In a sentence: Watchable not without it’s problems.
Like many others we were heartbroken when Peggy Carter’s story came to an end, where were we going to get our weekly Atwell fix now? Luckily ABC picked up Conviction featuring Hayley Atwell as an ex-first daughter heading up a New York Conviction Integrity Unit.
Hayes Morrison is far from your average first daughter. Within the first few minutes we see her be busted and then released on cocaine possession strong-armed by D.A. Connor Wallace into taking a position at the Conviction Integrity Unit instead of facing time in jail. Although Hayes doesn’t seem partially adverse to that.
In light of documentaries like Making a murderer and podcasts like Serial, the concept of Conviction Integrity works as a timely reflection of what people are interest in. Did they really do it? Does someone care enough to disprove?
With a team consisting of a lawyer, an ex-detective, a former innocence project paralegal and a forensic former criminal, they set out to try and prove an ex-highschool footballer didn’t kill his girlfriend.
The case this episode isn’t particularly dynamic, if How to Get Away with Murder taught us anything it’s you need to look for a new suspect fast, so waiting thirty two minutes into the episode to introduce a new killer whom we kind of guess when the girl’s mother mentions the man in her life.
The show has obviously drawn comparisons to Scandal and they are not without merit. Hayes relation to the White House, the motley crew investigating out of the ordinary cases and Hayes ‘wolf in the hen house speech all have a vaguely Shondaland ‘lite’ feel to it. If it turns out that the D.A Hayes is flirting with is married with a wife and kids then I’ll be disappointed.
However at the same time Scandal was barely a procedural and there was a lot more gravitas behind the writing. If Conviction moves itself to a more ensemble or Law & Order SVU stand then it has the potential of carving out its own lane in the political and crime genre.
Because the ensemble dynamic is what makes this interesting. Hayley Atwell as Hayes Morrison makes a watchable and intriguing leader of the team while still supplying enough lightheartedness to offset a heavy subject, the intricacies in a team that consists of people coming from the case from all sides could spring this show into the next season. Merrin Dungey as Maxine Bohen, the former cop with a hard ass father is one of the more memorable characters and exploring their stories instead of heaping all the b-plots onto Hayes will make this watchable tv.