How to Get Away With Murder, A Review

I’ve watched the entire Gilmore Girls series and no longer have a go-to show to watch while I’m nursing.  I saw the previews for How to Get Away With Murder and thought I’d watch to see if I liked it.  Who knows, maybe it’ll be my new show, I thought to myself.

Um . . . is this show for real?  There are probably no fewer than A MILLION people alive today who have attended law school for some period of time.  My suggestion to the show creators is to FIND ONE and have them explain how absurdly terrible this show is.

Don’t get me wrong – I am no TV snob.  I love some great shows and I love plenty of, shall we say . . . low-brow shows (which Real Housewives of [insert geography] franchise have I NOT watched?).  I also enjoy lawyer shows.  Sure, the court house scenes are cheesy, they never follow the rules of civil procedure, and I would personally never hire any of the TV lawyers who I watch on TV, but I have the ability to suspend my disbelief and enjoy a show for what it is. Until I saw this show.

The first episode of How to Get Away With Murder starts with a cluelessly happy young man riding his bike to his very first day of law school at some ivy-covered law school building.  As he walks down the lecture hall stairs, the camera pans over to some asshat in a suit (that’s not the unbelievable part) who says with gusto, something like “I just finished an internship with a Supreme Court Justice.”  Really? That’s just not possible.  As the guy walks around the entire room, the comments from the other students get more and more stupid as he walks.

Not to spoil more weird dialogue for you, but later on, toward the end of the episode, the main character tells the cluelessly happy guy (who’s still clueless but no longer happy by that point, which is, admittedly, the most realistic part of the show), that everything in his life depends on whether he, a law student with what seems like one week of law school under his belt, decides to intern for this law professor’s firm.  He can sit in a corporate office “…drafting contracts and hitting on chubby paralegals before finally putting a gun in [his] mouth…,” or he can join her.  Apparently, there’s no other way on Earth he can avoid working in-house for a corporation, and that’s objectively a bad thing [insert sarcasm].

W…T…F.  This might be the perspective of a BIGLAW partner or two out there, but this is supposed to be a law school professor.

I’ll bet the writers of the show did little hand slaps and fist bumps after they wrote this, but UUUGGGHHH, it’s so terrible.  These writers have a really warped view of the legal profession – maybe they were beaten with law books as children.

Also, as an aside –  hiring interns begs some touchy legal issues these days.  I hope for her sake that she pays these students.

And don’t get me started on how a woman who purports to be a law professor can toss away an entire curriculum of criminal law and force her students (who have been in law school for literally less than one day and who know no criminal law, because she didn’t teach them anything) to work on a live criminal case currently being handled by her firm. She seems proud of the fact that she intends to teach the students ZERO criminal law.  What is this law school?  Certainly, it’s not an accredited school.  I want to yell “get your tuition back before it’s too late, fools!,” but I know the actors they dressed up as preppy tools won’t listen.

Furthermore, this professor spent the year or more while this trial was pending apparently NOT preparing and then, the day before the trial begins, asked a bunch of kids to come up with legal arguments.  That’s malpractice.  When she reveals her strategy finally, it is basically that she’s going to make the witnesses look bad.  She praises the student who slept with someone to get information and the student who illegally obtained an email that would no doubt be inadmissible in a real court.  She really ought to just stick to the text book.

I’ll leave you with this one last gripe (lucky you?) – I was startled to see the actress who played Paris Geller in Gilmore Girls now plays a lawyer who works for the professor’s firm in How to Get Away With Murder.  Since my Gilmore Girls reboot plan (https://thelawyergetsakid.com/2014/09/24/gilmore-girls-2-0-a-modest-proposal/) involves the Paris Geller character to a large degree, I am dismayed to realize that this stupid show will make my dreams impossible.

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