Spoiler alert: I have tried to avoid spoilers but sometimes they have snuck in anyways.
Recently I finished watching the first season of How To Get Away With Murder. Now I’m looking forward to season two to be available on netflix.
The series is about a group of law students who get the chance to work with a very good lawyer (Viola David alias Annalise Keating). They all have to solve a murder case where the murderer seems to be obvious. But the accused girl is the Annalise’s client so they have to prove that she’s innocent – or make her innocent.
So far I am very impressed mostly by the way the characters were painted – especially the female ones and among those the African American female ones. The characters are strong and clash the most stereotypes of female characters in TV. In the beginning the protagonist seems to be a male person, but after a short time the storylines of the female figures appear to be much more catchy – first and foremost the one Annalise is living through.
For me she was the most interesting person, because she’s unpredictable. At first sight she acts like a very rational, kind of cold and unreadable, introverted person – in a pleasant way. You don’t know much about her, just that she seems to be an excellent lawyer. During the season you get to know her struggles, her history and her feelings very well. She defends herself against a molesting husband and many other things, not to mention her awesome and imposing way of defending her clients in court.
Her students are also very intense characters, even though they sometimes appear to be quite selfish. But I think that’s caused by the challenge Anneliese throws them into. They all are confronted with diverse problems, because they are diverse people concerning many characteristics. And they are not classical white male law students. I think the only thing that unites them is the ambition to find a good job as a lawyer. Also I wouldn’t claim that they are „friends“. Their relationship is more like a business relationship, everybody tries to keep their secrets from the others and they only deal with each other if they need something or have to work together.
Often I stop watching series when I recognize that many figures are very stereotypical, the plot is only about relationships and sex and everything is so predictable. HTGAWM is quite the opposite. If there are relationships they mostly seem to answer the purpose of the series and are not one of the main topics.
I was kind of addicted to HTGAWM fast and this was mainly because the first three or four episodes I nearly didn’t understand anything, but in a thrilling way. There are leaps in time and that makes the story a little bit confusing in the beginning. But in the end it’s a very complex storyline with complex characters.
In my opinion the series can be labeled as feminist, because most of the main characters are ambitious, strong and powerful women. It doesn’t make the mistake to represent white women only, but in the center of all storylines stands a black and both suffering and successful women. Also topics like racism (in judiciary), sexual assault, rape culture and different kinds of power relations appear to be essential. Because of that it also could be triggering for people, because often sexual assault is shown very clearly.