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Presumed Innocent

Presumed Innocent

TV-MA

appletv

Though it can be predictable, this hard-boiled legal drama reliably delivers thrills

7.3

TV Show

United States of America
English
Crime, Drama, Mystery
2024
Bill Camp, Chase Infiniti, Elizabeth Marvel

TLDR

Did they need to make an eight-episode adaptation when the 1990 feature is just fine? No. Is it still enjoyable? Hell yeah.

What it's about

The life of famed prosecutor and family man Rusty Sabich (Jake Gyllenhaal) makes a turn for the worst when he becomes the prime suspect in the gruseome murder of his colleague Carolyn Polhemus (Renate Reinsve), with whom he’s also been having an affair.

The take

You can tell showrunner David E. Kelley, who played a part in legal dramas and mysteries like Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, and Big Little Lies, is a master of the genre. Presumed Innocent is carefully paced, confidently performed, and smartly written, making it a thrilling watch regardless if you’ve seen the 1990 feature and 1987 novel of the same name. It’s not without its misses though, the biggest one being the lack of believable chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Reinsve, who seems miscast in this series. As much as I loved her in The Worst Person in the World, she seems to exude an awkward sensuality that affects the realism of the series. On the other hand, Ruth Negga, who plays Gyllenhaal’s wife, and Peter Sarsgaard, who plays his political rival, command every scene they’re in and perfectly match Gyllenhaal’s crazed intensity. Whenever the show skews formulaic, it’s their solid performances that save the scene.

What stands out

The intense, believable rivalry between Gyllenhaal’s Sabich and Sarsgaard’s Molto. So this is how I find out they’re brothers-in-law in real life, huh?

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