“How to Get Away with Murder” Kills in the Ratings Game

Megan Vick

Viola Davis as Annalise Keating in ABC’s ‘How to Get Away with Murder’

ABC Television Network

Carolyn Fenerty, Writer

How to Get Away with Murdera new ABC legal drama produced by Shonda Rhimes (famous as the woman behind the popular Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal), is gaining popularity quickly in the ratings and at FHS.

“I would want to watch the show because it seems so popular,” said Emily Mariano, “And many people have told me it’s really good.”

The show stars Viola Davis, an actress with two Academy Award nominations, including one for her role as Aibileen Clark in The Helpas defense attorney and law teacher Annalise Keating. Keating selects five students from her Criminal Law 100 class to work at her firm, and they fight each other while working on Annalise’s cases for her favor.

The story goes between the students working at Annalise’s firm and in class, taking on cases with the background of the murder of Lila Stangard, a student from their school, and to a night several months later, where four of Annalise’s students (Wes Gibbins, Michaela Pratt, Laurel Castillo, and Connor Walsh) have murdered Annalise’s husband Sam and are trying to cover their tracks.

FHS students will recognize Alfred Enoch, famous for his roll as Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter movies, in his role as law student Wes Gibbins.

How to Get Away with Murder uses similar elements from Grey’s Anatomy, including soap opera-like suspense and sexual intrigue. Like other law shows, the legal procedures are dramatized, but entertaining.

Rhimes’s diversity in characters also carries over into How to Get Away with Murder.

The main cast includes four black characters: Davis’s Annalise Keating, Enoch’s Wes Gibbins, Aja Naomi King’s Michaela Pratt, and Billy Brown‘s Nate Lahey.

“I think there’s becoming more racial diversity on television, especially in kids’ shows” said junior Emily Bauer.

The show also has a large number of diverse female characters including Annalise, Michaela, Liza Weil as Annalise’s associate Bonnie Winterbottom, and Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo.

“I think the genders are being treated the same on more shows, because the goofy characters or the main characters tend to be split between the genders.” said Bauer.

Contributing to diversity in sexuality, Jack Falahee’s Connor Walsh, an ambitious and openly gay student, is shown explicitly to be in several relationships with other men, something rare on television and in movies (Grey’s Anatomy also has several gay and bisexual characters).

Matt McGorry, from Netflix series Orange is the New Blackalso stars on the show as the fifth law student, Asher Millstone.

Metacritic gives How to Get Away with Murder generally favorable reviews, and although other reviews are mixed, nearly every critic agrees that Viola Davis’s incredible performance makes the show.

How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.