Show Reviews: “How To Get Away With Murder” & “Quantico”

By: Haby Sondo

How to Get Away with Murder

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The cast of How To Get Away With Murder.

I know. It sounds scary, intense, and almost too gruesome for you to watch. And no,the show doesn’t actually teach you how to get away with murdering someone!

This Emmy award-winning show starring Viola Davis consists of many different twists and turns. Its thrilling story line leaves viewers shocked, confused, and with their mouths open after every one-hour episode.  The show revolves around Annalise Keating, who is an ambitious Criminal Justice Lawyer and professor at Middleton College. In my opinion, she is willing to do anything she needs to win a case. She’s known for her feisty attitude, and her use of furtive technique to get what she wants in a corrupt government system. She runs her law firm from her house, where she works with Bonnie and Frank, her assistants.

In the first episode, viewers can see that her marriage with her husband, Sam, was very unstable. Early on in the show, viewers learn that Sam was killed. Through constant flashbacks, viewers are left to find out who killed him, how they killed him, and most importantly, why he was killed.

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At Middleton College, she chooses a group of students from her criminal law class to aid her through her law cases, helping her find witnesses, clues, and general information, which ultimately helped her win her cases. Through thorough competition and examination, she is able to narrow down her 200 student class into 5 students to work with at her law firm.

The Students

Wes is a doe-eyed boy who later forms a close relationship with Annalise. His mother’s unfortunate death is the root to many of his troubles. His relationship with a girl named Rebecca becomes the base of season one’s story line.

McKayla is a feisty African-American woman who is passionate about law. She has several relationship issues.  Because of Annalise, she finds herself doing and getting caught up in things she never imagined. She is the most frightened and worried about being involved in Sam’s horrible death.

Laurel is a smart Hispanic woman who develops an intimate relationship with Frank, one of Annalise’s assistants. She worked hard to get to law school and has a very feisty personality.

Asher is a former playboy. His dad is a famous corrupt lawyer. He is the only person in the group uninvolved in Sam’s horrible death. He falls in love with Annalise’s other assistant, Bonnie.

Conner is an extremely aggressive student trying to survive in Annalise’s class. He is the jokester of the group. He sleeps around a lot until he meets Oliver, his current boyfriend. After Sam is killed, he is the one who attempts to keep everyone calm and at ease about the situation.

 These students came to Middleton College because of their admiration for Annalise as a lawyer. They did not expect to be working for her firm under a very hostile dictatorship. The students become bound to Annalise because of a terrible secret that will forever connect them to her and destroy their lives if revealed.

 This show is exciting to watch. I love how the playwright makes Annalise’s character so dynamic. On one hand, I see her as someone who genuinely cares for the students and feels guilty about what they got caught up in by working for her; however, another part of me believes that she used her students to get rid of problems that she is too cowardly to handle on her own. Her deceitful personality leaves me baffled at the end of almost every episode. She is a ruthless, power-drive, and selfish individual who survives and thrives from using people. 

The one thing I would say I dislike about this show is how quickly it moves. In the first season, so many things happened at such a fast pace. I believe that the writers should take more time to develop each obstacle the characters on the show endure. However, I would have to rate this show a 7/10.


Quantico

The cast of Quantico.

The cast of Quantico.

This show is currently on the first season, and so far I have to say it’s pretty good. Quantico is an FBI academy training center which the main character, Alex Parrish, attends. Alex is a young ferocious woman from India who is so passionate about protecting America that she enrolls and eventually attends the academy without telling her mother.

Early on in the show, viewers learn that Alex is responsible for shooting her drunkard father who was also an FBI agent. Desperate to find out about the side of her father that he never displayed at home, she joins the academy.

Here, she falls in love with Agent Ryan Booth. She is put through many trials and obstacles to become the best FBI agent she can possibly be. Ultimately, the passion that brings her to the academy disintegrates when she is framed for bombing Grand Central 42nd Street Station. Viewer’s know Alex is innocent, but her closest friends and family fail to believe her.

While at the academy, Alex meets other people who have hidden conflicts.

The Characters

Ryan is an FBI agent who is at the academy pretending to be a student. He was sent to the academy to spy on Alex by Liam. His relationship with Alex progresses as they spend more time together.

Miranda is the Assistant Director at Quantico. She is the one who accepted Nimah and Raina into the academy to work for her. She has much conflict with her son who nearly murdered students at a nearby college, and was sent to prison by Miranda, his own mother.

Liam is an FBI agent who is responsible for training and recruiting students into Quantico. He was involved in a former relationship with Miranda Shaw. He has an interest in Alex Parrish, and the reason why has yet to be revealed.

Simon helps Alex while she is running away from the FBI, but it appears he is working for the FBI as well. He seems a bit shady, and he seems to play both sides in conflict. He is out to do what is best for himself, no matter who may get hurt in him doing so.

Raina & Nimah are twins who joined the academy to get away from the very orthodox life they would have been forced to live if they decided to stay at home. They are at Quantico for a very important mission that their classmates have no clue about.

Caleb becomes an analyst after being dropped from the FBI training program (the reason is revealed in the first episode). His parents are rich, and pulled some strings for him to get into the academy.

Shelby is a country girl whose parents died during the 9/11 terrorist attack. She works very well with guns, but she, too, seems a bit shady. Her and Alex become good friends at the academy, but their relationship is later tested.
Natalie is out to destruct Alex in any way possible. She is feisty, and willing to do whatever it takes to prove that she is a better FBI agent than Parrish.

This show is very different from a lot of the other shows I watch. I love how the show reveals a present conflict, and shows the cause of the conflict by alternating between flashbacks and the character’s nine months at the academy. Another thing that makes the show interesting is that it’s very unpredictable. Unlike many shows, you are unaware of why each character does the things he or she does, and the reasoning that they use to justify their actions. I rate this show a 7/10.

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