Welcome to Benjamonster's TV - a place that covers broadcast networks with reviews, ratings, and other features!

Monday, October 3, 2016

PILOT REVIEW: Conviction


Starring: Hayley Atwell, Eddie Cahill, Shawn Ashmore, Merrin Dungey, Emily Kinney, Manny Montana, Daniel Franzese

Created by Liz Friedlander and Liz Friedman
Written by Liz Friedlander & Liz Friedman, Directed by Liz Friedlander

Conviction is a new ABC procedural that wants to make it awfully clear it's a procedural even though it has flashes of the ABC soapiness to it. In other words, it's a CBS drama meets an ABC drama. Hayley Atwell plays Hayes Morrison, a former first daughter gone bad who is given a chance (through blackmail) to have a recent arrest disappear if she heads up a Conviction Integrity Unit. Set up by DA Conner Wallace (Eddie Cahill), the Unit attempts to take a second look at cases where there could have been a wrongful conviction. Oh and in the element that screams "we're a procedural!!" they have five days per case.

Hayley Atwell has a lot of charisma in the lead role and she is fun to watch but I just don't buy at all that she's the bad girl that she is trying to play. It just isn't a natural fit for her though the take-charge leader of the unit is a much more believable fit. Any time they had her being the bad girl felt awfully forced by both the show and Atwell. They might be better off just getting past that so they can focus on what they truly want to be - a case of the week show. Eddie Cahill was promising as the DA and seems to have some chemistry with Atwell. The rest of the cast, while serviceable, does not make much of an impact in the pilot.

I like Atwell and I like the concept of this show but they are going to have to have better cases of the week than the one they had in the pilot for me to keep watching. The set-up was decent but the payoff felt very lackluster to me. I thought they conveniently wrapped it up in a very short amount of time. Procedurals are famous for jumping over details to unrealistic conclusions but this one was pretty extreme as they all of the sudden had this new (and bizarre) theory right before the resolution to the episode.

To be honest, I was hoping I'd like this more than I did but I still think I'll give it a little bit more time because of Atwell and the premise. They need to tone down on a lot of the problems the pilot had but maybe they'll adjust and accept the show for what it is. If it tries to get Scandal-like at times, then I'm going to tune out because this isn't a show set up to move in a soapy direction. It's a by-the-books show that ABC claimed they wanted. It could still get there especially since future episodes won't have to have an shockingly inept open to the episode that packs a ton of exposition and character change over the course of just three minutes.

Probably, but it's on a short leash.

1 comment:

  1. Hayley Atwell is superb, acting in an average TV procedural with mostly unknown side actors. In terms of sheer acting velocity and nuances - she has no peers on the American stage - with the obvious exception of Person of Interest's Amy Acker. However, Person of Interest may go down as one of the greatest shows in TV history. Conviction may be convicted of being just average!