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J. August Richards

J. August Richards - "Conviction" Tv Series - Tvguide.com Review

Sunday 26 February 2006, by Webmaster

Courtroom Cuties

The prosecution never rests, even in bed

Conviction, a series about hot young New York prosecutors, is not, sorry to say, the next great legal drama. It’s merely the next - as in (sigh) yet another.

What a weird little mutant this show is, too, with Law & Order’s Dick Wolf shifting gears, trying to mimic David E. Kelley’s style. It’s not a good fit. A far cry from Boston Legal or even The Practice, this is so clumsy in its mix of the procedural and the personal that it should barely be legal.

It is, however, easy on the eyes, with more sex, skin and office hanky-panky in the pilot alone than we’ve seen in all 16 seasons of Law & Order. (Can’t remember the last time one of Law & Order’s authority figures paraded around his office in a tight-fitting undershirt. Probably a good thing.)

The busy pilot episode introduces an interchangeable gang of hungry but inexperienced assistant district attorneys, who range in attitude from cute and arrogant to cute and nervous. (The exception being the smarmy Eric Balfour - most recently seen and forgotten in instant duds Hawaii and Sex, Love & Secrets - whom the networks keep trying to pass off as a sex symbol.)

When Conviction tries to be colorfully edgy, it’s laughable. When it attempts a melodramatic plot twist, it’s transparent. When it focuses on the hectic, messy grind of doing business in an overcrowded courtroom docket, it’s on sturdier, if awfully familiar, ground. (ABC’s short-lived Equal Justice covered this turf better way back in 1990.)

It’s not just that Conviction lacks courage or, yes, conviction. It lacks distinction, and these days that deserves a severe verdict indeed.

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