LOL! WTF?! Oh God! Noooo – are the only appropriate reactions to any given episode of Shonda Rhimes’ hit ABC drama How To Get Away With Murder. Here are 5 Reasons why you better catch up on this gripping whodunit before it returns for Season 3…
HTGAWM (2014): Created by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal); 2 seasons à 15 episodes à 45mins.; starring Viola Davis (The Help, Suicide Squad), Jack Falahee (Twisted), Alfred Enoch (Harry Potter), Matt McGorry (Orange is the new black), Karla Souza, Aja Naomi King (Black Box), Charlie Weber (Underemployed, 90210), Liza Weil (Gilmore Girls), Billy Brown, Katie Findlay (The Killing, The Carrie Diaries) and Conrad Ricamora.
For fans of: Scandal, Quantico, intense television that keeps you on the edge of your seat and might even keep you up at night as you ponder who did it and many more questions…
It was in January 2014 that a dear friend introduced me to what was marketed as ABC’s “hottest new drama” at the time, a show called How to get away with Murder. Little did I know that she was consciously dragging me into a dark and messy abyss of broken characters and a plot driven by extremely violent murder – and that I would love every second of the ride. I watched the first half of HTGAWM‘s first season in two days. Sleep was not a priority during that time, nor was my sanity and emotional health. Here’s why you, too, should nose-dive into Shonda Rhimes’ exceptional drama ASAP:
1. The writing
Much of the show’s suspense follows from its narrative formula which jumps back and forth between two timelines to show how the characters’ past actions have effected what is happening in the present. Moreover, the writing is unpredictable with regard to who hooks up with whom, who teams up with whom to cross or double-cross another, and of course, who murders and who is murdered, to the point where watching can become almost unbearable.
2. The casting
As has become the signature of all Shonda Rhimes’ productions, HTGAWM has one of the most diverse casts on TV. What is more, the show effectively deconstructs stereotypes, while serving as a reminder that, sadly, they still exist in the real world that we ourselves inhabit.
3. The acting
While the show has offered a number of outstanding performances over its three-season-run so far, Viola Davis unequivocally carries the entire show with her jaw-dropping, raw and haunting performance as what is probably the first ‘real woman’ on TV: in portraying Annalise, Viola proves that it is possible for a woman to be strong and determined (especially in her professional life), yet at the same time vulnerable and scared (mostly in her personal life). Moreover, Annalise is a black woman in her fifties who has a blossoming sex life that involves multiple partners of various sex and race – it doesn’t get any more groundbreaking than that.
4. The character dynamic
Arguably the most rewarding scenes of the show are the ones between the Keating 5 and Annalise, a.k.a. the murder squad. Rarely has a relationship been more complicated or toxic: sure, Annalise may refer to her interns as her children sometimes, but she will also blackmail them into commiting perjury, leave them in a psych ward to prove a point, or throw them under the bus (figuratively, although I’m sure the day will come) to save her own skin. Despite her constant manipulation, her’s is the first number the kids call when they’re in trouble because they know that “Mommy’s gonna take care of it”. I rest my case.
5. The soundtrack
Few shows can boast a darker, sexier, more appetent playlist than How to get away with Murder: from IAMX (“The Great Shipwreck of Life” during the Winter finale montage), to One Republic (“Love runs out” in 1×03) and Bastille (“Noone’s here to sleep” in 1×04), the songs heard on HTGAWM manage to capture the show’s essence, a perfect synchronicity between all the murder and all the sex that is happening.
To binge or not to binge? There’s no ‘or’: binge!
Where can I watch? HTGAWM is available on Amazon, Maxdome, iTunes, Videoload, Netflix, ABC Go, and Hulu.