(The Root) — Last night was an ode to four powerful, intelligent black women — real and fictional. First lady Michelle Obama, Cloud Atlas star Halle Berry and R&B singer Ciara visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! Plus, Olivia Pope did her thing in the West Wing on Scandal. Just politics (and show biz) as usual over there.
Scandal (Thursday, 10 p.m. ET; ABC)
"If you're young and hot and men like talking to you, you're on the list." —Olivia
Highlight: So apparently all it took to break down the barriers between first lady Mellie and Olivia (Kerry Washington) was a common goal to get their minds off their common lover. When a college student who is also a secret sex blogger is killed, Mellie and Liv join forces to make an example of her murder. In reality, Olivia is trying to satisfy her client and Mellie is vying for Fitz's attention, but whatever; it's close enough to a common goal.
But it seems like Fitz is done with both of them.
Remember at the beginning of the season when those murders had been pinned on Quinn? Well, they have something to do with a guy named Hollis Doyle. And guess who's having a meeting with him behind the president's back? Olivia and Mellie. Juicy.
Watch it here.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Thursday, 12 a.m. ET; ABC)
"Despite the fact that she spent most of the last four years trying to replace our corndogs with cauliflower, our first guest is one of the most popular women in the world." —Jimmy Kimmel
"Don't worry, Mrs. First Lady, I already voted." —Guillermo
Highlight: Jimmy introduced Lady O as one of the world's favorite people, and we can't help agreeing. She was charming and funny. She talked about motherhood, from how she disciplines Malia and Sasha in public now that she's such a prominent figure (i.e., lots of smiling and talking through her teeth) to the girls' only instruction from the president at the Democratic National Convention ("Just look like you're listening!"). She also revealed her disguise for going out in public. And in a taped bit, she demonstrated her plan for getting Jimmy to vote — it included an air horn and a lot of screaming: "Election Day! Time to vote! Let's go! Let's go! Up, up, up! Out the door … and eat some carrots!" We love you, Michelle.
Watch the skit and part 1 of her interview below. Parts 2 and 3 are here.
"They told us, when we meet [the queen of England], we just can't look her in the face, and I thought, 'Well, then, what's the point? … I can't meet the queen and not look her in the face!" —Halle Berry
"So what'd you do?" —Jimmy Kimmel
"I looked her in the face!" —Halle Berry
Highlight: So apparently Halle Berry met Michelle Obama for the first time backstage at Jimmy Kimmel. There's no way this shouldn't be recorded in the history books. Berry also has a new movie (Cloud Atlas), in which she plays six different characters; a car that's supposed to be designed after her beach bod; and a fiance she loves. We'll just say she's #winning.
And watch part 1 of Halle Berry's interview below. Part 2 is here.
"All you had to do is say that I'm sorry" —Ciara
Highlight: To round out the black-woman trifecta, a black-leather-clad Ciara performed her new song, "Sorry," with six dancers in tow. Since she did a whole lot of writhing on the floor, hair slinging and thrusting of her pelvis, we can kind of forgive her shaky vocals. At least she wasn't lip-synching, right?
For a recap of some of the recent best moments in black TV, check out this week's previous Black TV Watch posts:
Over the weekend, we got our survival skills on in a sad post-Katrina Christmas celebration on Treme and lots of hood-rigged anti-zombie surgery on The Walking Dead. Read more: Black TV Watch: Prison Survival.
On Monday we watched T.I. and Tiny bury their family hamster in an emotional ceremony ,and Jackie Christie wipes the slate clean at her vow renewal. We also saw Mama Jones plead with Chrissy on behalf of Jomo on Chrissy & Mr. Jones. Plus: Wu-Tang Clan and Kendrick Lamar treated us to their musical stylings on Conan and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, respectively. Read more: Black TV Watch: Family Pets and Hip-Hop Vets.
Tuesday we watched yet another hamster kick the bucket on The New Normal. Keyshia Cole wed her man, and we saw a sad story about a young basketball player's untimely death on 30 for 30: Benji. Plus, Prince got down on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Read more: Black TV Watch: Prince Rocks 'Jimmy Kimmel.'
On Wednesday, it was President Obama's turn to hit the late-night circuit. He shared jokes with Jay Leno, and Key and Peele shared jokes about him. Read more: Black TV Watch: Obama Jokes With Jay Leno.
Celeste Little is an editorial intern at The Root.