‘Conviction’ is Lacking It – Conviction Pilot Review

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Conviction is Lacking It – Conviction Pilot Review

Great acting, spoon fed story, variable cinematography, uneven tone and feel, and horrible song choices, Conviction doesn’t take a stand – Conviction Pilot Review

Conviction Pilot Review

Conviction is about a young and incomprehensibly brilliant attorney named Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell), who is a bit of a wild child. The show opens on her in holding for drug possession and given the ultimatum to go to prison or lead a team working on NYC’s new Conviction Integrity Unit for District Attorney Conner Wallace (Eddie Cahill). Hayes, of course, chooses not to go to prison and leads the task force. Immediately Hayes puts the unit and every beneath her, treating it like an annoying chore. However, within the first few minutes, Hayes chooses a highly marketable case that gives a glimpse of her vast understanding of the public eye. This expertise comes from a life of being in the spotlight. The members of the unit then set out to gather evidence to help prove that a young, handsome, black man was wrongly convicted of murder. During the process, Hayes is confronted with the fact that her actions affect people; just because this is just some task for her, doesn’t negate the fact that she has holds the lives of many others in her hands. She then wants to quit, as she does not want the burden of others on her plate but realizes she can actually do some good. In the end, they prove the victim’s innocence, and we realize he is only part of a larger conspiracy and that every member of the unit has a dark past that has brought them all together.

The pilot episode of Conviction feels cliche. However, the talent delivers throughout the show. Hayley Atwell is flawless with the numerous emotional shifts and hilarious as the cocky loudmouth who gets her way. She is an alpha through and through, and I think it is a fantastic role for her. The rest of the cast holds their own but honestly, does not have much to do. They are all given tasks, which they perform well and with enthusiasm, and they are all given small parts that hint to much deeper back stories.

Where the show struggles, is deciding on the tone and direction it wants to go. All the little hints of dark pasts for each character feel very forced, and the equal number of dark subplots with Hayes Morris, her family, and D.A. Wallace feels overloaded. It’s like they’re trying to jam in Scandal Season 3 level drama into its pilot. There is far too much build up, and not enough time to even accept the characters. On top of forced drama overload, it is rushed. There’s a scene where Hayes is asking questions to the murder victim’s family. The family is getting upset and become emotional, Hayes gets uncomfortable and leaves in what looks like a panic attack. The situation was not that heavy, but forced jump cuts and awkward angles did attempt to add gravitas to the situation. In the end, it comes off as Hayes being overly sensitive to do her job; this is not the case, and the show awkwardly transitions it to her having moral standards and a conscience. This awkward transition is composed of an angsty ballad that feels like overkill even for a CW drama, and a montage of sullen looks.

Overall, the Conviction Pilot episode seems to be reaching very far and wide in a multitude of ways. It has a vague idea of the direction it wants to go but has not settled on a route to take. It jumps from hard hitting mature drama to angsty teenage whining and from CSI to Suits. Conviction holds potential, with a solid case and strong premise. However, it needs its title-sake and decide on what direction to take, because it feels like a lot of stuff seen before and not in a pleasant way. Conviction seems to have all the pieces of a puzzle of the sky, everything is there but not necessarily fitting together or in the right order. Minus the music choice, that’s like random piece of a red barn that should not be in this puzzle’s box.

Conviction Premieres Monday October 3, 2016 @10pm on ABC.

Conviction
  • Pilot
2

The Verdict

The Conviction Pilot episode seems to be reaching very far and wide in a multitude of ways. It has a vague idea of the direction it wants to go but has not settled on a route to take. It jumps from hard hitting mature drama to angsty teenage whining and from CSI to Suits. Conviction holds potential, with a solid case and strong premise. However, it needs its title-sake and decide on what direction to take, because it feels like a lot of stuff seen before and not in a pleasant way. Conviction seems to have all the pieces of a puzzle of the sky, everything is there but not necessarily fitting together or in the right order. Minus the music choice, that’s like random piece of a red barn that should not be in this puzzle’s box.

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