Since Bridgerton smashed a load of Netflix records, the name Shonda Rimes has become a household one. But that saucy period-piece was far from her first TV-show-rodeo. The 2014 Rimes-produced How to get Away With Murder is a macabre Must.
This legal procedural focuses on Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), a brilliant, tough nut criminal defence lawyer who takes on four bright law students and puts them through their paces, working on real court cases. Sounds like a pretty standard legal drama, right? But this one goes further. We learn early on in a flash-forward that the four students end up committing a murder, and they need to cover it up – hence the title – and so each week we are half gripped by whatever case is going on, and half desperate to know who they murder, and how?
As a result, the show is riveting. And it’s pacey, as we jump from case to case, fed titbits about the murder that hasn’t happened yet. Viola Davis is brilliant as Annalise – she’s a difficult character, charming yet cold. And yet you can’t help but be impressed by her (and by this brilliant show).
When the first season was released Nicole Vassell in The Telegraph said How to Get Away with Murder had “the potential to stand as one of 2014’s most enjoyable new dramas.” The Guardian’s Brian Moylan was with her, saying the show “promises to be a beautiful disaster,” but cautioned, “whether that turns into a delightful train wreck or a tortuous inferno remains to be seen.” Well, it has now been seen, and we think it’s the former.
The following seasons were met with praise, with Moylan a year later calling the second season “shocking and compelling,” with great press consistent through seasons three to four.
First shown September 2014. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.