Sunday, August 28, 2016

Emmy Episodes: How to Get Away with Murder

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 2, Episode 14 “There’s My Baby” (D+)
Nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series (Viola Davis)

Viola Davis really is a respected actress – it’s hard to imagine anyone else winning an Emmy for a show as terrible as this one. I found myself confused at the start since I didn’t see Joshua Malina, and then I realized I was thinking about the wrong Shonda Rhimes show, “Scandal,” which no longer earns Emmy nominations for its lead actress. Instead, Davis is the defending champ in this category and back again with a pretty terrific submission considering the material she’s given. Playing a younger version of herself who was pregnant and then had a stillbirth after a car accident provides a strong showcase for her, and drinking and yelling at people in the present doesn’t hurt much either. She could easily triumph again. It’s hard to take this show seriously, and I balanced my time between recognizing familiar faces and cringing at the worst lines. I’m a big fan of Benito Martinez from “The Shield” and sad to see him stuck in such a thankless role. I liked Matt McGorry better on “Orange is the New Black” where he wasn’t as whiny, and Liza Weil’s presence only contributes to my “Scandal” confusion. I was trying to peg Famke Janssen’s accent and figure out if she always sounds like that, and was impressed by yet another quietly villainous Adam Arkin role. On the subject of terrible lines, the top two for me were “Don’t tell me you two are boning!” and “My boyfriend’s missing!” / “He’ll turn up” before a very predictable sex scene. The one thing about the show that I’ll praise is its music and its beat, which were fun to listen to during an otherwise unbearable hour.

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