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First Lady talks about latest political ‘Scandal’

In a small room, a dozen steps from the Oval Office, the First Lady’s fielding questions about her husband’s health, his lascivious ways and their impending divorce. She’s cool, calm and collected, most likely the result of patterning herself after Jackie Kennedy and Hilary Clinton. That means you should never be caught off guard by her charms because she’s knows every political angle.

At least that’s the way Bellamy Young’s playing First Lady Mellie Grant on the ABC drama “Scandal.” The series — that has the wickedness of both a daytime drama and a political thriller — has turned up the heat in the President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) administration with an attempted assassination, crooked political deals and the impending end of the Grant marriage. Kerry Washington plays the fixer who discovers politics sometimes makes for compatible bedfellows.

As to the possible separation, Young sounds like a typical politician as she prefers to talk about the positives of the pair’s life together.

“The have a great relationship. They are great partners. They function as a team so well,” Young says during an interview on the set of the series. A replica of the Oval Office and adjoining rooms fill the soundstage and create the illusion that the First Lady’s chat is going on in D.C. rather than L.A. “They’ve accomplished so much and they are a well oiled machine in terms of family and profession.”

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On TV tonight: ‘Scandal’

125040_8261.JPG “Scandal,” 10 p.m. KFSN (Channel 30.1): It’s a little hard to categorize this new ABC drama. It deals with the law but there won’t be a lot of courtroom scenes. There’s politics but the action will deal more with what goes on behind the scenes. There’s even a little romance.

The fact this show can’t be easily pigeonholed is just one of the many reasons “Scandal” is the best new drama on the network in years.

The series follows Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a woman who may be the best crisis manager in Washington, D.C. Her firm’s main job is to fix other people’s lives and they do that well. About the only thing they can’t fix are their own messed up lives.

Washington is perfect as she brings both power and sizzle to the role. All you have to do is listen to her speak for 10 seconds and you know this woman is in control. It’s another strong female character from series creator Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind such shows as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”

Toss in a strong supporting cast, compelling stories and just the right touch of humor and this is one “Scandal” with which you’ll want to be a part.