In the UK: Available on Apple TV+
Defending Jacob is one of those shows that you can only imagine is intended more as a statement piece than as a draw for your fledging streaming service. A ‘prestige TV’ mini-series adaptation of William Landay’s novel of the same name, with an all star cast that includes Chris Evans (Captain America), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Good Behavior) and JK Simmons (Counterpart, Whiplash), it’s a solid meat-and-two-veg legal drama that provides a perfectly reasonable number of thrills without anything remarkable ever happening.
As such, it feels more like Apple saying: “This is a high-quality, but unchallenging show for what we imagine are normal people. Don’t worry, guys – it’s all going to be good stuff here, but it’s not all going to be liberal stuff like The Morning Show, challenging stuff like Servant or amazing, mind-blowing stuff like See… What do you mean See was awful?”
The clue is in the title
The first three episodes, partly told in flashback through grand jury proceedings, see Evans playing an assistant district attorney in a small town. Together with his charity worker wife (Dockery), they’re raising their perfectly normal if socially awkward son Jacob (Jaeden Martell) in reasonable harmony, going through all the same sorts of issues as anyone else raising a teenage boy in a small American town.
Then the whole community is shocked when someone in Jacob’s year is found murdered. Evans is assigned the case, and quickly hones in on a local sex criminal (Daniel Henshall) as a prime suspect.
However, soon, there are whisperings among the kids of Jacob’s year that maybe it was Evans’ son who was responsible. Before you know it, evidence is starting to mount up against Jacob, forcing Evans to have to… well, you can guess from the title.Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: Defending Jacob (Apple TV+)”