By Matthew Holliday
The new series, How to Get Away with Murder, on ABC has everyone talking. The series was created by Peter Nowalk and produced by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes is well-known for creating the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy as well as the suspenseful political thrill ride Scandal.
Rhimes has added a new hit under her belt with this new series. How to Get Away with Murder premiered on September 25, 2014 with more than 14 million viewers tuning in live. The premiere began with what appears to be a flashback of four students trying to get rid of a dead body. Entering present day, a strong-willed defense attorney and Criminal Law professor known as Annalise Keating enters the lecture hall and writes the show’s title on the board. She describes her class as a simple instruction manual of how to get away with murder. From the get-go we see five star students who are chosen to work alongside Keating in order to obtain a statute called the Liberty Lady, which will free the winner from any upcoming exam.
In the flashback only four students are shown as opposed to the current five. In that sense, the show already keeps its viewers searching for answers.
The main students are Wes, Laura, Connor, Michaela, Asher and Laurel. Some of the actors in this show are familiar to many viewers, for example, Wes is played by Alfred Enoch, also known as Dean Thomas from the Harry Potter movies. Wes is an interesting character. He is in law school but seems initially unprepared for the work in Professor Keating’s class. During the premiere different conflicts are established very quickly, which may cause some confusion for readers, especially with the constant flashbacks.
The element of this show that makes it addictive from the start is deception. For instance, four chosen students are presented with a case about a woman accused of killing her husband with aspirin, which he was allergic to. During this trial Michaela discredits a witness while Connor uses his charm to gain access to an email that presents a new suspect. Professor Keating herself puts her husband on the stand who eventually loses his job because of the ordeal.
Seeing Viola Davis portray Annalise Keating makes the show even more engaging. The show definitely empowers women to take on a powerful boss like demeanor in contrast to the usual portrayal of women as inferior counterparts to the male characters. Though Annalise comes off strong, what makes her relatable is the fact that at the end of the day, she too has her own problems that make her vulnerable.
Olivia Cherry ’16 who is in the Law and Society major has said, “I love Annalise. The show is so fast paced and as an LAS major, the legal theme adds to it. I am a Black, natural-haired woman and I completely admire seeing Viola Davis showing her real self on primetime television. There is nothing realer than that.”
This show is truly a puzzle, but once you find one piece, you just want to keep going until the puzzle is completely solved. How to Get Away with Murder is certainly heating up, so make sure you’re tuning in every Thursday night at 10pm/Eastern time on ABC to get in on all the legal drama.