I don’t watch much television these days. I don’t have cable in my apartment, and I have hit a bit of a Netflix rut lately. Maybe it is just because I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to Netlflix binges these days, or maybe I’m getting pickier about what shows I invest in, but whatever the reason, there are not many television shows that manage to keep me desperate enough for more that I have to keep watching. That said, there is one show airing right now that I am 100% completely and utterly obsessed with.
*Squeeee!* I honestly cannot remember the last time I fell so far down the rabbit hole over a television show. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should follow me down.
1. Suspense Worth Killing For
I’ve been known to describe How to Get Away with Murder‘s plot as the kind of story Steven Moffat tries to write, but is not actually clever enough to pull off; it has all the build up and none of the disappointment.
From the very first moment of the very first episode we know something crazy has gone down, but it is not until the mid-season finale that we finally get the full picture, at which point a whole different side of the mystery is introduced and the cycle starts all over. Every episode begins and ends with a tiny snippet of the night everything went wrong, but the episodes themselves flashback to through the weeks leading up to that night. Every snippet from the end of the episodes drops a major bomb on you right before the credits role, making it impossible not to watch just one more episode, because yES NETFLIX I AM STILL WATCHING, GOSH!
2. Diversity For Days
Anyone who has known me for like 30 seconds knows that I am a huge diversity fangirl, and How to Get Away with Murder does it better than I think any other show I’ve ever watched. Not only is the main cast extraordinarily diverse, but the representation is done so freaking well. They refuse to fall into any of the lazy archetype characters that are so often used when people want brownie points for being “diverse” without actually having to write decent characters.
I also think it is always important to consider what characters are included as women, people of color, LGBT. A lot of the time you’ll find that the only time a character is anything other than a straight, white, dude is because there was a specific need for a character of that group. A woman needed as a love interest, people of color needed in slavery movies, etc. And if the only reason we ever include other groups is because of some plot point they serve, that is not real representation. That is what makes How to Get Away with Murder so fantastic. None of the characters needed to fall into any group. You could push a button and swap up all of the roles and it would still make sense, because no one is fulfilling a stereotype or plot point. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Mind Blowing Character Complexity
Few things give me more warm and fuzzies about a story than well written characters. A lot of the time, with television shows in particular, the main character and maybe a few other important ones get real time devoted to their character building, while all the others are left largely 2-dimensional. In How to Get Away with Murder however, the sheer depth of the characterization given to practically every recurring character is mind blowing.
Take Annalise Keating, for example. She initially comes across as a hard-ass professor and lawyer. She is the living embodiment of confident, taking charge of any court room she enters. However, behind the closed doors of her own home we also see her insecurities, her fears, her breakdowns. We see are given privy to both versions of Annalise, the one wearing the mask and the one who takes it off (which is beautifully juxtaposed in this scene devoted to her physically removing the makeup and wig she hides behind in public; this scene on its own deserved an Emmy just saying). Annalise is very much a real person. She is impacted by everything happening around her in very realistic ways. She is not only one of- if not the- most well written woman of color character I have ever seen on mainstream television, she is one of the best written characters I have ever seen period.
4. Dynamite Character Dynamics (…I’m so sorry)
This is one you really have to watch the show to understand, but you won’t have to watch much to understand exactly what I am talking about. The interactions between the characters are always completely natural, which is a testament to both the writing and the acting. You know how amazing the dynamics between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were in the Sherlock Holmes movies? It is like that between every single character in How to Get Away with Murder, except these characters don’t all like each other. I love watching all of the characters interact with each other, but there is one character in particular who I enjoy more than others…
5. Because Connor Walsh
If you scroll through the How to Get Away with Murder tag on Tumblr, it is approximately 10% Viola Davis being queen and 90% Connor Walsh appreciation posts. And for very, very good reason, namely that Connor is practically perfect in every way.
To start, Connor is very, very different from the typical gay character we see repeated again and again on television. The writer wanted Connor to represent the type of gay man he wished he could have been at his age- someone who had a supportive family and who had completely accepted himself early on. As a result, his sexual identity is not his defining characteristic; he is not the show’s gay guy. He’s just a character who also happens to be gay.
He is also absolutely precious. Seriously you guys, I was very tempted to make this entire post about him. That is how much I love him. He is such a loveable asshole I can hardly take it, but he is also so much more. Just like Annalise, there is a side to Connor that he projects to the world, and the side we see through the cracks in his mask. He has also undergone some fantastic character development in just the first one and a quarter seasons that have aired. I don’t want to go into any details because spoilers, so you’re just going to have to trust me.
It was so hard trying to narrow this post down to only five reasons, and then again trying to keep my fangirlish explanations as short as possible. I seriously cannot remember the last time I was this obsessed with a show and I cannot recommend it enough. Next time you’re scrolling through Netflix looking for something to watch before bed, turn on How to Get Away with Murder and just watch the first ten minutes; that’s all it will take to have you hooked.
Use the clicky clickies below to share this post with that person you’ve been trying to convince to watch How to Get Away with Murder for weeks, and if you want to keep up with my future fangirl ramblings you can follow me with the bloglovin link to the right or on Facebook if that’s more your scene. Talk to you soon!