As someone who was never a fan of either Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal, two of Shonda Rhimes’s previous shows, I can tell you without question that I never thought her newest protection How to Get Away with Murder would be of my favorite shows of the fall season. And yet, here we are. I am wildly addicted, genuinely excited to find out who killed Sam (I even have my own guess as to who’s the culprit), and I’ve been anticipating watching it each week. I am less than thrilled over its mid-season hiatus.
To enjoy this show you’ve got to toss logic out the window completely, because much of what happens is grossly illogical. The court cases are impossibly quick, with the team getting a case, building an argument and then bringing it to court within days. The amount of reveals and sexual escapades that happen inside Annalise’s house is absurd and – this one thing I have a hard time ignoring – how annoying must it be for the students in her class if you’re not one of the chosen five? Does she never call on a student who isn’t one of our lead characters? Why haven’t the other students dropped it yet? Wes and Rebecca make zero narrative sense and don’t even have chemistry to justify it, but Dean Thomas is adorable, so that one I give a pass. I don’t get Sam’s appeal, and likewise with Frank. Regardless of all of this, the plot holes, the hammy dialogue and some scene- chewing acting, this show is undeniably entertainment at its purest form.
It’s already been noted for how progressive it is, whether it’s due to Viola Davis cast in the leading role or Connor’s risqué sex scenes and the way sex between two men is given the same spotlight and treatment as scenes between men and women. It’s all great, and the progressive nature alone would have had me checking out at least one episode. Beyond that, though, it is, simply put, a lot of fun.
Despite its focus on a “whodunnit” type of narrative and its hinting at heavier themes, particularly in some of the flash forwards, it’s not a very thought-based show. This isn’t to say it’s unintelligent; some of the best entertainment is carefully structured and planned out, but isn’t trying to be anything more than it is. The show is merely asking us to watch, enjoy, and speculate, but we’re not hit over the head relentlessly with allegories or stressed out and wired like many other contemporary dramas. Mindless entertainment isn’t anything to complain about, especially if done well, and especially when it still allows for some poignant character moments.
Annalise is becoming one of the most compelling characters on television, and her wig and make-up removal a few episodes back was a revolutionary scene, aided by Davis’s performance, one that she keeps hitting out of the park week in and week out. Jack Falahee got a nice moment in a flash forward in episode four which had him in full-out panic mode outside of his off-and-on hook up Oliver’s place, especially considering the Connor we had come to know up until that point had been chilly and arrogant. Bonnie’s breakdown as she groveled to Annalise was also particularly haunting. It’s an exciting, immersive show that allows you to turn your brain off for an hour.
I’m 100% on board with the series, and for however ridiculous it gets, rarely don’t I enjoy it. So, who do we think the killer is, and how do you think it will play out for Annalise’s chosen four? Or five, I guess, if you count Asher.
The mid-season finale airs tonight!