Although I’m at the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) until Sunday, I did have a chance to see the premiere of How To Get Away With Murder and was very impressed. My mini-review appears after the jump.
Viola Davis stars as brilliant defense attorney and hardass university professor, Annalise Keating. Her class is Criminal Law 100, or, as she describes it, ‘how to get away with murder.’
Every year she selects four particularly bright students to work at her law firm – the four chosen by who gives the best tactics for a particularly difficult case she’s working. We learn this after first seeing the students she will choose in the act of attempting to get away with – or cover up – a murder. The show then proceeds in two timelines – the present, with the students trying to cover up the crime juxtaposed with Keating’s selection of the students after working through her case.
This is the newest series from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland and, as you might expect, it has moments of high drama, higher melodrama and unexpected moments of humor. It’s considerably darker than Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and, at least in the pilot, doesn’t seem to burning through a half-a-season’s worth of plot points in a single episode (more like a subdued three or four eps’ worth…). It’s diabolically clever, fast-paced and has the potential to be huge. I liked it a lot. Shonda Rimes Runs Thursdays on ABC. Do not doubt that.
Final Grade: A
Photo by Craig Sjodin/Courtesy of ABC