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Very rarely on television is there ever portrayed a realistic portrait that
is both believable, and as another viewer remarked, keeps you on the edge
Daniel Benzali performed superbly as the attorney in private practice who is constantly drawn to the edges of ethicality, personally and professionally.
Stanley Tucci embodied the sinister aspects of the role he played superbly, while still remaining likable.
As is characteristic of most Bochco productions, the supporting characters and actors that play them are most interesting and convincing.
I just finished seeing it for the second time. Direction is great, the
story is great from the start to the end, the characters and the
humanity they express is amazing.
It is filled with unforgettable quotes. In fact, English is used at its best level. Dialogs are excellent.
I dare saying that season one is perfect. Seasdon two is almost at the same level. It was difficult to accept Daniel Bengali missing at first, but then you start empathizing with La Paglia too.
Murder One is simply great. Difficult is to explain how they didn't continued after the second series :(
Saw Murder One (Series One) on DVD and was blown away -- by the acting,
the plot, the consistency & the overall quality. Could this be the best
American drama series ever screened on TV? It has to be a contender.
Currently watching Series Two (with Anthony LaPaglia) and think that so
far it's also a great show. I like LaPaglia and have nothing against
him but it shows a total lack of backbone from the producers that they
saw fit to replace Daniel Benzali who was just terrific.
I just wish they'd made another series or two -- it is so much more believable than 24 for which, I believe, it paved the way.
Come on Mr Bochco, it's not too late to bring the show back to life...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Murder One was a truly innovative idea. A drama series following a
trial from start to finish, told from the point of view of all parties
involved. Never before had an entire season of a US TV drama followed a
This was essential viewing when it was first shown on UK TV by the BBC. It kept your interest throughout and did not belittle/patronise the viewing audience. The unique thing about this was the ease at which it held your interest. Not a moment of screen time was wasted.
A highly intelligent show with memorable characters and it really served as a sort of fore-runner to the inferior but still utterly engaging 24.
Featuring another standout performance from Daniel Benzali (Hoffman) as well as the excellent Stanley Tucci (Richard Cross), casting was a big part of this projects success.
Tucci was able to develop his characters' nasty streak and double dealing nature without deflecting attention from the defendant in the case (Neil Avedon). You really were unsure how far he would be willing to go.
Also the plot never becomes overly predictable. There are a few big surprises in the later episodes well worth waiting for.
This is one of those shows where I doubt the Network or the Studio really understood what a total gem they had here and the format was altered unsuccessfully for the lack-luster second season (starring Anthony LaPaglia as Wyler).
As for year two, without Daniel Benzali or the weekly sequential serial drama format which had worked so well the previous year, the result was an utterly forgettable mess.
Check out Murder One Year One on DVD if you want a change from the no-brainers that are broadcast today. It's the show 24 probably wishes it was!! At least comparable to 24 season one in terms of character development and a relentless pace, this is one drama you'll want to watch repeatedly.
I remembered the show from British TV in the '90s when I heard that the
show was to be released on DVD, other people of a similar age had
forgotten about this great series.
I managed to get hold of a review copy of season one and fell back in love with the series. It was like an old friend had returned from a long time away. The ups and downs of the case kept me riveted to the TV set for far too much time after a hard day at work!
I spent so long re-trying to figure out who the murderer was but we're not told until *RIGHT* at the end of the whole series.
One of the best episodes is the one with the jury "love triangle" and the bickering that that involved.
This is probably the finest TV series I have ever watched. The outstanding cast, and their superb acting was a joy to see. The plot and twists were great, and left me guessing right up until the end. I'm delighted that at long last the series is being released on DVD in September here, and I shall enjoy watching it all again through the autumn (fall!) This is TV as only the Americans can do it. We Brits are great at the period drama stuff (Sense and Sensibility etc), but you guys are the kings when it comes to this particular genre. The second series was good, but never quite recaptured the essence of series one. Does anyone know if they released the soundtrack as a separate entity??Thanks Mr Bochco et al, great stuff!!
The fact that no Americans watched this, and that it was only appreciated in Europe, is a crime in itself. It had originality and depth, great characters and gripping plot. The first series follows a single crime investigation over several months, with an additional smaller plotline each episode. The second, equally good, has a different main character and follows several large cases.
I completely disagree, or as Ted Hoffman would say "Objection your
Honour", with that comment the murder one season 1 is clearly the best
without a shadow of a doubt, and what makes this season so damn good is
the spectacular acting of the two front Daniel Benzali as Ted Hoffman
and Stanley Tucci as Richard Cross, and how you can think Anthony
LaPaglia is a better leading man bewilders me and on personal note i
thin you should be slapped with a wet fish for dissing Ted Hoffman. I
don't understand why he didn't carry on with the best leading man role
EVER! If someone could please enlighten me i would be sincerely
This Jim Hass guy has the right idea what has happened to television, it is meant to be a luxury, a place high quality programming but a one time gem like murder one was replaced by "X Factor", "Dancing On Ice", CSI which used to be great but now its the same thing every episode they have stretched every story to its utmost and its still crap! House is also shocking TV like come on its a doctors version of CSI and you know what is going to happen just wait till the 50th minute of the show then they will find the cure for their patient. Writers nowadays don't have the talent like Steven Bochco, now writers say they have an idea for a show when its actually the same as 100 other show on TV, most of the time its a CSI copy. What has happened to culture on television? WE SALUTE YOU MURDER ONE!
OK, not 24 hours, but 23 weeks? An entire season devoted to a single
case? I'd certainly never seen anything like it before.
Let me say right off the bat that unless you're prepared for 23 hours of drama where nobody answers a question directly (one wonders if lawyers actually have normal conversations), almost everyone has their own agenda, everybody talks in whispers, and everything is grey, this'll be tough viewing. But if, like me, you like writing that doesn't talk down to you, and plots with more twists than a plate of spaghetti, this is your show.
It should be added that the cast is top-notch so good that they manage to cover most of the, admittedly minor, shortcomings in the script. Daniel Benzali takes on the persona of Ted Hoffman like an old coat, despite the fact that such a single-minded and ruthless guy not to mention, lawyer being a paragon of morality is a bit difficult to swallow. I'd like to have known a bit more about what makes him tick, because he's clearly driven, but the writers decided to leave it out. Notwithstanding, Benzali makes the character his own, and he IS compelling. And he's ably supported by fine actors (notably Barabara Bosson and Stanley Tucci), many of whom have gone on to other good things.
The great thing about having so much time spent on a single case is that we get to see some of the details that are often missed in other lawyer-based shows: the conflicts of interest; the interaction between people on opposite sides of the fence; jury selection; and the sheer waiting around for the 19th century wheels of justice to clank around in a twentieth century world. I have no doubt that it's been sanitized and simplified for TV, but I suspect also that there are some grains of truth in there.
I watched some episodes when it originally came out, and remember being intrigued at the time. Now I've got to see it all the way through, I can heartily recommend it. Thoughtful, riveting and _intelligent_ TV.
Oh, and brilliant theme tune. :-)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I stumbled upon this show on Hulu. One of the best shows I've ever
seen. Sure wish Daniel Benzali was in the second season. Sure wish
there was a 3rd season.
I liked that the first season had a continuing story.
I've watched many a "law" show, and this one still surprised me.
Maybe this show was too advanced for its time. We have similar shows now, but this still is one of the best.
I see that a lot of the characters went on to be on other hit shows. I've watched both seasons in just a matter of weeks (I watch while I work on the computer). Not sure if they could pick up the show with the same quality today.
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