Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
Legal dramas all seem the same. With the exception of Bull, they are usually about a lawyer whose life outside the courtroom can be filled with as drama as the cases they work and this show is no different.
Sadie (Katherine Heigl) | Isaiah Roth (Elliott Gould) | Dr. Brennan (Steven Pasquale) | Cameron (Laverne Cox) | Albert (Dulé Hill) | Nick (Kobi Libii) | Tiffany (Dreama Walker)
Sadie is a 36-year-old lawyer who is your usual fierce defense attorney. The man she works for, Isiah Roth, is the man who defended her mother 34 years ago and she works for him and lives by his belief of standing by those who would have no one otherwise. However, with her being married to her work and only getting close to her clients, when Dr. Brennan comes into her life he becomes nothing but trouble. For, despite a murder case, he seems so nice, sweet, charming, and she falls for him.
Alongside Sadie at Roth’s firm is Cameron Wirth who is a notable attorney in her own right. However, it seems she is jealous of how much attention and success Sadie has. Not to the point of sabotage, but definitely a touch of envy. Together, alongside Sadie’s 2nd chair Albert, and the associates and secretaries at Roth’s firm, they make up the cast of Doubt.
The Cast is Likable
While no cast member will completely sell you on the idea that you must watch this show, they are all likable. Heigl presents her usual charm which makes the workaholic Sadie someone likable. Cox brings her usual slightly camp style of acting and tries to bring a serious tone to it. Making it seem that she is both trying to expand what you may think she is capable of while remembering why you fell in love with her in the first place.
After those two, the focus is really on the actors who you may have seen in supporting roles here or there, but now they may have a character worth seriously noting. Take Kobi Libii who plays Nick. His character is an ex-con who is trying to be a lawyer and that is a completely new take to me. Have you heard of a show with an ex-con who is pursuing becoming the type of lawyer he wishes he had? Then with Dreama Walker’s Tiffany, who is Cameron’s 2nd-year associate, you get this mid-western turned NY girl who constantly questions her boss. Which, while it gave me pause at times, being that this show doesn’t have a serious tone at all, Walker gives Cox the opportunity to be a bit more comical in those moments. Leading to the two playing off each other quite well.
There Is No Real Sell Here
Everything about this show seems very safe to the point of being bland. The lawyers are all likable and their flaws seem minor. The court case we are presented with Cameron has no bite to it, despite it dealing with someone who is mentally ill, and Sadie’s case is something I’m struggling to invest in. Walking back to the topic of Cameron’s case, it deals with a schizophrenic man she is trying to get a not guilty, by means of insanity, victory. However, being that mental illness, and the depiction of it, can only seem heartbreaking or sensationalized, it is unfortunate that the tone of the show almost makes Cameron’s client, during his outburst, is not just unbelievable but ridiculous. For while his outburst is rooted in showing how he is off his medication, being that the performance and writing were uninspiring, it made for a bad first case.
On top of that, we have Sadie’s big case which will be the main arc of the show. Now, while the case introduces the idea that Sadie is repeating Isiah’s issue of falling for your client, being that client is the generic Dr. Brennan, that doesn’t help this show at all. For while Heigl has charm, she rarely is able to craft any sort of real chemistry with other actors. So combine Dr. Brennan lacking any sort of air of mystery, or reason to give you doubt, and Heigl not being the type of actress who, in my opinion, should be the focal point of any show, and you got a serious problem. She isn’t leading you to take interest and question if Dr. Brennan is a killer and while she maybe front and center, the first name on any advertisement, arguably she doesn’t have the quality of acting required for such a position.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
While the cast is all very much likable, without someone with star quality to really hook you and cases which lack depth in their storylines and performances, I can only hope things get better. For while I wasn’t expecting much since Heigl is the type of actor who stars in short-lived shows or movies which flop, there is an inkling of something here. It’s just the tone of the show lacks urgency and seriousness, and with the first full case we saw lacking a compelling storyline and performances, the only way to go is up.