thedeadparrot (thedeadparrot) wrote,

How to Get Away with Murder 1x14-15

So here's me talking about the big Connor/Oliver spoiler in the season finale. Probably even more about fandom's reaction than my own. There's a lot of other stuff we could unpack in these two eps, but this is the one that brings the most baggage, I think, for lack of a better word.

So, I get why they wanted to make Oliver HIV-positive. It's a trashy soap opera where everyone suffers in one form or another, and Connor and Oliver were being way too happy at the moment. HIV/AIDS is something that everyone kind of pretends is 'over' even though it's really not. It's a good source of drama for their relationship next season.

The reveal of it, to me, felt weird because it was lined up with two other bombshells (Sam wanted Lila dead, but he got someone else, Frank, to do it for him! Rebbecca isn't missing, she's just dead!), and whole storyline around getting tested was about as light-handed as a Glee episode. I feel like it's something the show wants to get right, but I'm a little nervous about it, because it's so separated from the main storyline. It's kind of off in its own corner, and so much of the serious, groundbreaking stuff on this show happens without the storyline or script needing to call attention to itself. I worry that it will become 90% OMG MURDER and 10% here-is-where-we-will-lecture-you-on-being-safe. I feel like that 10% can be important, but when it's surrounded by OMG MURDER I don't know, man.

Anyway, the biggest thing I've found interesting is fandom's reaction to it. I have spoken about how much fluff predominates the fic, and of course, everyone is freaking out. I think, in a lot of ways, it shows the importance of narratives like this. There's a lot of talk about how Oliver doesn't 'deserve' this for being a decent person on a show full of awful, selfish people, and while I know that the fandom would be freaking out on a similar level if Connor was the one who turned out to be positive, I think there's still that implicit judgment there. Connor is the one who has spent the entire season engaging in risky behaviors and being the terrible person, therefore, it makes sense that he's the one who would get infected. I do think that the show is taking potshots at that idea. No one 'deserves' it, man. Not even Hitler.

And fandom has proved to me that representation of this issue isn't a bad thing. I saw someone go something like, "OMG, the only reason that I'm not having a complete meltdown is because Michael and Ben made it work on Queer as Folk!" Maybe that's reason enough for them to do it this way. Because how many people actually saw Queer as Folk (US) compared to how many watch How to Get Away with Murder? How important is it that people see couples working through these things? I can already see the Connor/Oliver fans on Tumblr getting so much better educated on how HIV testing and treatment even works.

Anyway, those are my two cents. Take that for what you will.

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Tags: fandom, television
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