Let me start by saying that, overall, I am not a fan of Fox’s programming. Over the years there have been a few shows that have piqued my interest, but few have held it for any length of time. So when I heard about Justice, I figured I’d give it an episode to plead its case and then come back with a verdict as to whether it would be a Season Pass winner on my TiVo or just another flip through on Wednesday night.
In my book, Justice had only two things going for it: it was being billed as “doing for law what House did for medicine” (hmm, snarky God complex in the courtroom has possibilities) and starred Victor Garber, a man who is as comfortable dispatching Russian spy baddies with an AK-47 as he is tap dancing to the tune of “I Don’t Need Anything But You” with Little Orphan Annie. Then, there is the little end-of-show twist where you get to see what really happened and if the lawyers you spent an hour investing yourself in got played or found actual justice (very reminiscent of Fox’s failed 2004 court drama, The Jury). Altogether, the package had me piqued. Fox just might be able to pull it off if they didn’t mess up the execution.
So what’s the verdict? This jury is still out. Garber does a great job as Ron Trott, the über-confident head of his team of lawyers, much resembling House’s team of fellows, though these guys are given a little more credit for having more than two brain cells. He is the media face for his clients and firm, playing the press as if he were a lifelong spin doctor. But don’t think of getting him in front of a jury, that is, if you want to win. Leave that to Tom Nicholson, “the American face of ‘not guilty,’” played by Kerr Smith. When they need to land a slam dunk, Trott looks to Nicholson, whose pretty boy face and flawless delivery can stroke juries into believing whatever story he chooses to spin. But at the heart of it, he genuinely cares about his clients. Aww.