Proven Innocent is an American legal drama television series created by David Elliot following the employees of a wrongful conviction law firm(Wikipedia).
This review contains spoilers, if you haven’t seen the Pilot please do not continue reading.
Proven Innocent follows Madeline Scott’s (Rachelle Lefevre) determination for justice for those wrongly convicted. Viewers learn that as a teen, Madeline and her brother Levi were wrongly convicted of murder and served time in prison. Now an attorney and partnering with the attorney who secured her freedom, Madeline has made a vow to help those in the same position she and Levi were.
There were several factors that made me decide to watch Proven Innocent. The cast, the story and the writing. The cast or Proven Innocent is what first drew me in. Especially three actors whose work I’ve followed from their other projects over the years: Rachelle Lefevre, Vincent Kartheiser and Riley Smith.
Who could forget Rachelle Lefevre’s turn as the villainous Olivia in Lifetime’s Mary Kills People? I was eager to see Lefevre create a different sort of character and the description of Madeline interest me. I can’t imagine anyone else playing the adult Madeline. Rachelle Lefevre has an appeal that will keep viewers tuning in.
Ever since he played Connor on Angel, I made a point to watch everything and anything starring Vincent Kartheiser. He was the reason I tuned into AMC’s Mad Men (An excellent television show. Pete Campbell was a far cry from Connor and Kartheiser played him to perfection). I look forward to seeing the development of Kartheiser’s Proven Innocent character Brody Quick. The pilot offered little opportunity to get to know the man and his motivations. Except that he is an investigator for Madeline’s firm, who is Brody?
Riley Smith has been cast in two previous television series I’ve watched which were canceled after only one season (Frequency, Life Sentence). Smith has leading man written all over him and the real crime of Proven Innocent will be if it too is canceled and we don’t get to see Smith’s Levi grow.
The casting of the Young Madeline and Young Levi were spot on. Physically, Clare O’ Connor looks like she could be a younger version of Lefevre’s Madeline. As I tweeted the Pilot via The Nerdy Girl Express, I was curious as to whether O’ Connor and Lefevre studied each other’s mannerisms in order to add to their performances of past and present day Madeline. I found the replies back to the inquiry from Clare and Rachelle interesting:
I can imagine the transition Madeline goes through in prison. She enters as a young girl and leaves as a woman with a different view of the world. She probably also had to become harden in order to survive behind bars.
Kelsey Grammer as Gore Bellows is a character I couldn’t read. Sure, he worked hard to convict Levi and Madeline. But did he really believe them guilty or was there another reason he sought to imprison them? I changed my opinion of him several times when watching the Pilot. I’m curious to see what side he ends up on: bad or good guy.
As a former paralegal, I’ve been fascinated with legal dramas since 1985 when I worked for the justice system. I know that nothing is black and white were the law is concerned and unlocking the pieces of the puzzle based on the evidence is what makes law so intricate. In Proven Innocent, I hope everyone Madeline represents won’t be innocent. Because of her own experience, Madeline is looking for wrongly convicted individuals. But what happens if she works to get someone acquitted believing them innocent and they are in fact guilty? Will this cause her to question herself and her ability to provide legal representation?
The pilot episode of Proven Innocent showed promise. I really enjoyed it. I think given time it has the potential of being the next great legal drama. The story is edgy and compelling. I want to see more character development as the series progresses though. Sort of Levi and Madeline, why should we care about these characters? (And actor appeal doesn’t count).
Photo Courtesy of FOX
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