With an incredible ensemble cast and loads of twists in each episode, How to Get Away with Murder is an addictive new series and the Season One DVD set is perfect for binge watching. The 15-episode set also comes loaded with enough bonus material to keep fans happy to re-watch what they might have missed when the series aired on ABC.
Created by Peter Nowalk and produced by Shonda Rhimes, the first season of the series stars Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Katie Findlay, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Karla Souza, Charlie Weber and Liza Weil.
While trying to stay as spoiler free as possible, How to Get Away with Murder: Season One is set at Middleton University, in Philadelphia, and revolves around a group of students and their law professor Annalise Keating (Davis). On the first few days of class, Keating selects five students to work for her law firm – Wes Gibbons (Enoch), Connor Walsh (Falahee), Michaela Pratt (King), Asher Millstone (McGorry), and Laurel Castillo (Souza). Keating also has two associates who work at the firm, Frank Delfino (Weber) and Bonnie Winterbottom (Weil).
From the opening seconds of the first episode, it is clear How to Get Away with Murder is going to keep you guessing all season long as the law students are in the process of covering up a murder (just who was killed won’t be revealed for a few episodes). It also becomes pretty clear that none of these characters are going to be very likeable and all seem to have flaws – the writers show that Keating thrives on making the students be as manipulative as they can through a continuing competition for a trophy and for her favor. Instead of working as a team, the students are often trying to get one over on the competition (some not caring how far they have to go to get some information), and it is clear that no one can trust that anyone is telling the truth.
As the murder (or actually murders) are slowly revealed throughout the season, the series does an excellent job of making the audience not sure who is to blame, who to trust or even who to like in the show. There doesn’t seem to be a single “white hat” hero on the series, and everyone is hiding something – a scene showing Annalise removing her make-up and wig demonstrates even she isn’t as polished as she seems. This revolving suspicion and betrayal keeps the audiences hooked (even when binge watching one episode after the next) on the story and keeps the pace of the season moving.
As the secrets start to be revealed, there is little time for the audience to settle before the next twist is pulled and the final moments of the season will leave you watching the clock for the season two premiere.
The main reason How to Get Away with Murder works so well is the incredible ensemble cast Rhimes and Nowalk have assembled for the series. Davis shines in this role and does a great job going from possible villain to victim within seconds of each other. Just when you think she is looking out for the safety of her students, Davis will give the camera a look and it seems she is setting them up for the fall. The talented actress owns the role and makes Annalise Keating one of television’s most complex characters.
Anchored by Davis, the talented actors that make up her law students seem to be in a constant state of shock, fear, anger and manipulation. The series is truly an ensemble show with each character mattering to the plot, and each actor making the chemistry of the group sell the story. It is impossible to know who to trust, like or pin as the “bad guy.”
The series gets more complicated thanks to Weber’s and Well’s performances (Keating’s associates are like her attack dogs ready to do anything she asks of them) and Katie Findlay’s performance as Rebecca – who might be the show’s only victim or maybe not. Like Davis, Findlay has an amazing ability to possibly deceive the audience with a simple glance, and go from victim to suspect within the same scene.
Along with the 15 episodes on four-discs, How to Get Away with Murder: Season One comes loaded with bonus features that take you into the making of the series; introduces the cast and characters; and takes a look at how the story is crafted. There is also a great blooper reel, deleted scenes, and a music video.
How to Get Away with Murder: Season One hooks the audience in the opening seconds of the first episodes and keeps you guessing until the final moments of the last episode. It is filled with great twists and incredible performances.