Nov 9, 2016

[TV] How to Get Away With Murder: Season 2

So I didn't become much of a fan of the first season of How to Get Away With Murder and I ended up "downgrading" the show from something that Tobie and I had to watch together to something I might catch up on eventually on my own. And since iFlix made it available as part of their content library, it was easy to slot the second season into my viewing queue while overseas.

I'm  not sure what I was expecting from the show's second season. By this point it had managed to get a third season commitment, so they have to be doing something right. I have a few friends who really love the show and celebrate every episode.

But maybe it's more of a mismatch between expectations and reality? Or maybe I need a meta-plot that's a bit more complicated or a mystery that involves a lot less spoonfeeding of information through repeated flashbacks and jerky jump-cut editing.

But this second season continues on a similar path.

Synopsis: How to Get Away With Murder is a US drama series created by Peter Nowalk for ABC. The show has gotten quite a number of awards nominations and a few wins as well.

Since the show needs a framing device, this season mostly centers around the case of Caleb (Kendrick Sampson) and Catherine (Amy Okuda) Hapstall, who have been accused of being involved in the death of their adoptive parents. Of course Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) has offered her services as a defense attorney and thus there's this case in the background of everything else that happens.

Of course there's still all the loose ends from the last season including the disappearance of Rebecca (Katie Findlay), which we know to be a murder. There's also Connor's (Jack Falahee) efforts to establish more of an actual relationship with Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) despite all the stress of keeping so many secrets. You have Asher's (Matt McGorry) romance with Bonnie (Liza Weil) but also him striking a deal with assistant District Attorney Emily Sinclair (Sarah Burns). Oh, and Frank (Charlie Weber) still has an on-going thing with Laurel (Karla Souza).

What I Liked: The show still has interesting moments of clever legal maneuvering or at least manipulation of people to apply leverage when needed. Most characters have some interesting personal arcs that were better explored in this season versus the last one, so that also shows progress.

And oddly enough this show is one of the bigger ones that features a main character in an LGBT relationship. On some level I really do appreciate Connor and Oliver's relationship, although we also have to concede that it has a lot of problematic moments as well.

What Could Have Been Better: The show still commits a lot of the same sins as the first season from the repeated flashbacks and flashforwards, the jump cuts and the odd love for poorly lit houses. More and more this is becoming an extended game with Fiasco with all the weird character deaths and terrible plot twists.

Plus there's a significant tendency for the writers to resort to sex to resolve the ending of a scene. Hello surprise lesbian past! Hello hooking up as a weird legal strategy! When you don't know what characters should do for the next five minutes, make them have sex. At least that's the general impression that the show drives.

TL;DR: I don't know how many people are going to die in this series before someone with half a brain figures out that something's wrong. The body count is getting absolutely ridiculous and you'd think that someone would be able to figure things out by now but that hasn't been the case. and so this second season of the show gets 2.5 way back flashbacks introduce into the story out of a possible 5.


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