Pilot: “How to Get Away with Murder”

IMG_0305.JPGSome show’s don’t need a known creator or cast in order to be well worth all the excitement. Just the name recognition of an executive producer and decent time slot.

For the American Broadcasting Company’s (ABC) newest show “How to Get Away with Murder”, which had finally it’s long awaited premier, it has the well known executive producer and the decent time slot, as well as a fantastic lead actress.

This drama series stars Viola Davis (“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby”, “Ender’s Game”), Billy Brown (“Legends”, “Hostages”), Alfred Enoch (“Sherlock”, “Broadchurch”), Jack Falahee (“Twisted”, “Rage”), Katie Findlay (“Premature”, “The Carrie Diaries”), Aja Naomi King (“Deadbeat”, “Black Box”), Matt McGorry (“Orange is the New Black”, “Elementary”), Karla Souza (“The Popcorn Chronicles”, “Instructions Not Included”), Charlie Weber (“Warehouse 13”, “90210”), and Liza Weil (“Bunheads”, “Scandal”).

The series was created by Peter Nowalk (“Scandal”, “Grey’s Anatomy”).

The series premiered on ABC on Sept. 25, 2014.

And that’s how you debut a show! Well, if you’re part of Shondaland, the production company of Shonda Rhimes, it most certainly is. Fast paced and addicting. Yes, I’m calling it already. I’m that hooked!

There was so much so quickly that I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone’s heads were spinning like tops. Mine was, and this was after the episode ended. And make no mistake, this is a show that will also be very case of the week, but juicer and more fun.

First, for this new show, there was the way things unraveled. From a storytelling perspective, it’s taking a page from “Damages”. Let’s see if this show can avoid the boredom that plagued much of that show’s run. I don’t know, and am kind of hoping, that each episode isn’t filled with slow trickles, using flash forwards, to tell the story of who the dead person is in the rug (not a spoiler). If it does then this show could suffer a bit, especially from a creative standpoint. Did I already mention “Damages”?

There was also this constant mention of some missing college girl. At various moments there were TV’s turned to the news and various moments of mourning. It appears she’s been missing for some time. To me, this is an interesting way to introduce a bigger story arc, that could easily have so many different repercussions later on too.

Now, for a pilot there was actually a lot of good character insights. I was a little surprised at how much, even slight things you may not have seen, that were used to tell the viewer about the character they were watching. Little by little some characters backstory was revealed. They’re definitely going to be interesting characters and fun to watch. Juicy doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Then, there’s Davis. She is the central person, or at the very least, the main reason people tuned in. As such, you’d be correct in assuming there’d be some interesting moments to show who her character is. From the trailers and promos it’s already known that she’s a tough lawyer and law professor, but what about her personal life? That’s what we get to learn a lot about in just one hour. An interrupted and intimate moment is a pretty creative way to show Davis’ character has a personal life. Then there’s the revelation that she and her husband are trying to have a baby, but it’s a bit more complicated. So much emotion and vulnerability for this strong woman. Hopefully there are more instances like these, otherwise it’s going to be hard to sympathize with her, let alone like her.

For me, this show was absolutely fun and reached whatever level of expectation I had. I’m hooked by everything that was meant to be a hook, and the characters themselves. As long as the writing, for each episode, stays smart and quick, I’ll be forever interested in what goes on. The next biggest thing this show needs to succeed in, is the case of the week. Sure there will be one, but if I’m not hooked by the courtroom drama, I may lose interest. Fortunately enough, this sole episode already showed that the writers’ room can churn out slight plot twists and make the drama of court, all that more exciting. Who’s ready for episode two?

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