Picks and Pans Review: The Burden of Proof
In this miniseries adaptation of Scott Turow's novel, Hector Elizondo stars as lawyer Alejandro Stern (played more elegantly by Raul Julia in the 1990 movie Presumed Innocent), whose wife takes her life without warning. While looking into the reasons for her suicide, he must also defend his brother-in-law (Brian Dennehy), a commodities broker who is being investigated for improper trading.
Both of these plots grow incredibly dense and confusing over the course of two nights (the conclusion airs Monday). So the mini resorts to traditional lures to keep you in the tent. Or, as Mr. Subliminal might whisper, "Hot sex, hot sex." Again and again, we're presented with older men who have the raging hormones of teenagers. Even the highly principled Stern finds himself hopping in and out of the sack with a family friend (Stefanie Powers) and with one of Dennehy's associates (Victoria Principal, with a fruity Southern accent). But his true passion is for the married and pregnant assistant U.S. attorney (Mel Hams) who is preparing the case against Dennehy.
All these ladies wear poor Alejandro to a frazzle. That must be why every personal and legal development takes him completely by surprise. For a purportedly brilliant lawyer, Stern sure gets blindsided a lot.