Oh, Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, what hath you two wrought?
Let’s start with this first: We didn’t like this at all. In fact, we spent the hour smirking and rolling our eyes at all of the silliness. First, at the clear fact that this show was a mashup of Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and a tiny soupçon of Homeland. Then, our eyes continued to roll at the cast of characters, most of whom are FBI trainees who look like models – or worse, like TV actors. Our eyes continued to roll through every ridiculous twist and turn right up to the denouement that had our heroine escaping from federal custody in a city on lockdown after the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.
But here’s the thing: It seems we might be the cheese that stands alone on this one because this show got pretty great buzz ahead of time and the critical consensus was that this was a fun, if silly, debut. Silly? Oh, yes. Fun? Explain it to us.
No, really. Explain it to us. Is this one of those things where our maleness is causing us to dismiss a show we’d like better if it weren’t so female-centered? We’d like to think not, since a quick perusal of our TV reviews over the years indicates that, like so many gay men, we enjoy female-centered programming, but we’re trying to entertain all possibilities here. Certainly, the lead, Priyanka Chopra, is a stunningly gorgeous and charismatic actress (with a Bollywood resume as long as your arm). And we were never the types to complain too much about being forced to look at pretty people on our TV, especially if half the pretty people are of the penis’d variety.
But if you’ve read our American Horror Story or How to Get Away with Murder reviews, you know that we just don’t have a lot of patience anymore for shows so loaded down with ridiculous plot twists and moments meant to shock that an interesting story or engaging cast are concepts that get thrown to the wayside all too quickly and easily. We live in an age where there’s more television to watch than at any other time in the medium’s history. That kind of intense competition could be seen as a great thing, but when we look at a show as derivative as this one (the swoosh effect for the flashforward is identical to the HTGAWM one), which sends the message loud and clear that it has no intention to do anything but titillate and shock (our heroine wakes up in the smoking crater of a NYC landmark after a terrorist attack AND engages in a modified reverse cowgirl with a total stranger in his car), we tend to start thinking the plethora of new TV just means a lot of bland ripoffs with a need to provide water cooler moments over narrative. It’s stale, derivative fluff, from what we can see.
So yeah, we feel like the grumpy-grumps on the outside of this one. We wanted to like it, simply because a network TV show about a glamorous FBI agent sounds like fun, but we couldn’t get past the open swiping of other shows’ concepts and style. How to Get Away with Terrorism simply doesn’t appeal as a show to us, but we’d love to hear if any of you loved it and, more importantly, why.
[Photo Credit: ABC Television]