TV Review: How to Get Away With Murder

The cast of How to Get Away With Murder.  Image source: Hollywood Reporter

The cast of How to Get Away With Murder.
Image source: Hollywood Reporter

A few TV shows can leave me binge-watching over the weekend. As I’m not really the type of person who’s into TV, I can’t say for certain that I’m a big fan of a lot of popular series on the small screen. Also, I don’t really have time to dedicate myself to any of them. But what got me interested is this relatively new show called How to Get Away With Murder, which is set in the world of criminal law.

Yes, you heard that right: criminal. Perhaps the last show on the world of law which I found fun to watch was the “dramedy,” Boston Legal, which starred the enigmatic William Shatner. You may remember him from the cheesy Star Trek series back in the 60s. But anyway, I’ve strayed a bit from the topic at hand.

This show, How to Get Away With Murder, is something different. It’s not really your run-of-the-mill courtroom drama. It’s designed to make your heart pound and to consume much of your free time. And trust me, ever since the days of playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on my Game Boy Advance, I haven’t found any form of entertainment in a legal setting that’s this gripping.

The show’s pilot episode starts out with—you guessed it—a murder. Specifically, a murder of someone done by a bunch of law students, as you’d find out soon enough. But it leaves a lot of questions such as: why did they do it? Who was this person they just murdered? And more importantly, were they going to get away with it?

I believe though, that the spotlight belongs to Annalise Keating, brilliantly played by Viola Davis. In case you didn’t know, Davis won the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her role. You can listen to her wonderful acceptance speech below:

Anyway, Davis’s Keating is an incredibly resilient law professor, specializing in criminal law. Of course, she also practices her profession as a criminal lawyer. She later selects five of her students to work for her.

You may have figured it out by now that she’s chosen the students at the beginning of the episode—namely Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza), Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), and the naïve but dedicated Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch). A figurine of Lady Justice is to be bestowed upon the top-performing student of a given period and that grants them immunity from her exams.

It’s mostly a story about an excellent criminal lawyer whose faltering personal life gets entangled with her professional life. And of course, it’s also about the students who try their best to put up with her demands, especially Wes Gibbins, played by English actor and Harry Potter alum Alfred Enoch, also a focal point of the story as he gets involved in Keating’s personal issues, as well as getting caught up with his own interests.

For the most part, the show presents the events which conspired prior to the murder. At times, it shifts back and forth to the time of the murder per se, putting the pieces together in a somewhat complex way.

I’ll admit that the narrative in the first few episodes is kind of weak in certain parts and the plot kind of gets predictable at times. But regardless, I’d really suggest How to Get Away With Murder to anyone looking for a different spin in legal dramas. Now excuse me while I re-watch the episodes all over again as I wait for the remaining six episodes which will air back on January 29.

Below is a teaser:

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