Shonda Rhymes' latest baby has been hitting hard on our nerves for two years now, warming our autumn and winter nights with lovers troubles, murder shenanigans and the never-ending feeling of "WTH" keeping us on the edges of our couches. Now that Season 2 is over, though, and the show has been renewed, How To Get Away With Murder is going to face one of the greatest obstacles on the path of any televised story: the Season 3 Dump.
Season 3 Dump is the on-screen equivalent of Middle Book Dump. It's when plot, characters and writers' ability prove how strong they truly are. Because the novelty of Season 1 is gone, and so is the thrill for the future brought by Season 2. I've seen lots of shows starting their downfall during Season 3 – maybe not in ratings, but in story's structure and character's building. Which is doomed to influence the ratings, by the way. Even the best shows can start a downward spiral, if they don't find the perfect way to balance season-long arcs, characters' arcs and episodes.
What HTGAWM needs to do is expanding the blood range a little further from the Keating Madhouse of Murderous intentions. Didn't you feel kinda stuck inside Annalise's four walls, especially in the second part of the Season? It can be part of a show's charm, but a procedural with a wide, interesting assemble cast? Well-developed side plots can add a lot to an assemble show. Everything can't be always happening to the same characters!
How to Get Away with Murder is a brilliant show, but I feel like Season 2 showed some tendency to pour all that red red blood on the same spot. (And blood stains are tricky, guys). And that can become a huge problem in the future.
Here's three ways current most favorite red-tinged show could avoid getting repetitive.
1) Murders Outside Murder House
Am I the only one missing Annalise's actual job? I mean, okay, she's just been recently widowed and accused of murdering her husband who was maybe on his way of being accused of murdering his student whose murder was pinned on her best friend who was then murdered ... Full life, much busy. But the weekly cases, guys! the weekly cases make the procedural! And those cases were good! Remember that creepy dude with the hunting trophies? Or the kid that shot his father? Those were A+ secondary plots, and the interactions between regulars and guest characters gave us incredible insights on the main cast's personalities. Bring more during Season 3!
2) Back in class
Remember the law school everybody is either attending or teaching at? Yeah, me neither. I mean, it's not like there was a lot of school action to begin with, but I miss the little pre-exams panicked study sessions, and Bonnie and Frank looming behind Annalise's desk (how creepy was that?). The contrast between ordinary collage life and the craziness around the Keating household was hilarious. These guys are students! They're in for a degree and an internship! No Murder Madhouse was contemplated in the entry form! And could we also have some random student giving doubtful, dirty looks at the Keating Squad? I refuse to believe nobody has noticed anything suspicious with these adorable idiots.
3) The Queen AND her knights
Look, Viola Davis is great. And Annalise is one of my favorite female characters ever. But this is an assemble cast. Season 2 dumped a lot of things on Annalise and Wes, gave us some backstory for Frank - and nothing juicy for the others. I'm not talking about major past bloodbaths and assorted dirty secrets (makes sense to leave those for later seasons), I'm talking about daily life stuff. What about their families? A couple of random friends? Exes? Laurel and Frank are my guilty pleasure, but I miss the outside perspective Kane would bring. And now that Oliver is officially a Murder Squad member, we're missing his random bouts of normalcy. So please, dearest Shonda and Peter, bring on some side-stories for our little murderlings! Keep us updated on their families – like, Connor's even seemed to be pretty nice? Nice people on How To Get Away With Murder ... okay, that may be asking for miracles.