Review of "Conviction" on ABC From The TV MegaSite

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"Conviction" review by Suzanne 10/6/16
Airs Mondays, 10/9c on ABC

I don't hate this show, but it's a bit of a mess, much like the protagonist, played by Hayley Atwell.  She plays Hayes Morrison, daughter of a former president (who sounds an awful lot like Bill Clinton, but her character is more like a smart version of Paris Hilton). She's a lawyer who has become a disaster, getting in trouble for drugs and worse.  Her mom is a Senator up for re-election (played by veteran Bess Armstrong).  Hayes is recruited by NY D.A., Conner Wallace (Eddie Cahill, formerly of "CSI: NY"), to find cases where the person might have been wrongfully convicted and prove it, with a team of lawyers and investigators.  Hayes rebels against the job but, of course, she ultimately finds it satisfying. Hayes and Conner have a romantic history, and he's also using her to make himself look good to the public.

The show just tries to do too many things at once. Every single character in a show doesn't have to have a tortured life and a big secret mysterious past.  They always seem to nowadays, though. Each of her team has something going on. Sam Spencer is played by Shawn Ashmore, who's always wonderful. He wants Hayes' job and might be doing some pretty nasty things behind her back. Maxine Bohen (wonderful TV vet Merrin Dungey) is a cop with a lot to prove (a dirty past?).  Then there's paralegal Tess Larson (Emily Kinney), who looks innocent and sweet, a real go-getter newbie, but she has a past that Hayes knows about.

The only one I didn't like was Frankie Cruz (Manny Montana). The character is fine; I just don't think the actor is seasoned enough. He had a pretty big role in the first episode, and his acting was not nearly as good as the others. Frankie is their forensics expert, but he also spent time in prison.

The show just didn't ring true for me. The story was fine, but it lacked emotional resonance. It just seemed to be a pastiche of shows we've seen before. In fact, it's very 2006. There was another legal show called "Conviction" that year, as well as one called "Injustice," which I loved, about a group that helped people who'd been wrongly convicted get out of jail. It was a similar show, much better than this one, and they canceled it after one season.  Now, ten years later, we see this show that seems to be copying shows from 2006.

 The most interesting character was Hayes, and she's also the best actress in the group. She's the only reason to watch this show at all. I really wouldn't bother wasting your time on it.


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