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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Season 1 of How to Get Away with Murder

Just about every character on ABC-tv's How to Get Away with Murder has killed someone, is helping someone hide a dead body, is planning or has serious thoughts about murdering someone, is about to become the victim of a murder, stumbles upon a murder scene, is covering up a homicide or is defending a cold-blooded killer in a court of law. The show debuted last September and had its 2-hour season finale this past Thursday, February 26. As you can see, it very much has had murder on its mind lo these several months.

Murder is a Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) production with her trademark and trend-setting complex plots and characters, excellent filming/ editing, and reflecting real-life diversity about its people, in terms of their gender, color and sexual orientation. Oh, and there's plenty of sex (hot, softcore scenes both hetero and homo) and violence. Sometimes both at once!

I must say, though the tone of  HtGAwM is dark and serious and there's no lack of straight-faced dramaturgy, this epic soap opera-cum-crime drama is pure camp.

I hold camp in high regard. I'm a fan of campy entertainment! I'm campy, for crying out Lance Loud! Though this show is put on with an ensemble of poker-faced and accomplished actors, its basic premise and much of its dialogue is just daffy!

The show is set in Philly (though largely shot in L.A.). Can any city be this criminally insane? I'd love for John Waters to direct an episode. This show's right up his alley!

Alfred Enoch (all grown up since his Harry Potter films and sometimes shirtless) is a hotty. Tall, lanky, with a very long neck, he reminds me of a giraffe and moves as gracefully as one. The rest of the ensemble on this show offer fine support.

There is lots of sex and violence on Murder, but married with award-nominated and award-winning actresses. Lynne Whitfield, Marcia Gay Harden, Cicely Tyson! This also adds to the camp factor, as all are award worthy in guest appearances of Dynasty-like intensity and grandiosity -- but without the shoulder pads, big hair and physical cat fights so far (though there's no shortage of catty dialogue, even amongst the men).

Annalise Keating (Davis)  is a law professor at the fictitious Middleton University in Philadelphia. Annalise selects a group of her best students to work at her firm. She lived with her husband, Sam Keating; but she also got into a relationship with Nate Lahey (Billy Brown), a detective, on the side. As her professional and personal life start to collide, Annalise and her students become unwillingly entwined in a murder plot.

The story begins en media res in a sense. Annalise is very pulled together in court but a hot mess, sometimes, at home. Especially after the students kill her abusive, philandering husband. The kids drag the cadaver to a bonfire event but their plans get waylaid. Complications ensue.

Annalise (nee Anna May as her mother (Tyson) explains) is a morally ambiguous and extremely complicated, though psychologically well motivated character. This allows Viola Davis to run the emotional gamut A to Z.

I've loved every minute of this show with its breathtaking twists and turns of plot every week, its suspense, but most of all its cheeky black humor.  We'll see how this will translate into Emmy Award wins come September. Ms Davis already took home a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Annalise in the series.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for revealing that the show is set in Philly. I was raised near there, am still there regularly, and while I've also watched the show regularly, I must have missed a line or two because it surely wasn't recognizable as any town I know.