How To Get Away With Murder is going to be my not-so-guilty pleasure this television season.
There's a lot to like about it.
But what I keep coming back to is Mr. Dean Thomas from Harry Potter.
When was the last time a television show used a black male as the avatar for the audience? Ensemble shows typically have one character that's sole purpose is to help introduce the audience to the world itself. They're usually new and inexperienced, and it gives the writers a reason to have other characters provide a lot of exposition. For instance, the first season of Scandal was built around Quinn Perkins' getting acclimated to OPA. Meredith Grey served that function on Grey's Anatomy's first truncated season. Noah Wyle on ER, Ryan Atwood in The OC, Ellen Parsons on Damages -- the list is practically endless. But in each instance, the character asked to be the audience's avatar in the world is usually white.
I don't think there's been a black male stand-in for the audience, at least on network television, since Will Smith was on Fresh Prince of Bel Air.