Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: How to Get Away with Murder Season 1

Title: How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
Starring: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery
Episodes: 15

I've heard many people sing praises about Shonda Rhimes, who is best known for Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Of course, Scandal is the hottest show in my friends circle and naturally I was late to the party of watching it. Perhaps I'll do a review on what I've seen so far of it. Hopefully, I'll be starting the third season soon. Anyway, I figured I'd give Ms. Rhimes a chance with her new creation, How to Get Away with Murder...then eventually, venture into Scandal.

Annalise Keating is a law professor and criminal defense attorney at Middleton University. Through the course of the semester, she decides on five students to help her assist with real legal cases, along with her associate lawyers Frank Delfino and Bonnie Winterbottom. Throughout the first season, the viewer gets a sneak peek of two murders in action through flashbacks that gradually began to piece together to a bigger and clearer picture.

Coming into this series, I didn't know what to expect, but what I saw made me want more. The first episode does its job of hooking you into the story and the characters. You become familiar with Annalise and you know you're going to witness majority of the student insight from Wes Gibbins' point of view. The flashbacks scattered in between scenes of the first episode also keep you intrigued to find out what the heck is going on. From episode to episode, you see more of these flashbacks and you try to piece them together with the case these characters are working on. This element, for me, made me feel more connected with them and the story all the more involved. I haven't seen that many crime, mystery TV shows, but I really enjoyed the journey. There may have been a couple moments where I wasn't completely sure where things were going and my feelings toward it started to wane a little. Fortunately, by the next episode, I was ready to go and looking forward to how Annalise, her colleagues, and her students would get out of the sticky situations they've involved themselves in.

Without giving too much away about the show, I do want to commend the diversity of the show. Not just racially, but sexual orientation wise as well. Annalise's interracial relationship may not be new to viewers who are fans of Scandal, but I found it quite interesting, especially when her affair involved a black man. Stereotypically, it's the other way around. There's also some forbidden relationships involving the students, which is just a hint of how "steamy" the romantic side of things are. Since I mentioned it earlier, it was nice to see a homosexual male who isn't obnoxiously flamboyant. To the common eye, he appears like any other "straight" man and the person he's interested in is also an uncommon choice, an Asian. I think that's one step forward in a positive direction for gay male representation. On a side note, I think he's rather handsome. In passing, I did hear some complaints about a couple scenes this character is in because it was "inappropriate" or whatever. But come on! There's so much heterosexual sex out there that it can be unbearable for even straight viewers, imagine how non-heterosexual people feel when they see it. Besides, I thought the scenes were very tasteful and didn't linger on or shoved in for count like some HBO or Showtime shows.

Well, I'm not sure if I said too much about this show to convince others to see it or my enjoyment was simply too vague in the description department. How to Get Away with Murder is a fresh show with some alternative choices of character. There's plenty of diversity, drama, and development and there's everything I could ask for in a good crime, mystery show. There are times where things could be a little confusing or just ridiculous, but overall, it comes together in an interesting nearly conclusive package. ABC has announced early on that the show has been renewed for a second season and will return in September 2015. I'm looking forward to seeing it and watching what direction these characters go after their first major case.

Rating: 4/5

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