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The Case for ‘Defending Jacob’

The Case for ‘Defending Jacob’

  • 'Defending Jacob' is Apple TV+ newest series and here is why it's a good show.
The Case for 'Defending Jacob'

Apple TV+ has had a slow start. Apple doesn’t have a huge library to tap into to offer on its streamer. This meant Apple had to rely on big names to bring people in. The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell became Apple’s biggest show. The programming on the streamer has been a toss-up. Then Defending Jacob came along and was poised to be the streamer’s next hit.

Defending Jacob, based on the novel of the same name by William Landay, follows a family as their son gets accused of murder. Chris Evans plays Andy Barber, a respected assistant district attorney who is now consumed with proving his son Jacob’s (Jaeden Martell) innocence.

The eight-episode miniseries allows for the story to unfold without having too much known at once. The first episode introduces everything from characters, the setting, and sets up any of the plotlines that will unfold. But the show simultaneously feels slow in pacing but can get the viewers to where they want them by the end of an episode. It’s thrilling and keeps you engaged as it sees the charades of a perfect family fall apart.

Evans gives an amazing performance doing exactly what a father would do to protect their son. Michelle Dockery who plays Laurie Barber gives an honest portrayal of a woman whose life is unraveling and has no way of putting it together.

When it comes to adapting novels, film sometimes feels insufficient but in Defending Jacob‘s case, the miniseries could have been an episode shorter and still have had the material. Although diving deeply into character stories and motives, especially for a story that deals with murder, it spends too much time on Andy being a detective.

But Defending Jacob can’t be written off. It’s a show that looks at how a community, social media, and perspective can play a part in how quickly someone can become ostracized. The reveals are done over time with hints dropped throughout episodes. It’s a thriller that doesn’t feel overwhelming. It balances out the drama but keeps viewers invested.

The show is done well and should be one of the directions Apple TV+ should be heading with its future content.

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