Defending Jacob is a new Apple TV+ series, and defending him is his father, Captain America, I mean, Andy Barber (Chris Evans – Avengers: Endgame), because Jacob (Jaeden Martell – Midnight Special) has done a murder! Well, he’s accused of it, at least.
The victim is one of his classmates, Ben, so did he say something nasty and cause Jacob to snap, or is the titular child as innocent as The A-Team were? That question will be answered over eight episodes…
One thing in Andy’s locker, is that he’s also a lawyer, and a hot-shot one at that, but can he defend his son? You know where things are heading in that respect, because there’d be a conflict of interest, but Mr Evans and his beard are still angry all the same.
Potentially in the frame, though, is dodgy local guy Leonard Patz, and here to defend him is former US President Cherry Jones, from 24. Well, that’s the actress’ name, but she was the first female President, so you can’t take that away from her.
The opener for Defending Jacob sets out little more than the initial premise, so it just breaks us into the story slowly. Had this been a two-hour movie, this would’ve been condensed down to around five minutes, but TV dramas now allow things to spread out a bit.
I’ve seen two episodes so far, and as the story plays out, we see that is happening in flashback, while the present day is as per the premise, that Jacob is on trial, so, this gives an interesting split in the proceedings. The prosecuting lawyer in the case is Neal Logiudice, played by Pablo Schreiber, who was great opposite Gerard Butler in Den Of Thieves, and I’m so pleased to see that a sequel to that is in development.
So far, when it throws me a clue, I’m not sure if it’s being obvious and giving me the answer like a soap opera would, or giving me a red herring.
Also, the Barber family have the darkest kitchen ever, even though every surface is white. In fact, the whole drama has very muted colours. Okay, so I’m watching a preview and there’s always a chance the colours have been regraded by the time it is broadcast to the world, but given the content of the drama, I’m expecting it to remain the same. In fact (well, as assumption, actually), I guess it’s a style choice, but it looks drab.
Defending Jacob begins today with three episodes on Apple TV+, and then follows weekly from there.
The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can buy the Novel on which this series is based.
Episodes 1 and 2 Score: 6.5/10
Director: Morten Tyldum
Screenplay: Mark Bomback
Novel: William Landay
Music: Atli Örvarsson
Andy Barber: Chris Evans
Laurie Barber: Michelle Dockery
Jacob Barber: Jaeden Martell
Neal Logiudice: Pablo Schreiber
Paula Duffy: Betty Gabriel
Lynn Canavan: Sakina Jaffrey
Joanna Klein: Cherry Jones
Sarah Grohl: Jordan Alexa Davis
Leonard Patz: Daniel Henshall
Derek Yoo: Ben Taylor
Kingston: Ted Arcidi
Joan Rifkin: Megan Byrne
Toby: Tamara Hickey
Dan Rifkin: Patrick Fischler
Ben Rifkin: Liam Kilbreth
Reiko Ishida: Devon Diep
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.