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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"The Whole Truth" Review: A Fave Gone Too Soon Reincarnated?

In 2006, Jerry Bruckheimer brought an excellent legal drama to TV called “Justice.” It starred Victor Garber as a flashy, cocky defense attorney. Joining him was Kerr Smith, Rebecca Mader and the always electrifying Eamonn Walker.

The twist with “Justice” was that after the verdict was read, we got to see what really happened and whether the defendant was really innocent or guilty. It was an excellent show that just didn’t catch on, and FOX cancelled it after one season.

Now, Bruckheimer is trying another legal drama with the same twist. Only this time, in addition to finding out what really happened, we see the point of view of both the defense and the prosecution. In other words, we get “The Whole Truth.”

In this version, Rob Morrow plays the cocky defense attorney, Jimmy Brogan. He’s joined by his right hand man, Alejo Salazar (Anthony Ruivivar), and Lena Boudreaux (Christine Adams), a recent hire clawing her way up the ladder.

Maura Tierney is Kathryn Peale, a Deputy Bureau Chief in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. She is joined by junior ADA Chad Griffin (Sean Wing). And Bruckheimer wisely brings back the breakout star of “Justice,” Eamonn Walker, to play Kathryn’s boss, DA Bureau Chief Terrence “Edge” Edgecomb.

The show follows one side setting up their case, and then we switch sides. Then it’s the trial, the verdict, and then what actually happened. It’s a good formula that gives the show a uniqueness that other legal dramas don’t have.

I’m not a big fan of Morrow, but he works well here. We’re used to seeing him play more likeable heroes, but once you see this, you’ll wonder why he hasn’t played a jerk before (although I would call Jimmy a likeable jerk). Tierney is solid as always, and it’s great to see her back on TV. She and Morrow have great chemistry, which will help as the show continues since the characters clearly have a lot of history together.

But the star of the show for me is absolutely Walker. He doesn’t get that much camera time, but he makes the most of what he gets. His smooth voice and demeanor are just so awesome, you can’t help but get sucked in.

“Truth” is not quite as good as “Justice,” but it’s pretty darn close. Its biggest problem is that it gets a little too earnest sometimes. Both Kathryn and Jimmy have their sermons about the law and what they love about it. Plus, their constant jabs back and forth at each other during the case preparation can get a little annoying.

But overall, “Truth” is a solid, enjoyable hour. It’s nice to see Bruckheimer bring back his good idea. I’m hoping that people actually watch it this time—if only to keep Eamonn Walker on my TV screen…

“The Whole Truth” premieres Wednesday, September 22nd at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC