I had extremely low expectations for this show when I first started watching it. I normally never watch network TV shows (other than NBC’s amazing Hannibal). I just feel like, why waste my time on something that can’t really push the envelope the way HBO and Showtime television can?
Well, fortunately Shonda Rhime’s latest production (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), How to Get Away with Murder surpassed my expectations. The first couple episodes I wasn’t thrilled with, but as the season went on and the characters and plot developed things became really interesting. HTGAWM doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything, but it is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable.
The best thing about the show is of course Viola Davis. She is a great actress and it is wonderful to see her finally have a role worthy of her talents. Annalise Keating is quite a complicated character. She doesn’t always make sense or seem very human. But Viola’s portrayal gives her dimensions that make Annalise both admirable, horrifying, and worthy of pity. I’ll be very surprised if she doesn’t get away with an Emmy this fall (see what I did there? ;))
HTGAWM is kind of guilty pleasure viewing. It reminds me of a late night, scandalous soap opera. Some of the plot points and characters are over the top, but if you throw logic out the window the show is quite fun. Some of the twists and turns are genuinely shocking (that finale!), so it is always fun to discuss the next day. At first the characters all seemed quite shallow and stereotypical (well other than Annalise). For a while I couldn’t really differentiate the students from one another. But it was really fun to see them all blossom in their own unique ways. At first Connor (Jack Falahee) was my favorite. And while I still like him he has been surpassed by the wonderful, pathetic, hilarious Asher (Matt McGorry). Asher has so many quote worthy and gif worthy moments that I can’t mention them all here. But he is truly something special (take that however you want). Laurel (Karla Souza) was very annoying and boring at first. But it gradually became apparent that she is actually the most intelligent of all the students. Although she did sleep with Frank (Charlie Weber) … And Frank! Well he was also quite boring until maybe the last 5 minutes of the finale. I think he’ll become a lot more interesting next season. It is kind of ironic, but Wes (Alfred Enoch), the most important of all the students, the most important character after Annalise, is as boring and dull as he was at the beginning. I think it is partly the fault of the actor not being good or charismatic. But Wes has always been written as a bit of a clean slate, someone the audience can project themselves into.
The highlight of the entire season had nothing to do with Annalise or the students. It all came down to Mama (Cicely Tyson). Wow, what a scene stealer! She was so hilarious and fun to watch. Cicely is the perfect person to play Annalise’s mother. Hopefully she’ll be back next season! How to Get Away with Murder ended up being very fun to watch this winter. Hopefully next season will be just as fun. Rating for Season 1:7.5/10
So let’s speculate, who killed Rebecca? My money is on Laurel at this point.
This episode had a lot going on, but I’m not sure how much of it was really anything new. There are flashbacks to Lila (Megan West) when she was alive and dating Mr. Darcy. I was glad to finally see her since it has been hard to feel bad about her murder without knowing anything about her. But her scenes are all that interesting. It is mostly information that the audience has already heard from Sam and Rebecca. Lila would have been more interesting about 5 episodes ago. Rebecca is also made more likeable by her scenes with Lila. Although I find it funny that they had their girl talks while snorting coke. The show is just so nonchalant about it, I find it kind of strange. Anyways, this was an okay episode, not the best, but not the worst either. Tidbits:
• Laurel’s (Karla Souza) facial expression never changes. It doesn’t matter whether she is happy or sad. She always looks pissed off. She’s the Kristen Stewart of the show, I guess.
• “Anyone else feel like we do all her work for her?” Michaela talking about Bonnie (Liza Weil). Finally, someone says what everyone else has been thinking for weeks now.
• Asher yet again dances and acts like a fool. Pure awesomeness.
• Why the hell does Connor want to study with Wes and Kristen Stewart (formerly known as Laurel or Bitch Face)? Normally the only one who cares about exams is Michaela. Although I enjoy how he bans her from the group.
• So I guess Wes has stronger feelings for Rebecca than for Annalise. Huh. How romantic (*puke*)
• Yet again, how can Cop Boy Toy do anything? He himself says he lost his job!
• Sam is being a dick to Rebecca (no surprise there). Maybe Wes killed Sam to protect her?
