Whether it’s LAW & ORDER or CSI, I’m traditionally not a huge fan of procedural dramas. Sure the stories are slick, and the crimes are shocking – but the emphasis is generally on the crime, not character. I much prefer my TV drama filled with characters I can invest in. Give me a spunky teen detective, a spy in a red wig, or a group of island castaways and I’ll follow their adventures for seasons on end.
That said, I tuned into last night’s premiere of JUSTICE for one reason, and one reason only — SPY DADDY. Better known to ‘normal’ TV viewers as VICTOR GARBER (see stalker-esque photo of myself and Victor above!). Garber plays Ron Trott — a brilliant, ego-driven attorney who, along with his team of equally smart lawyers (including DAWSON’S CREEK alum Kerr Smith) — uses jury manipulation, focus groups, CSI-style forensics, media spin and pretty much any other tactic to ensure the verdict is in their client’s favor.
In last night’s premiere, Trott and his team helped defend Kevin O’Neil – a man accused of killing his wife. Naturally, the case is all over the news and has captured a nation’s attention (Think O.J.). With the help of snappy cutaways, fast-paced dialogue and really cool computer re-inactments, Trott and his team attempt to re-create their version of what happened, ensuring that O’Neil’s ‘story’ plays well with the jury. Obviously the odds are stacked against Trott and his team, but this being TV, it’s not hard to predict the episodes conclusion.
Yet here’s the hook – and frankly the reason JUSTICE stands out from the long list of legal dramas currently on TV. In the final scene of every episode, after the verdict has been delivered, viewers will get to see how the victim actually died. This spin on the standard LAW & ORDER is what kept me interested the entire hour. Did Tom O’Neil actually kill his wife? Or is Trott and his team defending an innocent man? The answer may surprise you, it certainly did me.