“How To Get Away With Murder” is Going Where No Other Show Has

Controversy brews over graphic scenes of sexuality on TV

At a first glance, How To Get Away With Murder might seem like a legal drama about a university class for lawyers to be, but as we have watched several episodes already, we can see the show is much more than that. It deals with real life circumstances that we haven’t seen any other show tackle, like steamy same-sex scenes.

The buzz about Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland new show started long before the series actually started airing. Actress Viola Davis, who is best known for her role in the 2001 Oscar-nominated film The Help, carries the lead role as Professor Annalise Keating.

The series follows her personal and professional life as a defense attorney and criminal law professor at a top law school in Philadelphia.

Keating is basically a ruthless, amoral, argumentative and sometimes unethical attorney who goes above and beyond to teach her students how to practice the law in a courtroom like an actual lawyer. Think of it as something much more bigger than an internship. Her personal life is surrounded by drama as well. She has been cheating on her husband Sam (Tom Verica) since episode one. He is a professor as well, but for the psychology department at the university.

On last week’s episode, we just kind of confirmed that Sam might have done the same exact thing with one of his student. This is quite the marriage. What I find surprising is that Keating is not okay with the fact that her husband may have cheated on her with one of his students. There is an obvious double standard here. To make his case even worse, the girl was murdered and no one knows who did it yet.

Keating is not only pushing her marriage to extremes, she is doing it to her students as well to the point where one of them engages in casual sex just to get ahead of the game to win a legal case.

Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) have had sex with different people just to get something without any emotional attachment whatsoever. It sounds a bit cold. How does he do it? His desire to prove himself amongst his peers and to the boss must be tremendously huge in order for him to engage in such predicaments. I predict that he will lose it sooner or later as we have seen in bits and pieces of the “future” scenes.

Walsh’s behavior is poking a nerve in some viewers. For some, the same-sex scenes are becoming a bit too much to handle.

Rhimes recently responded to comments from viewers on the matter via Twitter and the mega-producer couldn’t have said it better…

How To Get Away With Murder and other Shonda Rhimes’ shows are definitely pushing the envelop with their content, which is a great thing.

Viola Davis brings the same intensity to her character as she has portraying others in the past.

We have seen same-sex scenes in other shows, but we have never seen them from this angle, this way and in such frequency.

The show definitely feels commanding, powerful, fascinating and just plain grown-up. For a reason, this series is in the 10 o’clock slot. Put the kids to sleep and enjoy the show.


Montclair State | New Jersey

Katherine Aucena

Katherine Aucena is a Journalist, Web Developer and a Professional Chef. She obtained a bachelor of arts in Journalism from Montclair State University. Aucena fulfilled her passion of cooking by completing the culinary arts program at The French Culinar Institute in 2011. She graduated high school with a 2-year technical degree in Computer Science and received her associates of arts in Communications Media Arts. She has worked on various TV shows, radio, as a contributing writer and in the food industry. She currently works in the magazine publishing industry.