• “Are you good for anything or can you only do your job when you’re screwing evidence out of someone?” Annalise to Connor. Harsh but…true?
• The way Annalise bitches out Bonnie is frightening; “your pathetic. Mousy presence”. I don’t like Bonnie, but even I wanted to give her a hug. Damn. In reality, Annalise is more pathetic than Bonnie for staying with that SOB of a husband.
• Laurel and Guy Whose Name I Forget fucking is not hot no matter how much groovy music plays in the background.
• Laurel moaning…eww!
• Asher tells Bonnie that Annalise shouldn’t have bitched her out. Finally something happens between these two to establish some kind of relationship.
• “This is what I get. This is what happens when you screw somebody else’s husband. You become sad, barren. Even a dead girl is more of a woman than you.” Annalise’s little speech broke my heart. I feel for her, but it’s not easy when she is such a bitch.
• Lila: “Bad things happen when you have sex.” Umm, yeah, when it’s with someone else’s husband…and/or without a condom.
• “See what happens when you use your brain instead of your penis?” Michaela finally gets in a dig on Connor.
• Annalise can relate to her Client of the Week because they both have d-bag husbands. “You’ll thank me one day.” Maybe Annalise could learn something.
o Yeah, no, she definitely doesn’t learn anything.
• Michaela’s Monster in Law is evil, but really fun to watch.
• K-Stew to Frank (I remembered his name): “Hurry, I have a study group.” What is this, high school?
• Frank has a sexy girlfriend hahahahahahaha. K-Stew is just “the student of the month.” His girlfriend is so hot why would he cheat on her with Bitch Face?
• Sam is so annoying, I can’t wait for him to die already. He isn’t even hot!
• Sam proceeds to kiss Bonnie. He is a master manipulator. Why do these women want him? As I said, he’s not hot!
• “He’s not a good man, Annalise.” Bonnie tells Annalise her husband is a d-bag. Annalise kicks Bonnie out instead of her scumbag husband. Why?!?!?! Is he really good in bed??? I don’t understand it. Doesn’t matter since he dies in a week.
This episode might as well be called the Laurel episode. She is the student most involved with the case they are defending and her relationship with Frank is explained a little more. But not much more. I thought for sure we were going to see them bone, but nope. Although they do at some point apparently. I find Frank pretty annoying, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much. I like Laurel (Karla Souza) a little better now, but she still has constant bitch face. Tidbits:
• Did Laurel kill Sam? I think she said something about being a murderer. I don’t know, I’m still so confused.
• Annalise calls Laurel out on being a show off. Haha.
• So Sam did have an affair with Lila.
• “Then why did you lie to me?” Viola’s acting in her scene with Sam is excellent. Give this woman all the awards. She is so convincing. In that moment she’s almost animalistic in her anger. Her voice is raw with pain.
• Sam cheated on his first wife with Annalise. Once a cheater, always a cheater, I guess. I do feel sorry for Annalise, mostly because Viola is amazing. But this information paired with the fact that Annalise has cheated on Sam should make her unlikeable. I think it’s a testament to Viola’s charisma that the audience can forget something like that.
• I love watching Viola command a court room. Especially in the scene where she appeals to the jury’s emotions. I would have voted her way.
• Why won’t Laurel turn her phone off when they are getting rid of Sam’s body? Once I can understand, but twice? Is she that stupid?
• Annalise’s death stare aimed at Bonnie aka Ice Queen. Scary. But why wouldn’t Annalise fire her? Obviously Bonnie isn’t that loyal to her.
• Maybe Connor really is a sex addict if he’s looking at dick pics in the court room.
• The bickering among the students is quite funny.
• “Sexting pays off.” Haha, Connor strikes again!
• “Let it rain, hairy guy, let it rain.” Asher finally says something noteworthy and hilarious.
• “Bitch, please.” Bonnie to Frank. It was hilarious sinve it came out of nowhere.
• Finally some straight sex! I don’t mind the gay sex, but there’s been a lot of it lately. Laurel sexually attacks her boyfriend since she can’t hop on Frank (yet).
• Rebecca says Lila left her phone at Rebecca’s the night before she died because she was “done dealing.” Even if you no longer want to be a drug dealer, why would you leave your phone behind? How does that make sense? Rebecca is definitely lying.