Undoubtedly How to Get Away With Murder is the most progressive show on television. It also happens to be my favorite because of this. The show is based in the suburbs of Philadelphia, which is where I am from so it’s fun to see how they incorporate the real places and events that happen at home! The best part of this show is, as I said, is how progressive it is in terms of race, gender, sexuality among many others.
It casts an African American woman as the lead role, portrays relationships among culturally diverse people, is unafraid to discuss the role of HIV in relationships and gay relationships, and explores past nuclear families.Having more than 3 characters of color as leads in the show makes it one of the most diverse shows on the air. Having a lead character that is gay and HIV positive is rare. These milestones in television are being reached with every new show. This show, however, is not for everyone. It details the stories and alibis that are examined and protected by legal gymnastics. If you haven’t seen the show, I won’t ruin anything for you below.
I want to expand on the gay character, Connor Walsh. He seems to dance on the line between saint and sinner. He sleeps with a man to get ahead in his class but then wants to have casual sex. He eventually becomes involved with another character on show whom is HIV positive. The show dives into this separate narrative and shows how two partners can find a way to stay together with the risks of HIV so high. We see this take a turn in the current season and the dynamics of the relationship involved (trying not to give anything away!).
Personally one of the best things about the story line of Connor and his partners is that the intimacy seems real. In other shows that show gay men kissing, it seems forced and as if they are just pushing their faces together. Sometimes this is due to the fact that the actor playing the character isn’t gay in real life and struggles to fulfill the role. Understandable. After reading an interview about the show, the director of HTGAWM explicitly stated that he wanted Connor and his partners to actually kiss and simulate real affection and admiration for one another. I applaud you, Connor Walsh, you are doing a great job. I love watching how his character progresses as a person, a student, and a boyfriend.
check out this link on how the writer aims to Normalize gay intimacy on television .