Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The Theory and Art of How to Get Away With Murder

As a dedicated consumer of television series it is always an exciting prospect when a new, well-acted and edgy show is introduced. In this case it is even more exciting when it is produced by the powerhouse that is “Shondaland”. Producer and writer Shonda Rhimes is the brains behind some of what I consider to be the best shows to ever hit TV, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal – and most recently the new series “How to Get Away with Murder”.
Known for her innovative ways her shows feature powerful, strong and kickass women, she does not shy away from showing women as multifaceted beings with desires and goals that go far beyond successful careers and marriage. HTGAWM has been for me by far the most engaging show from this producer as it has three of my favourite things in TV: a diverse cast, strong, well thought-out out characters and of course the cherry on top – a good murder. And overarching all of this, there is the rare rare and beautiful thing that is to find characters who are gay, getting laid and not apologising for it. Characters whose core are not their sexuality, colour, gender or class.

It is even rarer to find a show whose plot keeps you at the edge of your seat with each new episode. Portrayed by the award winning actress Viola Davis, Professor Annalise Keating is a law professor/lawyer whose (admittedly slightly cliche’d) main concern when representing a client is not their innocence but doing her job and making sure the client wins, even if it means having to go outside the boundaries set by the law. Despite the cliche, the character is full of hidden depth that is revealed scarcely and to great effect when she isn’t going about her days slaying dragons and taking names. The show is ground-breaking in its approach, unapologetically showcasing a diverse range of characters who tackle and dismantle social norms. Peter Nowalk (the creator) along with Rhimes dare to leave polite television behind and tread in the valley sex, murder and all things bold and beautiful.

I make it a rule never to overpraise a show in hopes of avoiding disappointment however I will say this, learning the theory of how to get away with murder becomes just that little more exciting when you add the practical. Shondaland is the gift that keeps giving, and with HTGAWM being on its first season and already reaching such levels of entertainment, we can safely say we’ve only just delved into Murderous-yet-entertaining-Law 101.