If you have social media of any sort – Twitter, Facebook, even a subscription to the Daily Mail – then I guarantee you’ll most likely have caught glimpses of the buzz surrounding ABC Studio’s latest and greatest creation: How To Get Away With Murder.
A little sceptical at first, considering I usually opt to sticking with fantasy and sci-fi based shows, I decided to give it a watch and surprisingly found myself tuned into an incredible first episode with loads to offer a wide range of audiences.
The series is a legal drama following Annalise Keating (played by the incredible Viola Davis), a criminal law professor in America, dealing with morally testing cases and a bunch of newbie students, all determined to prove their worth. Yet there’s so much more to the show.
The question of morals is one addressed throughout the pilot – do attorneys even care if they’re defending murders that are clearly guilty? – and we see the struggle of professionals as well as students as they test themselves with each passing case. It’s exciting, exhausting, and highly enjoyable.
With TV shows in general constantly improving with diverse representation of gender, sexuality, age, and race, How To Get Away With Murder covers them all in a sophisticated and realistic manner that doesn’t forcefully shove stereotypes down our throats, but instead challenges our ideas and opts to represent people as what they are: people.
How To Get Away With Murder nails it with the two leads – Viola Davis, and Harry Potter’s very own Dean Thomas, the charming Alfred Enoch, who plays the likeable Wes. Newcomer Jack Falahee play the roguish, suave Connor, who’s unashamedly open in his sexuality and a wonderful example of a complex gay character: allowed to be confident, arrogant, yet also hard-working and likeable. Bravo, ABC. Alongside the peppy Michaela (Aja Naomi King) and quietly intuitive Laurel (Karla Souza), we’ve only begun to brush the surface of how multifaceted these characters are.
Narratively, the show follows a top-notch university class and the five students selected by Annalise to work alongside her firm, as they explore cases and quickly become wrapped up in their own personal affairs. I enjoyed the use of flash-forward moments, where it’s revealed that Wes and the group are involved in their own murder of Sam, Annalise’s seemingly loving and supportive husband.
How To Get Away With Murder is dynamic and dark, and whilst at times it turns comedic and light-hearted, don’t be fooled. There lies a wonderful darkness underneath, and from the promising introduction, it’s definitely one to watch, and stay with until the end.