This episode was the absolute epitome of quantity over quality. The pace was so fast and the tone so bombastic that it trampled all the show's flaws (which were numerous). If a moment didn't work, or a line didn't make sense, it didn't matter, because the show was already moving on.
The show is ostensibly about a law class taught by defense attorney, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her ambitious (and remarkably diverse) students.
But really, it's about crazy, sexy murder.
Instead of discussing the merits and flaws of the show, I think it would better serve us all to simply diagnose the types of crazy we're dealing with here.
Good Crazy: Starting an episode with a murder.
|Bonus points for the murder weapon being Lady Justice.|
All shows about murder should start with a murder. Everyone knows this. But what most people miss is that all shows about murder should start with all the main characters standing around after they've just murdered someone, deciding whether or not to hide the body.
Bad Crazy: None of this makes any sense.
|This frame could use more people in it.|
The idea of inviting your entire law class to help you defend a client is totally bonkers and would never happen but we're living in Shonda-land so deal with it.
Good Crazy: The almost haunted house level creepiness of Wes's dorm.
|Complete with bite marks on the banister.|
Bad Crazy: This fucking girl.
|She's the worst..|
Good Crazy: The most plot lines, all of them murder/sex related.
|Think we could get some more posters on this board?|
Right off the bat, there are so many sexy and/or dead people in this pilot that by the first commercial break I was sure the episode would end in a blood orgy. (I'm still holding out hope for the season finale.)
So, you get my point here - the show is nuts. But it's more than that. It's also kind of smart. Having an improbable amount of murders surrounding a small group of law students is just bonkers, but the insanity taps into the mind of our heroes in a delightful way. These are people learning how to defend guilty people. They are young men and women of enough privilege to believe that they can use their knowledge of the law to break the law. They are starting down a road fraught with ethical quagmires, and while the events of this pilot would never happen in real life, the emotions are plausible, and better yet, really engaging.