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New York is the setting for this courtroom drama about a jury of 12 different men and women delibrating various capital crime cases while under the supervision of the courthouse staff ranging from the bailif, the head clerk, the messenger, and the judge, prosecuter and defense lawyer. Written by
The judge in the first season was supposed to be played by Sidney Lumet, director of _Twelve Angry Men (1957)_. When Lumet got injured falling on some ice, 'Barry Levinson', producer and director of the show, stepped in to play the role. Levinson acts in the first twelve episodes. See more »
As a longtime fan of "Twelve Angry Men," the classic You-Are-There jury drama, and as someone who's thoroughly enjoyed Levinson and Fontana's previous TV work, like "Oz," "Homicide" and "The Beat" (does anyone else remember "The Beat"? What a great show!), I had to check this out. I wouldn't say I was overwhelmed by the two episodes I just watched, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it improve once the creators really get comfortable with the format. Unfortunately, though, if I have one complaint, it is with that very format, which seems to aim to present for us too many perspectives for its own good. Much of the appeal of the courtroom drama -- and of the jury drama -- stems from the knowledge that there may never be a clear answer, and that any decisions that are made may very well go unconfirmed. Having watched two episodes already, though, I know that the creators mean to reveal to us the nature of the crime at the end of its respective episode - in other words, to let us know whether the jury judged correctly. This simply strikes me as too neat, and I'm afraid that, by putting too much distance between the viewer and the jury, the inherent drama of the deliberations will be undermined. But I may be wrong. In any case, it's a very stylish show, and it's definitely worth a look.
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