MC@Work: Reality Check

From hard-hitting news producers to terrorist-hunting CIA agents, the range of careers held down by our favorite female characters on TV has never been wider. But just how realistic are these portrayals? Marie Claire asked real-life pros to weigh in.


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    The Job: Crisis PR Manager

    SCANDAL: Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington)

    WHAT THE SHOW NAILS: Strategy. Judy Smith, the real-life political fixer on whom Scandal is based, says the show "captures the art of dealing with crisis." (Smith, who counts Monica Lewinsky and NFL quarterback Michael Vick as former clients, is now an executive producer of the series.) Like Olivia Pope and her team, Smith and her associates "look at each crisis individually, develop a plan that is right for the client, then execute against that strategy."

    WHAT'S PURE FICTION: The at-all-costs mentality. "The show takes the high-stakes world of crisis communications and dramatizes it," says Smith. For example, she'd never engage in evidence tampering—to say nothing of a presidential love affair. "I would like to keep my law license," she quips.

    Richard Cartwright/ABC
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