Not even Olivia Pope can fix an unfocused How To Get Away With Murder

Oh how I wish I could say that the final seconds of “Ask Him About Stella” were enough to carry the entire episode. After teasing a How To Get Away With Murder/Scandal crossover for a while now—something I thought was only possible in my wildest of dreams and fanfiction—we get our first brief glimpse at what a world…

Mental health is at the heart of a smart but struggling How To Get Away With Murder

“He’s A Bad Father” unravels plenty of thread for How To Get Away With Murder season four’s murder board, managing to connect Annalise’s class action, Wes’ death, Laurel’s fucked up family drama, and even Isaac’s once seemingly random backstory with more coherence than the show has exhibited in a while. Look, I get…

How To Get Away With Murder jolts back into action with a million flashbacks

You know that feeling when you jolt awake after a nap you didn’t mean to take or a nap that lasted longer than intended? That’s exactly what a midseason premiere of How To Get Away With feels like. It’s a dizzying inhale. It knocks you out of time. It sends a powerful tension through your entire body. That’s all…

How To Get Away With Murder’s midseason finale features its most graphic scene ever

How To Get Away With Murder dedicates its midseason finale to Laurel and company’s ill-devised plan to bring down her father and Antares. In typical How To Get Away With Murder fashion, it unspools the story in a nonlinear fashion, starting with a big tease and then jumping back 24 hours and then repeatedly jumping…

The glue doesn’t hold on an unfocused episode of The Get Down

In film and television, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” almost always spells trouble. And why shouldn’t it? Despite its upbeat and swampy boogie-woogie, the lyrics are explicitly foreboding. There’s a reason why it was used to such iconic effect in An American Werewolf In London, right before the…

Music becomes a long (play) game on The Get Down

Early on in “The Beat Says, This Is The Way,” Marrakech Star’s Roy Asheton insists that, if Mylene wants to be taken seriously as an artist, she needs to start crafting high-quality albums instead of just singles. While he’s right, it’s somewhat odd to hear a powerful executive of a disco label—a non-AOR musical genre…

Jimmy Smits will play Amy’s dad on Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Signalling that the show has now well and truly “arrived,” the producers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine have announced that long-time TV mainstay and living seal of quality Jimmy Smits has signed on for a guest role in an upcoming episode. Smits will appear on the show’s “Thanksgiving” edition, scheduled for November 22, where…

Everyone gets to be more than one thing on the The Get Down’s strongest episode yet

Many of The Get Down’s characters have the opportunity to go down a single path in “You Have Wings, Learn To Fly.” Ezekiel can be creative or be an intern. Jackie and Mylene can go disco or go secular with their music. Ramon can admit to his past sins or continue as a (somewhat false) holy man. And Shaolin can commit…

Music and politics finally begin to intersect on The Get Down

Because it doesn’t have a musical sequence as stunning as any of the episodes that came before it, “Forget Safety, Be Notorious” is easily the most boring episode of The Get Down so far. The most exhilarating instances of song-craft are Kool Herc’s set and Jackie trying to plunk out a new disco hit for Mylene. But the…

Disco gets its moment on The Get Down, even as several characters still get short-changed

Ever since the series was announced, The Get Down has described itself as tracing the birth of hip-hop, punk, and disco. So far, the show has leaned heavily on the first third of that equation, mostly because, in the summer of 1977, disco and punk were considerably further along in their respective origin stories. As…

Like Vinyl before it, The Get Down’s first episode gets distracted by the wrong story

In 2016, the musical drama has a gangster problem. HBO’s Vinyl suffered from it, and Netflix’s The Get Down suffers from it, too. Both series have (or had) captivating central stories that center around the music industry in 1970s New York City, with Vinyl focusing on the turbulent changes at a record label and The…

Beautiful, boring hip-hop drama The Get Down tests the limits of binge-watching

Binge-friendly. Binge-worthy. Bingeable. The words are used frequently, but what exactly do they mean? After all, this is the age of auto-play streaming, in which someone could easily mainline half a season of Rizzoli And Isles just because the remote is too far away, and “TV binge” is often a euphemism for “gradual…