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How to Get Away with Murder (PREVIEW)

How To Get Away With Murder

Studio(s): 
Regular Air Date: 
Thursdays @ 10PM ET
Network(s): 
Genre: 
Air Date: 
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Grade:
A
Seasons: 
1
Episodes: 
1
I have been looking forward to How To Get Away With Murder since the trailer premiered earlier this spring. Knowing that Viola Davis would appear weekly on my small screen with Rhimes at her back was (and is) a fantasy come true. Shonda Rhimes' star went supernova thanks to the historic hype surrounding Scandal, which brought the first African-American female lead to major network drama in over three decades. 

Kerry Washington's profuse talent, Rhimes' head spinning plot lines, the jaw dropping wardrobe, and cracking quick scripts made Scandal appointment TV. Combine Rhimes' historic moves, the decade long, steady success of Grey's Anatomy with the phenomenon of of live tweeting and Rhimes' success is almost impossible to overstate. Rumor has it Rhimes renewed her contract with ABC to the tune of eight figures.

I have been an eager fan of Davis' since her commanding performance in Doubt made me forget that oh, yes, Meryl Streep is in this film too. Davis continues to command as Professor Annalise Keating, the sexy, confident, intelligent, devious, and exacting law professor who demands nothing less than excellence from her students. Keating pits them against each other in a test to see who will be worthy enough to help provide defense in her current legal case. Only a few make the grade, the most recognizable of which is Hogwarts alum, Alfred Enoch.  

Enoch portrays the unreasonably handsome, naive, hardworking and resourceful Wes Gibbins. Gibbins may be purer than the rest of his peers, he is not above keeping secrets.  Enoch bests all expectations and proves himself to be a very likeable vehicle that makes for an easy audience introduction. His peers, Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh, Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt, Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone, and Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo, prove, in turn, to be ambitious, hardworking, devious, persistent, and cunning. Watching each apply their skill builds incredible suspense within the show and allows the viewer to warm to each.

In HTGAWM, getting the job done--defending the client--not justice, is goal #1. This relieves us all of any simplistic black and white moralities while allowing the story to head straight to the murky, juicy, morally ambiguous gray areas of possibility. Character traits and plot are revealed via flashbacks during the night the fav five are attempting to hide a body. Evidence is procured through highly illegal, highly entertaining means. Personal secrets are uncovered and questions are left behind, as the body is revealed and the season’s mysteries begin.

There is a scene where Keating wins a case and upon exiting the courthouse, one of her students, Michaela stares in awe and whispers, "I want to be her." THAT is how folks are going to feel about this show, Professor Keating and about Viola herself playing one of the most complicated roles we’ve the pleasure of seeing her inhabit.

Engaging, tightly written, with precise and distinct characters, ABC and Rhimes have a hit on their hands destined to have twitter in an uproar. With Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder, all premiering on the same evening, there is no doubt that Thursday nights now belong to Shonda Rhimes.
Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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