Tuesday, December 20, 2016
TV Tuesday: Conviction
The premise of Conviction is that NY District Attorney Connor Wallace, played by Eddie Cahill of CSI:NY and Under the Dome fame, starts up a Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) to re-investigate old cases to either re-affirm that the convictions were valid or overturn them if the defendant was found to be wrongly convicted. He appoints Hayes Morrison, played by Hayley Atwell, who played Peggy Carter in the Agent Carter TV show and a bunch of Avengers movies. Hayes is a former first-daughter, is in constant trouble, and was Wallace's former lover. She's also a top-notch lawyer, and he appoints her to this position as a favor to her mother, who is running for Congress, when Hayes is arrested for possession of cocaine. Her arrest is hushed up, and she goes from prison to the lovely glass-walled offices of the CIU.
Joining Hayes are a team with a wide range of backgrounds and skills. Sam, played by Shawn Ashmore, whom we loved in The Following, was a lead prosecuter with the city's gang unit - and was slated to head up the CIU until Hayes got into hot water and was rescued by Wallace. Maxine, played by Merrin Dungey, is a detective in the NYPD and a recovering prescription drug addict. Frankie, played by Manny Montana (who we are thrilled to see back on the small screen after Graceland got cancelled), is a forensics expert who is also an ex-con. Finally, Tess, played by Emily Kinney of Walking Dead fame, rounds out the team as a paralegal who used to work for the Innocence Project. As you can see, it is an excellent cast with a lot of familiar faces.
In each episode, the team tackles a different case - it might be someone convicted of a crime who has always proclaimed his innocence or a case where new evidence has come to light or one where the case always seemed less than water-tight. Each time, they have just five days to re-investigate the case - interviewing suspects and witnesses, combing through evidence and trying to figure out if the conviction was valid or not. At first, I thought it might be predictable, with someone being wrongly convicted and released from prison at the end of each episode, but they mix it up - you never know if the convicted person is really guilty or not. And, as in real life, justice is not always served, despite their best efforts.
We are loving this show so far. We were quickly engrossed in its plots and its characters' lives. Besides the cases in each episode, we see glimpses of each team member's backstory and personal lives, a little at a time. It's a legal drama and a crime show rolled into one, with an engaging cast.
All 9 episodes of the first part of Conviction's first season are still available (until April) On Demand or on the ABC website (which also includes a handy guide to the characters). You can also purchase episodes for $1.99 (or $13.99 for the first season) on Amazon (see link below).
Have you watched Conviction yet? What new shows did you enjoy this fall?
(this is a good trailer but the very end of it includes a spoiler of the first episode...so stop it immediately after "Her redemption...is their salvation" at 2:37 min)