One, two and three. Game, set and match for Shonda Rhimes with the third show sold to ABC, changing Thursday in Shondaland day. (Grey’s at 8, Scandal at 9 and HTGAWM at 10). Since Scandal turned to crap, I was a bit afraid of the quality of this new show and I’m quite happy by the result.
So, HTGAWM (that’s not easy) is about a driven, passionate, sexy, ruthless and untraditional law teacher (played by Viola Davis) who is not about Law 101 but more about the practice of law, meaning, how to make a jury believes that a killer must goes free ? She’s also going to pick few students, the more promising ones to join her at her firm as a huge opportunity.
I loved this idea of survivor, like there’s only one winner and you need to do everything, and I say everything to prove that you’re useful to your teacher. It’s completely unhealthy, but a delight to watch. What bothered me the most during this pilot was the realisation and the timeline.
So, we know nothing or almost about the characters and yet, we saw them, in the forest, trying to figure out if they go take « the body », what to do with the murder weapon and so on. It’s weird but you know that there’s a flashback coming up. And obviously, most of the episode takes place three months earlier. And if you understand who is who, I don’t understand if next week the show will takes place before the murder (it will means that probably the whole season would be contained in a three months radius) or if we’ll pick up the morning after the murder. I was a bit confused there. And if I’m already confused with the pilot, it doesn’t make me trust the next episodes. Secondly, was the director or the editor under the influence of something ? All the scenes about the murder, are filmed so weirdly, it almost made me feel dizzy. Too many clips of less than ten seconds, going in every directions, so aggressive. I didn’t understand what it brings to the viewer, except a slight discomfort to watch.
Viola Davis is definitely the best part, yet, of the show. Her character, Keaning, is impossible to read and even if she’s a bit too close from Olivia Pope to my liking, she’ll be interesting to see evolving. For the others young characters, well, it’s Shonda so you have the handsome and gay student, the black and insecure girl, the Miss-I-Know-Everything and the guy who you are suppose to identify yourself, former Harry Potter cast, a young Black, more sensible, broke and human than his comrades.
A great pilot, everything is going at 200 km/h and you don’t have the time to breathe. Let’s see how the story unfolds now.
Strong parts :
– Viola Davis owned that pilot
– I like the idea even if after each show of Shonda you slip away from reality a bit more each time.
Weak parts :
– The realisation and montage
– The bunch of actors are nice but they can’t sell it to me right now.