A brilliant but slightly crooked law professor and a criminal attorney. Five fresh-faced law students. The professor believes law cannot be learnt from theories in books; there is a need to get involved in real-life cases. Her students are desperate to gain her approval. What could go wrong?
1. Quick Review
A novel take on legal dramas with a generous touch of mystery and thriller, How to Get Away with Murder is a brilliant series that will be a great addition to any watchlist.
2. Series Info
How to Get Away with MurderAir Date: September 25, 2014 Status: Finished Studio: ABC Studios, Shondaland, NoWalk Entertainment No. of Seasons: 6 No. of Episodes: 90
3. Is it worth Watching?
How to Get Away with Murder is a drama that will always keep you on your toes with its story and characters.
Annalise Keating is an attorney specializing in criminal law. She is also a prestigious professor at Middleton Law School. Every year, she chooses five students from her class, who she believes to be more gifted than the others. These five students, called the “Keating 5”, help her in her court cases.
But what Wes Gibbins, Connor Walsh, Michaela Pratt, Asher Millstone, and Laurel Castillo don’t know about their professor is that her court cases sometimes overlap with her personal life. And her personal life is not very simple.
As the students follow their unconventional and charismatic professor into the world of criminal law, they get irrevocably drawn into a web of murder cases and coverups, each related to the other. To solve these cases, they are often forced to give up their values, their relationships, and sometimes, their lives.
II. Detailed Analysis
The best thing about How to Get Away with Murder is its moral standing. It is a show that is always toeing the line between complete black and complete white. Although the story is fictional and not completely accurate to real life, it sure is amusing. It offers a rather ironic view into Annalise Keating’s world of law—to succeed there, you have to be unscrupulous, even illegal. There is only one goal—to win the case. Ethics and legal proceedings are just the means to an end.
However, the story is the major plus point of the show. It is gripping and that never changes in its six-season run (though the strength of the grip changes slightly in the later seasons). In fact, the show doesn’t hesitate in even killing off some of its beloved main characters in order to not compromise on the story.
The story in How to Get Away with Murder is mind boggling—there are mysteries at every turn, and just when the audience thinks that they have figured it out, the writers come up with a solution of their own which is completely different and downright shocking.
How to Get Away with Murder is great combination of story arcs that are out of the ordinary and extremely shocking. That is what makes the show a critical and popular hit.
However, like with all great shows, How to Get Away with Murder falters slightly with its story and characters from the third season. The story is not as water-tight as in the first couple of seasons and the suspense lacks in some places. It still remains a very good show but the later seasons do not compare to the first two.
The protagonist of the show, Annalise Keating, is as grey as they come. It is her character that makes the show all the more interesting. From the brilliant criminal lawyer who could not be touched in the early seasons to the dishonored, alcoholic woman whose past has caught up with her in the latter ones, Viola Davis’ portrayal is riveting.
Her depiction of Annalise Keating was such a hit with both critics and the audience that she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series—making her the first black woman to win the award in the category.
However, it is not only Annalise that contributes to the greatness of the show. Each and every character of the “Keating 5” has their own story and secrets. Alfred Enoch as Web Gibbins, Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh, Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt, Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone, and Karla Souza as Lauren Castillo—all bring a distinct personality to their characters. They are all connected to each other and depend on one another, but their relationships change very often.
5. Final Thoughts
How to Get Away with Murder remains a path-breaking TV show in many ways. For one, it was a female-led show, where the female character is complex and multi-dimensional. The story is a treat for all mystery and thriller fans. It might not be too realistic, but it does make for good drama.