This review is based on the pilot of "Conviction" which aired 10/3/16
I presume a great many of you will be watching this "fairly standard" legal drama to see Haley Atwell return to TV in another lead female role after ABC's Agent Carter. But is the show actually worth ourtime? I think so.
Conviction does have a premise. It's actually not so much a typical legal drama. Its about a team who seeks out cases that have already been tried where the evidence was thin, and reopens and reassess them, sort of like a check to the legal system to make sure no innocent people wrongly convicted should have to remain in prison. The team is lead by Hayes Morrison (Haley Atwell) who is the daughter of a former first lady, and inspite of being an attourney with a phenomenal record, she recently (prior to the start of the show) went through some public notoriety and ridicule regarding a sex scandal at the college where she taught. (WHY?!) The pilot establishes that she is a highly capable, but rebellious and damaged person, but ultimately discovers that this new job of hers, is the perfect way for her to continue her rebellion, but this time, against the system, and not her parents and circumstances. I get the concept, but as a main character, doesn't she need to be the most likeable character? I definitely don't "hate" her from the pilot, but I certainly can't identify with her. There was one scene where she admitted that people refered to her as the "campus bike", in regards to her sex scandal where she allegedly slept with multiple students. WHY?!!! How does this add to her character development? I'm not saying that a female lead can't do whatever she wants with her fictional body, but is that really what the world needs right now? A sex-crazed, former drug dealing notorious party girl who inspite of being a lawyer seems to have a disregard for the law? I don't know. But at the very least, she is certainly a dynamic and interesting character.
Anyway, I apologise for digressing. The show is a procedural, and reminds me very much of Scandal in its early days. You've got a team of unique characters who each bring something different to the table. It's not a new concept, but its definitely one that works, and I think that in this case, the cast is indeed interesting and I definitely would like to learn more about them.
Conviction is certainly a drama worth watching, especially for fans of Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Notorious, The Catch, and any similar themed show.
It should be noted that while this episode didn't direction contain any, there were 3 mentions or references to rape, so caution be advised. I know that the second they decide to retry a case of a convicted rapist, I am SO far out of there.