Thursday, November 06, 2014

ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" is really like a board game

How to Get Away With Murder”, ABC’s new series created by Peter Nowalk, is certainly layered enough.  Viola Davis (“Scandal”) plays a Philadelphia law professor who hires students from her class to work at her firm.  Does this set up a series of “Clue” or “Mr. Ree” games?   How often in law school does this really happen?  I’ve only known one law student reasonably well, back in 2000, when he was in a tiny dorm room at the University of Illinois at Carbondale.  Nothing like this sounds probable.  But this is a series where the professor will live her own cases. 
Oliva’s character is Annalise Keating (no connection to Peter Keating in “The Fountainhead” I bet).  In the pilot, the corpse of one of the students, Lila (missing for a long time) is found in a campus water tank. Rebecca Sutter (Katie Findlay) will be the prime suspect.  Yet in successive episdes Annalise carries on business as usual with other cases.  Rebecca has been in a relationship with Wes (Alfred Enoch).

The show has some “flash forwards”  (rather like the defunct ABC series which was very good) that show, for example, that Annalise’s husband will turn up as a corpse.  This is a rather interesting concept in screenwriting, playing with the "reality levels" of the viewer's experience.  It can also set up the hidden links between characters who seem to come from different worlds.  
The episode this evening was called “He Deserved to Die,” and it offers a gag order, a rather cheap men’s room gay scene, and a (heterosexual) pre-nup, which suggests that heterosexual marriage these days isn’t very much about covenants.   

Official ABC site is here.  Picture: ABC News baloon in Philadelphia, north of downtown, taken from an Amtrak train.  

Update; Nov. 27

ABC aired the Pilot and second episode again Thanksgiving evening.  It's interesting how sassy Viola's character is with students and witnesses, especially in the opening lecture scene.  She hires the likable Wes (Alfred Enoch) who does have skeletons in his closet (from the flash forwards).  
If I had invented a series like this, I wouldn't want to make a likable student and law intern a future murderer, but maybe that's just me

Update: Dec. 6

Here's the steamy gay scene, Youtube link

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