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Fall TV Series Reviews

“How to Get Away with Murder” Image credit: ABC Studios


by Jane V. and Eleanor N.

A to Z

rating: 9/10

cast: Cristin Milioti, Ben Feldman

Fans of romance and How I Met Your Mother will appreciate this fresh take on love in the 21st-century.  A to Z tells the story of a relationship doomed from the very start; the first episode begins with a voice-over narration explaining that the show will follow Andrew, an idealist working at an online dating site, and Zelda, a cynical lawyer, as their relationship runs its course during a period of “8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 1 hour”. Like How I Met Your Mother, which also featured Cristin Milioti, A to Z is often bizarre, hilarious, and laced with mystery and foreshadowing. Andrew is a very appealing character that one can’t help but root for. Zelda is the successful and independent woman we all wish we could be. Their love story feels both strangely familiar and completely modern, and is filled with blatant nods to the technology that dictates our lives today; Andrew and Zelda’s online messages are studded with emojis, the two Facebook stalk each other, and the company Andrew works for seems similar to the dating app, Tinder. While I’m pretty sure the showwon’t last as long or be half as successful as How I Met Your Mother, it is entertaining enough to merit at least a second season and a decently-sized fan base.

Gracepoint

rating: 8/10

cast: David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Kevin Zegers, Jacki Weaver

In a tightly knit town on the coast of California, the corpse of a young boy, Danny Solano, is found along the shore. The event changes the very core of the tranquil town, especially Danny’s friends and family. At first, the tragedy is seen as a suicide but the mysterious case quickly evolves into a hunt for the murderer. The new detective in town, played by David Tennant, leads the investigation despite his dark past and off-putting personality. The show is based on the BBC hit, Broadchurch, where David Tennant also stars as the detective. At first, this 10 episode mini series is nothing out of the ordinary. However after the first two episodes it will quickly pull you into the lives of the characters and take you on a wild roller coaster ride. Once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop.

How to Get Away with Murder

rating: 6.5/10

cast: Viola Davis, Alfred Enoch, Aja Naomi King, Liza Weil, Jack Falahee

Are you a fan of Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal? If so, then Shonda Rhimes’ new show How to Get Away with Murder is just up your alley. The show takes place at a prestigious university in Philadelphia where an ambitious defense attorney and professor, Annalisa Keeting, teaches a group of law students in a class which she likes to call “How to Get Away with Murder.” Annalisa Keating, played by Viola Davis, will do anything to win a case and brings her top students along with her for the ride. Each 40-minute-show is filled with crime, murder and deceit. Viola Davis’ performance is powerful and moving. But unfortunately, the rest of the cast is nothing out of the ordinary. While a little overdramatized at times, this sappy show is definitely a good guilty pleasure and will quickly grasp your attention.

Red Band Society

rating: 3/10

cast: Octavia Spencer, Griffin Gluck, Dave Annable, Astro, Charlie Rowe, Nolan Sotillo, Ciara Bravo, Zoe Levin

Narrated by a child in a coma, Red Band Society is the story of a handful of hospitalized yet somehow glamorous teenagers who magically battle life-threatening diseases without any apparent symptoms. Clearly targeted towards fans of The Fault in Our Stars and Glee, the show is a steady stream of clichés and emotional manipulation. The pilot opens with the collapse of a Mean Girls-esque evil cheerleader named Kara, a girl who discovers she is, ironically, in need of a heart transplant. While she incessantly torments her fellow patients, such as smart and anorexic Emma, Dash, a boy with cystic fibrosis, Leo, an amputee, and cancer patient Jordi, she is nonetheless admitted into their club, the Red Band Society. Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) portrays the kind and somewhat misunderstood Nurse Jackson. Her performance is believable, nuanced, and definitely one of the show’s redeeming qualities. While Red Band Society is clearly not my cup of tea, I would recommend it to those who crave a sappy story and are able to suspend their disbelief.

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