Fall TV 2014RecapReviewTV

‘How to Get Away with Murder’: Another Smash Hit for Shondaland and ABC

Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Viola Davis in the series premiere of How To Get Away With Murder. Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.
Viola Davis in the series premiere of How To Get Away With Murder. Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.

In recent TV seasons, ABC has become the top network in the drama category. With veteran shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Castle, ABC boasts some of the highest ratings on network TV. In recent years, Scandal has soared to new heights becoming one of the most binged-watched and tweeted about shows. ABC may have another home run on their hands with How to Get Away with Murder.

Created by Pete Nowalk, who is known for producing close to 80 plus episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes, the brilliant mind behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and most of the Shondaland team, How to Get Away with Murder will complete the perfect trifecta of Thursday night drama on ABC.

How to Get Away with Murder tells the story of Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) a criminal law professor teaching “Criminal Law 101” or as she calls it “How to Get Away with Murder.” Keating is brilliant, sexy, cunning, passionate and charismatic as she maneuvers effortlessly through the classroom and the court room. Each year Keating selects some of the most clever, hardworking, and devious minds to join her law firm. The students vying for the position this year include Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) and Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry). The students all work closely with Keating and her most dedicated associates: Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil). Together they take on some of the most challenging and violent cases in criminal law.

Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee and Karla Souza in the series premiere of How To Get Away With Murder. Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.
Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee and Karla Souza in the series premiere of How To Get Away With Murder. Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.

Davis shines in her portrayal of Keating. She creates a mystery surrounding her that you are intrigued with from the moment she steps on screen. Shonda Rhimes has established another strong female character to command the prime-time television stage. Keating is character that doesn’t seem to have a moral compass, she does everything to win the court case. Similar to Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) from Scandal, she is a tough, independent woman who loves her job. Throughout the entire episode, Keating keeps us guessing. It’s refreshing to see a character that the audience can’t figure out completely.

Keating may run the class however, Alfred Enoch’s character of Wes Gibbins seems to be the central character. The show continuously follows his interactions with the other characters and his life outside of the classroom. It will be interesting to see if Gibbins remains the central character or it will become more of an ensemble show similar to Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.

Although the show is centered on Keating, her associates, and the five students she takes under wing, there are several supporting characters that may become vital to this Shondaland universe. Keating’s husband, Tom (Tom Verica), has a stable job at the university however, from the little screen time he had, you could tell there is more to him than meets the eye. This wouldn’t be a scandalous Shonda Rhimes show without the other man in our leading lady’s life. In this case, Keating is sleeping with the Nate Leahy (Billy Brown), the attractive detective that is involved in her cases.

Alfie Enoch in the series premiere of How To Get Away With Murder. Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.
Alfie Enoch in the series premiere of How To Get Away With Murder. Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.

If you are a viewer who tends to tune out quickly or work while you watch, this is not the show for you. The timeline jumps between the present and four months previous. The storylines are intertwined as we learn more about the characters. Those who are willing to join the class will be sucked in quickly by the fast pace and intelligent nature of the show. Similar to Scandal, the editing of the show is very clear cut, the storylines are witty and dark and the characters are somewhere between fighting for the greater good and the moral grey area of the society.

Shondaland and ABC have another slam dunk with How to Get Away with Murder. Its quick pace and intriguing characters will have audiences wanting more. Audiences everywhere will be saying “Thank God It’s Thursday (TGIT)” when “Shondaland Thursday” rolls around this fall.

How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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