Picks and Pans Review: Crime & Punishment
NBC touts this 13-week series (starting June 16) as a "real-life Law & Order." For once, a believable promo.
Executive producer Dick Wolf (the man behind the L&O franchise) and filmmaker Bill Guttentag focus on deputy district attorneys in San Diego as they prepare and present criminal cases. Actual prosecutors may not perform with the polish of Sam Waterston, but the trial scenes here rival L&O's for drama, thanks to three-camera courtroom coverage and a lot of skillful editing. A murder defendant grins inappropriately on the witness stand; cut to the prosecutor checking to see if the jury noticed. It's seamless--and spontaneous. Only when the prosecutors get together for pep talks and strategy sessions does an element of artificiality creep in.
Bottom Line: Nonfiction makes a solid case