By Veronica Polivanaya

Billed as powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes’ latest brainchild, the first season of “How to Get Away with Murder” doesn’t disappoint. Not suited for the faint-hearted, the series capitalizes on deceit, untrustworthy and cheating spouses, and murder. Every twist and turn will make you question the intentions of your loved ones, and lose faith in our criminal justice system.

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The show stars Academy-Award nominee Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, a charismatic, intimidating and unpredictable criminal law professor. Her right-hand associate is another familiar face: Liza Weil, best known for playing Paris Geller, Rory Gilmore’s neurotic academic rival on “Gilmore Girls.” Weil is practically unrecognizable as Bonnie Winterbottom. While Paris was overly confident and controlling, Bonnie is withdrawn and mousey, basing her whole existence on pleasing Professor Keating. Nearly the entire cast revolves around Keating, pushing all sorts of moral boundaries to win her over.

As a defense attorney, Keating represents the most hardened criminals, and she’s willing to do just about anything to win their freedom. Each year, she chooses the most promising students in their first year of law school to work at her law firm. The select few on the show constantly sabotage each other to get an edge that will help Keating win her cases.

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It’s fascinating how the show manages to rope you in with practically no likable characters. The audience isn’t rooting for anyone in particular, because each character is more morally questionable than the next. Just when you begin to trust one of them, a suspicious aspect of their past comes to light, making you think twice.

This season focuses on the murder of a sorority girl, found floating in a water tank. While Keating and her team struggle to come up with any circumstantial evidence, the students get entangled in their own murder plot. The pilot begins where the season ends. The episodes then backtrack, and constantly jump between two alternating timelines, often several months apart. While it may sound tough to keep up, the writers often include flashbacks to key moments to help viewers connect the pieces.

While the show is often promoted with Shonda Rhimes in mind, she only serves as one of the executive producers. The main creator and mastermind is Pete Nowalk, known for his work on Rhimes’ other two hits, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” Since Shonda isn’t steering the ship this time around, diehard fans can expect a few changes. For example, Shonda always makes sure the audience likes her characters before they do morally questionable things. But on “How to Get Away with Murder,” nearly all the characters are unlikable, and they’re seen disposing of a body mere seconds into the pilot. Shonda also tends to reveal most of her twists in the beginning or end of an episode; either to rope viewers in, or make them stick around until the end. This series, however, has no set rules on when a character will unexpectedly drop a bombshell, or suddenly drop dead.

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This isn’t a show you can half-listen to while preparing dinner. It requires your full and undivided attention. Even then, the unexpected twists and turns may still have you reaching for the remote to rewind vital moments.