TV Review - Doubt (2017)

Katherine Heigl stars as Sadie Ellis, a New York lawyer who likes to ride her bicycle to work, either to the courthouse or her law firm, not hers but the firm where she's employed. She doesn't seem to be a partner but she does appear to be one of the top attorneys there. She's a bit of a hotshot. She's ambitious. She's very strong and confident. She's also single.

Steven Pasquale co-stars as Billy Brennan, a doctor, a respected surgeon, who is currently on trial for a murder that occurred 24 years ago. He's accused of killing his girlfriend or some girl with whom he was intimate. There is some circumstantial evidence that points to him, but he maintains his innocence. For some reason, he doesn't just want to be acquitted of the crime. He wants there to be no doubt of his 100-percent innocence.

The reason he's so gung-ho about that is mainly because he has feelings for Sadie and he doesn't want the cloud hanging over him. It's important to him that she believes without question that he's innocent. Right now, she's not sure, but she does have some feelings for him. Yet, she resists dating him, even though he kisses her at the end of Episode 1.

Pasquale is coming off two, legal dramas, The People Vs. O.J. Simpson and The Good Wife. His characters in both those two previous, lawyer shows were infinitely more interesting than his character here. Whether it was backstory, current action or overall performance, Pasquale was more engaging in those two former shows. Here, he's rather strange at times and other times boring. The romance between him and Heigl, or their chemistry, is fine but it hasn't been the heat between him and Julianna Marguiles.

Writers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan are from Grey's Anatomy where Heigl also starred. Not much of the aesthetic or energy of that show seems to have carried over. Mainly, the first two episodes are devoid of sexiness. Yes, there are sexy people, but overall, the sexiness is lacking. For example, Jeremy Davidson (Pan Am and Army Wives) is an incredibly sexy guy, but you'd never know it from this show. Davidson plays the prosecutor of Billy's case, so he's not afforded the opportunity at first, but the writers could have done more with him.

Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) also co-stars as Cameron Wirth, a transgendered woman who is an associate lawyer at the firm trying to do right by her clients.

DulĂ© Hill (The West Wing and Psych) plays Albert, another lawyer who helps with Billy's case as well as others. He seems to exist only to be someone who Sadie and Cameron can talk or yell or bounce things off. He has some kind of relationship going on, but it's only given short shrift.

The series has moments that echo better shows. There is a scene with a judge, played by Bill Irwin, that was reminiscent of the comedy of The Good Wife. There is a scene of a persistent guy, played by Kobi Libii, trying to get a job by camping out at the firm that was reminiscent of Gilmore Girls. That same persistent guy has a bagel issue that was reminiscent of something from Ally McBeal.

Those moments or scenes, plus an interesting and topical case in Episode 2, give this series hope or potential of becoming a good, if not great, legal drama. It's too bad the show was cancelled.

Rated TV-14-L.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Wednesdays at 10PM on CBS.


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