Two episodes into “How To Get Away With Murder,” and I am wholeheartedly obsessed with that entire show. The plot is extremely interesting, and I’ve already thrown my phone multiple times in response to a last-minute plot twist. The piece de resistance of the suspense-filled drama is unquestionably Viola Davis.
I’ve been a fan of Madam Davis for quite some time because she’s an acting gawd and any one with good sense can recognize that. I’ve only watched her in a few roles namely, “Doubt” and “The Help,” but I knew her skill was superior to most other actors in the game. Yet, to see her from week to week slaying the lives of everyone on her show, the show before it and every other show on primetime television is just too much.
I would literally still watch the show if she was the only person in it. Yes, I would tune in on a weekly basis to watch Viola Davis play Annalise Keating, Husband Keating, Side Boo Cop, ALL OF HER STUDENTS and even weird girl next door. I’ve only said that about one other actress and that was Angela Bassett in the extremely unfortunate Lifetime film “Betty and Coretta.” I stand by my statement, I would watch that movie five times if Mother Bassett played Betty Shabazz, Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X on top of her assigned role of Coretta Scott King, but I digress.
Davis as Annalise Keating is a work of art. We’ve seen her cry multiple times, and I’m still not completely sure she was actually sad most of those times. Keating is sharp and conniving but not unreasonably so. I feel comfortable with her persona and don’t get any creepy “angry black woman/Sapphire” vibes from her which is always a win.
On top of her unrivaled acting on the show, Davis is astonishing. Her makeup is always flawless and every hair flip and side eye she gives is a scoff in the face of New York Times’ writer Alessandra Stanley’s dismissal of Davis as not “classically beautiful.” Every time she steps on the screen with a new look I’m slain in the spirit of black excellence.
Her presence is so strong in every scene that she makes every actor around her seem better. The scenes with her husband, who is an easily forgettable character, are brought to life by Davis’ ability to show Keating’s simultaneous desire for and distrust of her partner. One scene in particular that comes to mind displaying Davis’ duality is her seemingly random breakdown in front of her boyfriend when he refuses to snoop on her husband on her behalf. She crumbles into what seems to be emotional shambles in order to ultimately get her boyfriend, who I refer to as Officer Side-Trade, to do what she wants.
There’s a good chance Annalise truly has these fears about her marriage and her husband’s fidelity, but it’s never completely clear if she’s sharing a moment of vulnerability with her boyfriend or if she’s manipulating him to her own ends. Either way I’m here for it and I can’t wait to see the brilliance of Davis’ work as this show continues.
For me, the show shouldn’t be titled “How To Get Away With Murder” as much as it should be called “How To Find Reasons To Watch Viola Davis Do Stuff” and I have no shame in that!
Catch “How To Get Away With Murder” tonight on ABC at 11/10C.