Created by Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana and James Yoshimura (Homicide: Life in the Streets, OZ), “The Jury” is a rare courtroom drama which looks at each case from the point of view of the jury members arriving at a verdict. Every episode followed the same pattern, the members of the jury in New York City being sequestered to argue what was presented in the court and arrive at a verdict. At the very end there is a scene which shows what really happened.
The only repeating characters are the judge (played by Barry Levinson) and the courtroom staff, most notably, the court reporter, played by Adam Busch (Warren from BtVS, but you knew that), who plays a nerdy guy who thinks he’s funny, but isn’t. Busch does a great job with this very limited role, but really highlights the major problem with the show, none of the recurring characters are in anyway interesting enough to make you want to come back for them. As for the rest of the show, they just hit the universal reset switch, and it’s the same thing, but a different jury next week.
This week’s episode really brought out this problem. With Last Rites, all of the jurors, and the set for the crime flashbacks (a prison riot, which leaves a priest dead) are from “OZ“.
The greatest enjoyment from the ep is watching familiar actors play different characters. So it comes as no surprize that J.K. Simmons and Eamonn Walker nearly come to blows.
It’s also no surprize that Fox announced today, after five episodes, they were putting the series on hold, and moving the remaining five episodes to air on Friday nights (their version of putting a pillow over a show’s face – which I guess is better than a shiv in the shower).