10 March 2019 | b_clerkin
Annoying and Smug - UPDATE NOW THAT IT IS DONE.
So I watched the whole thing - I wanted to know how they were going to get out of this - and it became even worse - increasingly lame and implausible, with a complete cop-out for the resolution. It's like the writers got to a certain point, then couldn't figure out what do to for a resolution. Grammer, probably regretting his choice to join the cast, was a complete caricature by the end. Basically, what I wrote below proved to be true and the series itself received the only measure of true justice - cancellation.
Every show I have ever watched with Rachelle Lefevre looks good at first, but then is a crushing disappointment; largely due to her lack of skill as an actress - she makes other actors look brilliantly natural in comparison, but diminishes the show - but they often remained watchable thanks to decent writing and her more talented costars.
She is stilted and clearly "acting". She essentially plays the came character - spunky, feminist heroine with heart of gold and sentiments which check all the boxes for the progressive agenda. When she falls into her default smug persona, she is intolerable in all of those other shows,
Even for this train wreck, she simply is not a good enough actress to carry a series - but at least she is not punching above her weight as far as the ghastly writing and plot devices are concerned. Viewers are used to being regularly lectured - subtly or less that subtly - by the entertainment producers in film and television - about the "correct" positions to take on the many complex issues in society which are not reflective of the majority of viewers according to most polls. However, when done with context and presented by compelling characters and sometimes with challenging views granted more than a cartoonish or casual attitude, most people will watch.
However, this show has all the seriousness and subtlety of Kim Karsashian West's choice of evening wear.
While having one awful actor in a major role, the tone-deaf team behind this bad propaganda joke doubles down on the obnoxious factor bu having Nikki M James, playing her female sidekick, whose default affect is also smug. Her Violet is slightly more giddy than the constantly irritating Monica Timmons on "The Good Wife" - in fact when she was on screen I just wished someone would slap her, preferably Alicia or Diane, for presenting every bad trope of a smart ambitious woman. LeFevre is even more so in this show the same, along with appalling overacting and too much hair tossing. It does seem as though casting directors are enamored of her fabulous curly red hair - it is the perfect symbol of the beloved Nasty Woman that simplistic feminism champions.
The majority of the other cast members are thinly sketched ciphers - seemingly added from a checklist of what is required for a legal TV show - quirky nonconformist CI, female cop whose own quirky nonconformist is raging to break out of the uniform, cynical egomaniacal newswoman, jealous, suspicious spouse whose own ambitions were tamped to allow her husband to rise high in politics...the guest stars are poster children for victims of the justice system and are about as deep as the paper on which posters are printed. It is hard to sympathize with them, a mortal sin if you want to change a guilty verdict in the court of public opinion, let alone a new trial.
I am embarrassed for Kelsey Grammar and Russel Hornsby - whose thankless roles seem to exist to foil the righteous and perfect Warrior Princess, Madeline. Grammar lacks only a Snidely Whiplash mustache to be the perfect caricature of a villain and Hornsby's Easy Bodreu (really? where did they get this name? From the same Colorful Southern Character name generator that gave us Gone with the Wind?) checks all the token boxes. A lesser talent would be unable to present even a one-dimensional version of this insult of a role, but Hornsby manages - with tremendous effort - to make him more than one -dimensional. His last show, "Grimm" - in which creatures from the famous fairy tales are real - was infinitely more fascinating in every episode of that show, not to mention written and acted so well, and with strong back stories and real heart, that the preposterous scenarios were utterly credible.
A viewer with a modicum of intelligence would find even the weakest episode of Grimm far more believable than one episode of this simplistic, proselytizing, implausible lecture fest. Even more insulting - the writers cannot be bothered to conduct research on legal process, actual laws and lots of other inconvenient facts that take away from the main theme of this show.
The concept - the egregious flaws in our justice system in which class and identity stack the deck for the outcome for ill or good. This has been attempted before with the Innocence Project - and with a lot more seriousness and thoughtfulness, with believably characters and plausible plots. This pale and lazy attempt not only diminishes the vital work that the Innocence Project and all current efforts being made to reform the system, it insults the victims of injustice and the righteous warriors who have been in these filthy trenches for years and even more egregiously, it lacks heart.