It is 1:33 am and I have come to the conclusion that I need to write a post right this instant because I have been shirking my blog responsibilities, to say the least. Although reading has pretty much not been happening, I have been watching a lot of TV. Something about mindless, lie down on the bed and watch while eating, hands free, etc. So, I figured I would attempt a TV review. Except, things got out of hand because the show I've meaning meaning to review for a while is quite addictive. In fact, I've watched up to the midseason finale. Damn. Don't worry though, I'm not the spoiling type.
I first heard about How To Get Away With Murder when I saw many ads of it on CTV (Canadian TV station). There was a black lady and a chalkboard. I initially wasn't interested because I am ageist when it comes to TV and I don't enjoy shows about people out of my age range (so late teens, early adulthood?) and so I thought the show was about middle aged people, and so I was quite surprised when I saw many friends tweeting about it.
So, I watched the trailer, and lo and behold, young people! And not just young people. The trailer gave me flashbacks to September and my first day of class in a similar auditorium. There was the similar judging of everyone around you, the same awkwardness, the same desire to succeed and uncertainty for the future. And our protagonist, for that first day, was a boy with eyes that remind me of a teddy bear. I have a thing for guys with what I call "teddy bear eyes".
You see it right? Anyway, I see it and that's all that matters. Wes is adorable and likable and friendly, and genuinely a good person. Through this first encounter in class some of the other significant characters are introduced. The strength of How to Get Away With Murder is definitely in its ability to characterize.
There are several different types of characters and all of them come from different backgrounds. Some are more privileged than others, and I like that this thought was put into the story. Regardless, all these students are ready to start Professor Keating's class on defense attorneys.
Now, let's get back to Ms. Keating. Her character is phenomenal and powerful. As I was debating whether to watch the show, I saw an interview with Viola Davis and Davis' powerful personality jumped out at me. There is a certain confidence and authenticity to Davis as someone completely comfortable in her own skin. She was honest and took the spotlight because she deserved it. Her magnetic personality is part of what made me consider the show, and I'm glad that shines through in her character.
Annalise Keating is a brilliant character. She is an incredibly powerful, successful lady that is always a bit of a mystery for the audience. What I love is that her power does not kill her humanity. She is sympathetic and upset by human emotion sometimes. We see her on the brink and we see the best and worst parts of her. But to her students, she is fearless, strong, and someone they desperately crave to impress.
Annalise Keating is kind of my idol, in a way. She is a wonderful powerful woman and I love seeing her on TV (and I totally misjudged the show from the commercials I saw...).
The other strong aspect has to be the plot. The series takes a case of the day approach but adds overall story arcs to enhance the narrative, and I feel like this is effective. In some cases, it gets a little dry, but because Keating is a teacher it works for her situation.
The basic storyline is seen from the beginning of the show. There is a murder. Who did it? Why? How? None of this is revealed. As the episodes proceed, little snippets will be clarified and this is really the main drama of the story. It's not the only drama; the individual issues are quite compelling as well, but it's this main concept of law students trying to hide a murder that is the root of the show.
I have thus far not mentioned one part of How to Get Away With Murder that you will no doubt notice: the diversity. There are many POC in leading positions with their own storylines. There is a gloriously sexual gay character (who, from what I've seen on Twitter, is the major eye candy of the show!) and the reason I didn't comment too deeply about this diversity is because it's a natural part of the show. It is not contrived in any way. There are some mentions of race and being gay, but there are also mentions of being rich and white. How to Get Away With Murder is deeply aware of its diversity, and its also deeply aware that it isn't like the show is a shock: this is the norm. So the diversity is there to enjoy without it being the main point of the show. The show seems to acknowledge the fact that its being seen as revolutionary to be very sad, and frankly, I love that there are a lot of different types of people in How to Get Away With Murder.
I genuinely hope more TV would be like this. The show is addictive with wonderful characters, an an intriguing plot and lovely diversity. Now, the only thing left to consider is why aren't you watching it?
Okay, so I lied. there is one more question I have for you all. I have started a bunch of other shows and can totally write reviews of them too (or even watch more episodes!). What do you want reviewed? What do you want recommended? Here is a list of shows I've recently watched the pilot or first bits of the first season of:
Orange Is the New Black (part of season 1)
House of Cards (pilot)
Orphan Black (pilot, but watching the second episode ASAP).