Published on October 7th, 2014 | by Daniel Dalman0
How To Get Away With Murder
We just posted a positive review of an ABC show? A sign of the apocalypse, or is How to Get Away with Murder worth watching?
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER; OR, HOW I LEARNED TO SET ASIDE MY PREJUDICES TO LOVE A NETWORK TELEVISION SHOW AGAIN.
I get the sense that Friday mornings I’ll awake with nagging feeling in the back of my mind. A niggling sensation I just won’t be able to shake. Like something from the night before has me worried. Though it won’t be the bad type of gut-wrenching worry; it will be nervous anticipation — like I have a particularly juicy bit of gossip I just can’t wait to share. When my synapses begin to fire again, the answer will come to me bold and brazen — a particularly forceful, albeit wordy, statement: How to Get Away with Murder.
It’s a new show on ABC, and even for me, the idea of a frothy, serialized, network “lawyer” show is a touch adorable. Despite my prejudices I still planned on tuning into the premiere of TV Queen Shonda Rhymes’ new show for three reasons: early buzz, boredom, and lastly because I like a lengthy title. To say the least: I was delightfully surprised by how much I liked the show. Like a lot of people, I had segregated network shows as a kind of an adorable, safe, conservative (Look Ma! No nipples!), not altogether bright cousin of the now ubiquitous cable-series. But from the very first scene of (for brevity’s sake) HTGAWM I was intrigued. For once, it seems the characters on a network show didn’t appear to be faultless, superhuman champions of truth and justice, but morally ambiguous and flawed. And that was before they set fire to a dead body in the middle of the woods.
Multiple Academy Award nominee Viola Davis serves up the main course both character-wise and leather jacket-wearing wise, and we are once again reminded of her sizable acting chops, and how toned her arms are. Not only is she intimidating as fierce attorney/law professor Annalise Keating, but she’s equal parts magnetic and charming. The way she catches her students in her rapid crossfire of legalese is harsh, sure, but she her lectures sound about as harsh as Oprah does when she “gets real.” (Also, I can’t be the only one that wants to see Viola cradle the cherubic faces of her students and whisper, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”, right?).
These other leads, these unabashedly attractive law students, happen to have the best ideas, and come up with craziest schemes to outwit both their fellow classmates and the criminal justice system to earn a coveted spot working along side Annalise in her law firm (Which is inexplicably housed in both her home, and on campus.) A lot of their schemes involve sex, or rather sex-capades (at least for the younger leads), and at least one scenario of coitus interruptus. Since it’s ABC the juiciest bit don’t occur between the sheets but rather stem from repercussions of time spent beneath them. (Annalise is caught having sex on her desk! Gasp! The man she’s caught doing it with isn’t her husband! Double Gasp!).
The nitty gritty hook of the show, the part that I expect will be haunting my Friday mornings, has less to do with the serialized, episode contained, law and order part of the show, and more to do with the mysterious flash-forwards to a few months in the future. These flash forwards find Annalise’s best and brightest disciples carrying her husband’s corpse out of her house during what I can only imagine to be some sort of Pagan fire festival, and setting it on fire in the woods. This is where the questions start: what prompted these kids to do such a dastardly deed? Is Annalise behind it? Or is she dead too? Did that guard from Orange in the New Black quit his job, buy an ill-fitting blazer, and head to law school? Will the four wunderkinds get away with it? As with all pilots we get more questions than answers, but my sense is, if the show lives up to it’s name — the kids just might.