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Homeentertainment'Reasonable Doubt' review: Hulu's legal drama is a soap opera

'Reasonable Doubt' review: Hulu's legal drama is a soap opera

Reasonable Doubt begins in outrageously dramatic fashion, with protagonist Jax Stewart ( Emayatzy Corinealdi ) tied to a chair and pleading for her life under the barrel of a gun. The next episode continues with a similar soap opera: Six months after rewinding, the show introduces three love interests and a high-profile murder for Jax to play, preparing us for a passionate The season of trysts and carpet-pulling reveals.

But anyone who’s been through a mediocre thriller knows that if the on-screen ones are going to fall flat, blockbuster twists alone are Not enough to attract the audience. Thankfully, Reasonable Doubt – Created by Scandal vet Raamla Mohamed and owned by Scandal star Kerry Washington — in this respect it is better than many other potential water-cooled dramas, its drama is built on delight roles, believable relationships and no shortage of platonic and sexual chemistry.

Reasonable suspicion

Bottom line Solid, foamy fun.

Air Date: September, Tuesday 16
CAST: Emayatzy Corinealdi, McKinley Freeman, Tim Jo, Angela Grovey , Thaddeus J. Mixson, Aderinsola Olabode, Michael Ealy
Creator: 27 Ramla Muhammad

At first glance, Jax seems to have it all: a hot career as a partner at a prestigious law firm; Her teenage son Spencer (Thaddeus J. Mixson) is clearly going through a nasty phase); the closet is full of expensive-looking outfits that read super sexy and super professional. And on closer inspection, well, her life still seems very enviable, in the part aspirational, part sensational, part relatable way soap opera protagonists tend to like.

Sure, she and her husband Lewis (McKinley Freeman) are separating, but that just opens the door for Jax to possibly rekindle a relationship with Damon (Michael Ely) ), Damon (Michael Ely), a former client just from 16 spent years in prison for a killing he did not commit. Of course, her high-stress work often comes at the expense of her personal life (because a frustrated Lewis is too eager to remind her), but she’s just gotten her most high-profile case, but she’s also working for vodka tycoon Braden (Shaw). Empatrick Thomas) defends the murder of his former colleague and affair partner Kaleesha (Perri Camper).

Sure, any one person handles a lot at once, but reasonable doubts are pleased with Jax’s sublime confidence. It may not be Better Call Saul level competence porn, but there is no denying that watching Jax verbally disembowel a prosecution witness, or chop down a A white male colleague (Christopher Casarino) resents the idea of ​​following a black woman, or just juggling her responsibilities as a parent, friend and legal counsel while making a barrage of phone calls in and out of Los Angeles.

Corinealdi as Jax is very interesting, and her script allows her to be a crowd. Depending on the scene, Jax can be prickly or tender, sensual or funny, and Corinealdi performs all aspects of her with equal enthusiasm. Importantly, she was also able to have chemistry with everyone in the band. She regularly hangs out with her close circle of friends (Tiffany Yvonne Cox, Nefertari Spencer and Shannon Kane), exuding the light, casual joy of long-term friendships, while she shares There’s a mix of lingering emotion and stubborn resentment in Freeman’s scene with Lewis. But the most interesting is her scene with Ealy, her Damon is sensitive, Jax is sensitive and stable, and she is irritable. Their every interaction is filled with tenderness, regret, and irresistible hints of danger.

Jax is capable, reasonably doubtful has no interest in portraying her as a role model, or fighter for justice. She doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty for her clients, once stabbing a grieving family member in a PR game, and she’s well aware that the rich and famous she’s defending aren’t all saints. More than once, she has been criticized for being dishonest or dishonest by other characters for not standing up for women who have accused powerful men of sexual assault.

But both Jax and the show are definitely aware of the injustices and inequities in the world around her, both in the microaggressions she endures as the only black Barely eyeballs the female partners of her firm, or through a montage highlighting how Damon and Brayden, two black men on opposite ends of the spectrum of wealth and power, are held in complete contempt by white police. Flashbacks to the second half of the season reveal the heartbreaking case that changed Jax’s career, as well as the childhood trauma that reverberates through her relationship with the present.

Whether there’s more to be said about those ugly realities, whether they’re going to be pivotal to the plot, or whether the series just wants to acknowledge their existence, which hasn’t been in the long run. Eight-hour episodes are sent to critics for review. The ninth and last chapters have the potential to tie them together into a coherent message, although I think most of its runtime is more likely spent tying up a dozen or so loose ends dangling from the penultimate.

If so, it would fit the show nicely – as it stands, it strikes a reasonable balance in touching on these issues without So weighed down by them that it tends to be self-serious. Jax’s dark times may be coming, as we’re told in the first violent scene, and then reminded in the previous ones. But at the same time, reasonable suspicion offers a lot of heady thrills and emotional dilemmas created by boozy group chats.



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