How to Get Away with MURDER! Jury Nullification

Laurel does some research on How to Get Away with Murder
How to Get Away with Murder (Photo: Nicole Wilder / ABC)

How to Get Away with Murder Episode 5: “We’re Not Friends” — No. No we’re not, show.This week’s How to Get Away with Murder lesson is about the importance of jury selection, which is a super-handy way to discuss the first third of the season. The goal for the defense: minimize jury bias (unless the bias is in your favor). Here are some ways to do that:

Gender

The show does a great job of this, making the male and female characters equally unlikeable and flawed in genderless ways. This week’s student dramz/Emmy Reel centered on Laurel, who consistently gets called out by Professor Keating for being an overachieving show-off. In the future timeline we learn that she has slept with Frank1 even though she’s dating Todd from the Law Review. It’s almost the same setup Conner has for his own advancement in the law program, as well as seasons 3-6 of Melrose Place.

Distrust of Authority

This show demands a high level of suspension of disbelief beyond the various sexcapades of 1Ls. First, the pace at which these lawyers work is unbelievable. They have had five high profile cases in five weeks within the timeline established by the show. I’m all for multitasking, but that is a bit too much of a stretch. Considering how little lawyering we actually watch Annalise do, it’s amazing that her track record so far has zero losses—her non-wins were due to technicalities: Bomb Mom skipping out and this week’s mistrial (orchestrated by Laurel as a hail Mary play).

Similarities for Sympathy

This is where How to Get Away with Murder loses me. I was once a prospective law student interested in criminal law. This show could have been a fun look at the legal system through the eyes of students, borrowing elements from the original Law & Order. Instead, it’s a bunch of garbage monsters screwing each other (in every sense of the word) for moments of self-satisfaction that leave the viewer cold.

At this point, this juror should be excused.

  1. sidebar: ew.  

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About Mike McComb 627 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv