Are you ready for crazy?
The season four premiere of Shonda Rimes third hit in her #TGIT lineup returns this Thursday Sept. 28. It will be the third show airing on that night at 10/9c after yet another season of Grey’s Anatomy and the final season of Scandal.
I am biased because this is actually the only Shondaland ride that I have watched from the beginning. I was initially drawn to the show due to the star power of the amazing, inspirational Viola Davis. When How to Get Away with Murder (aka HTGAWM) premiered in 2014 it was in the midst of a transitional period when more and more movie stars were showing up on television shows. Davis was by no means the first movie star of note to appear on a network television show, but it was important to note that she was still one of the first POC lead. In fact, she is basically THE lead in HTGAWM.
However, once I started watching the fast moving, intense drama with intriguing flashbacks, I was hooked. Rimes isn’t the queen of her empire because she can’t create a riveting pilot. I mean, introducing the characters and the murder in the same pilot? Brilliant.
As I continued to watch I became emotionally invested in each student in her circle, and their complicated relationships with each other. HTGAWM was a twisty, sexy tale that drew me in every week. I was very happy about how strong and confident Rimes made each character, especially Annalise. Here was a middle-aged black woman who was in complete confidence in her sexuality. That was such a strong statement, and Davis played that role perfectly. I believe that inner-strength and force of character is what led to her historical Emmy win in 2015 for Best Lead Actress in a Drama. So deserved.
The ensemble cast also excelled and grew with each episode, and their characters were so nuanced, that what began as initial selfishness and “me me me” attitude from each student turned to explore each individuals vulnerability and backstory. And with each twist in the following two seasons, the core group of Wes (Alfred Enoch), Connor (Jack Falahee), Michaela (Aja Naomi King), Asher (Matt McGorry), and Laurel (Karla Souza )as Keating’s students, Frank (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie (Liza Weil) as her employees and Nate (Billy Brown) as a detective with the Philadelphia Police Department, and Annalise’s lover continued to intertwine the story and make it more intense with each season. And more murder each season, naturally.
Season 3 killed off a major player *no spoilers here* and sets off the students into a tailspin, that threatens to upend their lives. The gang has been through so much together, but season 3 made them drift apart as they each dealt with their grief differently. I was devastated by some of the actions in season 3, but I know HTGAWM too well to hope for some happy sense of closure in season 4. I am very excited to see what dark twists and turns Rimes has planned for the fourth season! If you haven’t caught up for #TGIT be sure to check out Netflix to binge season 1-3 before HTGAWM returns Sept. 28 10/9c.