Little did kids born in the ‘90s know, shows from that epic television era were merely prep for the glory that would be Scandal. Scandal fans are a special breed — it takes one to know one. Not only do you have to have commitment, excellent problem-solving skills, and ability expand your mind outside of the box, you have to be trained to endure a rollercoaster of emotions like no other. Steamy and often inappropriate love triangles? Check. Guiltless assassins? Check. One boss-ass woman running Washington, D.C.? Most definitely check. Although love affairs and torture techniques weren’t typically showcased in ‘90s kids’ programs, themes similar to those in Shonda Rhimes’s creation were always really there.
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is the one and only, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t kick-butt ladies running the show before she did. Fans who enjoyed the handful of female-driven ‘90s shows can definitely appreciate her and her twisty story now. If kids loved watching Raven see the future, Clarissa explain it all, or Alex Mack control her secret life, they could definitely love watching Olivia handle it all. From cartoons like Kim Possible and Hey Arnold!, to live-action shows like Figure It Out and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, here are ‘90s shows that Scandal die-hards most likely loved back in the day.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Like Olivia, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) had specific missions and kept her eye on the prize. She was a total boss who would slay vampires and demons, which is basically what Olivia does: slaying the political monsters of D.C. like it ain't no thing.
2. Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-2000)
Scandal isn't ghost-story scary, but it definitely has its suspenseful moments. The anthology AYAOTD put viewers at a creepy campfire session of scary story telling, giving them an up-close look at the stories themselves. Scandal is by no means a eerie show, but any scene with the unpredictable and lethal Rowan Pope (Joe Morton) or Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) are terrifying enough.
3. Figure It Out (1997-2013)
Scandal fans live vicariously through Olivia Pope "handling it." And by it, I mean everything. Figuring out the mysteries and hidden talents of contestants on the game show FIO basically allowed fans to be Olivia Popes in the making.
4. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003)
Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) wasn't your average teen due to her witchcraft and powers. Olivia Pope is also set apart from the pack due to her powers, just a different kind. Instead of innocent spells, cutthroat manipulation and savagery is where her power lies.
5. Legends of the Hidden Temple (1993-1995)
A major appeal of Scandal is the chaos that ensues in the show's mystical and fictional take on Washington, D.C. Losing yourself in the journey of the Hidden Temple was just an earlier form of such prime escapism for fans.
6. The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998)
Alex Mack (Larisa Oleynik) was an average teen who unexpectedly gained fascinating powers, only she had to keep them secret and live a double life. Olivia also keeps many of her secrets and powers to herself, and like TSWOAM, fans are let in on both, which is why it's exciting to see what tricks they'll pull out next.
7. That's So Raven (2003-2007)
Raven (Raven-Symone) was powerful in her ability to see visions of the future. She would do everything in her power to contain or alter those visions. Olivia Pope is no psychic, she's just that smart to always know what's coming and act accordingly.
8. Clarissa Explains It All (1991-1994)
Like everyone's big sister Clarissa (Melissa Joan Hart), Olivia Pope often attempts figuring out the world and those around her, without sugarcoating any of it. That's exactly why fans love them both.
9. Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? (1991-1995)
Following Carmen and her gang of female vagabonds, this geography-heavy game show was like a hybrid of Figure It Out and Legends of the Hidden Temple. Like the complex storylines on Scandal, it was exciting for fans to take in so much information and solve problems with it.
10. Lizzie McGuire (2001-2004)
Middle school crises like bullies and popularity in Lizzie McGuire grew up to become problems like love triangles and deception in Scandal. Watching Lizzie (Hillary Duff) and her crew navigate the fierce world of adolescence was as entertaining as witnessing Olivia and hers do the same in adulthood now.
11. Hey Arnold! (1994-2004)
Arnold was an ultimate hero for '90s kids. He'd go out on a limb and take on adventures to solve problems that weren't always necessarily his own. Aside from the fact that none of Olivia's admirers are secret, she's basically Arnold in grown woman, non-cartoon form.
12. Proud Family (2001-2005)
Although Scandal is intense, it has its heartwarming moments. Fans love watching Olivia Pope and Associates work as gladiators in a team, giving fans warm and fuzzies like in Proud Family. Both families really have each other's backs no matter what.
13. Kim Possible (2002-2007)
Like Olivia, Kim Possible was truly fearless. There was no mission or challenge that she wouldn't face head-on, even if it meant tackling it on her own from time to time. Both leading ladies save the world, kicking one villain's butt at a time.