How to Get Away with Terrible Television Promos

My last post was about what it’s like on the first day of university in one of my classes. That was over a year ago. Sorry it’s been a while, I have been working on my novella about a wiener dog who hates pickles. Anyhow, I was reminded of that post when I saw a promo for a new show called “How to Get Away with Murder” which will begin airing this fall. Commercials for this show have been running non-stop. They are driving me bonkers. The ads get more and more annoying with each viewing.

It seems to be about a law professor who “plays by her own rules.” She’s a real maverick, you see. The part that irritates me is her grand entrance when she introduces herself as follows:

“Good morning, I don’t know what terrible things you’ve done in your life up to this point. But clearly your karma’s out of balance to get assigned to my class. I’m Professor Annalise Keating. And this is Criminal Law 100. Or as I prefer to call it…How to get away with murder.”

First of all Lady, wipe that smug look off your face.


Yes, that one. You’re not as clever as you think you are.

Now, let’s break this down.

1. She comes into the class and immediately tells everyone that they’re doomed because they got her as a professor. Who tells their class such a thing within the first 5 seconds? This TV/Film convention of the prof who tries to present himself or herself as a tough-as-nails sonofabitch who fails everyone absolutely does NOT exist in the real world. Every college movie has a scene where the freshman attends his first class and the prof is like, “Everyone look to your right. Now everyone look to your left. Both people you just looked at will be dead by the end of this semester.” Why? Where is this archetype coming from?

In real life, half the students would be headed for the exits before Professor Keating could finish her sentence about their karma being out of balance. “Where do you think you’re going!?” she would ask. The stoner kid on his way out would stop and say, “Uuuuh, like, I’m gonna switch into Professor Johnson’s class. I heard he has, like, an easy take home exam and stuff.” And that would be that.

2. It’s 2014. Are they still using chalkboards in many law school classes? I can see the usefulness of the prof writing things out in-class for something like a calculus course, but what’s the point for a course on criminal law? Hasn’t she heard of PowerPoint? At least then she wouldn’t have to spend half the class laboriously writing out her tedious pet name for the class.

3. Which brings us to her tedious pet name for the class. Come on now. This is clearly a case where they came up with the name of the show before they figured out what it would be about. So now they had to shoehorn the cutesy title into the pilot somehow. And the way they do it is the biggest load of horseshit I’ve ever seen. What would happen if I walked into my first intro psych class and said:

Welcome everyone. You losers must’ve drawn the shit-end of the stick to register in my class ‘cuz y’all are about to get worked over like a side of beef in a Rocky film. This is PSYC 1110. Or as I like to call it…[turn to write out alternative title on chalkboard…pause for effect…look at class with shit eating grin]…I’M NOT CRAZY, JUST ASK MY TOASTER.”

I don't know why I'd be wearing a trucker hat while I'm teaching but you get the point.

This is the look I would give them. I don’t know why I’d be wearing a trucker hat while I’m teaching but you get the point.

Everyone would immediately duck and cover under their desks. I’d also probably get fired (if I wasn’t tenured, that is…LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL). After that first class I’d get a call to go see the Dean and here’s about how that conversation would go:

Dean: I heard reports that you started your first class by implying that students would be better off in another section. And then you said that the course should be called quote: “I’m not crazy, just ask my toaster.”

Me: Yes, that’s correct.

Dean: Why?

Me: Because I’m a sassy iconoclast.

Dean: Frankly, it’s borderline offensive. And is that really the only topic your course covers? It’s intro psych – you’re supposed to provide a general survey of the diverse concepts, theories, and research that comprise the scientific study of mind and behavior.

Me: Yeah, but I’m irreverent. I’m an uncompromising rabble-rouser who marches to the beat of his own drum.

Dean: Yeah, you’re suspended until further notice.


In conclusion, this show looks terrible so I’m sure it’s going to be a big hit.

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