. It’s easy to see the similarities between Olivia Pope in Scandal and Geena Davis’ Mackenzie Allen in The West Wing. As she takes on the mantle of the most coveted position, Mackenzie faces a number of difficulties, much like OPA did in Scandal.
6. Political Animals
One more miniseries that was influenced by Hillary Clinton’s life can be found in “Hillary” Elaine Barrish, a former US first lady and current governor of Illinois, is portrayed by Sigourney Weaver. On the show, there’s a lot of power play going on between families who want to return to the White House and the ones who don’t. Politics may not be an ethically laudable pursuit, but when the stakes are that high, no one holds back, as Scandal and this show demonstrate.
5. State of Affairs
This one-season espionage drama had some novel ideas for a show of its genre. CIA analyst Katherine Heigl works with Alfre Woodard’s Constance Payton to prepare the president’s daily briefing on the most delicate issues. Alfre Woodard plays America’s first black female president, Constance Payton. Charleston Tucker’s (Heigl’s character) political landscape is understandably similar to Olivia’s, and if Olivia’s stress levels were that high while running a crisis management firm, imagine what they would be like if she was briefing the president in the White House.
4. Madam Secretary
Tea Leoni portrays Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, a driven individual with considerable talent. President Obama appreciates her commitment and tact when dealing with international crises. However, she has to deal with a number of issues including international diplomacy and office politics, as is the case in all testosterone-rich environments. McCord, on the other hand, is a strong character who leads by example, much like Pope. If you haven’t seen it already, do your best to do so before the new season of Scandal premieres.
3. The West Wing
Since the show was created by Aaron Sorkin and has received praise from political science professors as well as critics, you can rest assured that it is the real deal. The show is primarily set in the White House’s West Wing, so it’s no surprise that the plot revolves around the President’s staff and the federal government’s highest levels of organization. For those who enjoy high-stakes dramas but don’t want the dungeons and dragons, The West Wing is an excellent choice.
Legal thriller starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne is the show’s main focus. There is a detailed look into the cases and how they are dealt with by these two ruthless lawyers in the plot. Close and Byrne produce some outstanding acting on screen in this gripping show, which is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to the ambition of these attorneys, which is comparable to Pope’s own lofty goals.
1. House of Cards
Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a whip who vows vengeance and becomes President after being slighted, in this Netflix political thriller. Even though he is ambitious and calculating, his wife Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) surpasses him in these respects. With their poisonous snake personalities, the Underwoods will do anything to gain an advantage in the toxic and poisonous world they inhabit. After the recent allegations against him, Kevin Spacey could really use someone like Pope in his real life. House of Cards shows an even more charged scene than Scandal.