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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"He'll be an empty-headed robot, wandering around Hollywood. He'll be fine."
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March 03 2006

J. August Richard's "Conviction" premieres tonight. The series airs at 10/9c on NBC.

Really dig J. August as an actor. Good to see he's getting regular work. Am I gonna watch it? Hell no. Watch yet another lawyer drama series? I gave up on lawyer dramas with L.A.LAW. I don't care how good it's gonna be --

/e covers ears

La- la- la- la- I CAN'T HEAR YOU la- la- la- la
I feel the same way. I mean god, if I have to sit through another lawyer show or crime show I'm gonna jab my eyes out. Stupid procedurals. When will the insanity end?
I downloaded the episode from iTunes (it was free). It was also kind of blah. And, while J. August acted well, I wasn't crazy about his character. (Or anyone else's, for that matter)

I'm glad he's working and that it's high profile.
I'll definitely be watching! However, I must say...as a former wife of a junior partner? SNORF. There would be no exciting meetings with clients. There would be hours and hours of boring discovery, and quite a bit of telling the paralegals what to photocopy.

Still, go, JAR! I hope it's a smash.
I thought it was on tomorrow night.
Same here, Sister Spooky.
It is tomorrow, Friday. Or today, Friday. Depending on your time zone.
In The Black, it's already tomorrow!

But seriously, I had the same problem...till I realized it's March 3rd on the site!
I enjoy the Law & Order type shows (especially the classic plain old Law and Order, Criminal Intent, and Trial By Jury--mostly for Scott Cohen), but agree that they *have* gone overboard with law/procedural stuff. I am very excited to see Conviction, despite the bloating of programming in this genre. It will be fun to see the "learning the ropes" aspect. Plus, J. August? So there.

[ edited by Lunakitty on 2006-03-03 07:25 ]
I was considering watching this, but now I think I'm just gonna pass. Best of luck to J. though.
JAR needs to be in a series where he's the lead of an ensemble. Doesn't appear to be what's happening here. JAR's just a face in the crowd in Conviction. He's got the chops to carry the weight of a series. He's got the ability to anchor an ensemble, like Nathan Fillion.

JAR needs to play a character that is crossing between two worlds. He'd have friends in an urban area where his character grew up and with them he'd be "black" for lack of a better term but not in TV's conventional stereotypical way. The show would lamblast assumptions about modern culture, showing how dated and banal racism is and how complicated human impressions are with contrasts and similarities. Then his character would simultaneously try to fit in with another upper class world where he wears a suit and through the course of the series we'd see him not able to fit in either world, and try to figure out just who he is. A friend of mine who's a standup commedienne has routines about this. She's married to a white guy but she's black. There's a lot of powerful potential conflict here. Excellent writing opportunities. She even tried to sell the idea to tv networks a few years ago as a comedy, but I think it'd work better as a drama.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2006-03-03 07:38 ]
I downloaded it from iTunes as well. Thought it was pretty good. It seems like a procedural that's less procedural and more about character development. Plus, J. August Richards is not the only Buffy alum on the show. Anybody remember Jesse? Killed early in season one? He was in 6 Feet Under and was pretty good in that, too. I'm looking forward to this one and I plan on giving it a fair chance.
Well, for example, The Shield is a cop show, which makes it extremely unoriginal on the surface. Yet it's ridiculously well written and acted, and it's not a procedural. So the fact that Conviction is about lawyers is no problem for me. Not that I'm gonna watch this anyway -- it's a procedural and it seems quite bad anyway.

[ edited by Johan on 2006-03-03 09:20 ]
There is just one thing more powerful than Conviction. Mercy.

I find it odd that JAR is playing a lawer in a show called Conviction when Gunn became a lawyer in an episode called Conviction.
Heck, it is J. august as I laywer..I'll be there! At least his scenes has to be cool, right...
Both TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly gave teh show dreadful reviews though.
I really like JAR. It's really exciting to watch someone young and talented evolve. I watch Law and Order (miss Jerry Orbach) and I've watched CSI. I even watched L.A. Law - okay that was probably too embarassing to reveal.
Zachmind: JAR needs to be in a series where he's the lead of an ensemble. Doesn't appear to be what's happening here.

Indeed. In reviews in the Washington Post (very negative) and the New York Times (rather positive), JAR is not even mentioned. There is a nice photo of him in the Times, though, looking very dapper.

Neat catch on the Conviction coincidence, IMForeman.
I like procedurals. Tim Minear's last show was a procedural, and about a year or two ago Joss was tossing about one as well.

If they are done well, they are great. Do them about the characters and you can have great drama.
I'll harp on my familiar string that it all begins with the writing...good writing can take the driest situation and turn it into something truly splendid. Take a remarkable and fascinating situation, combine it with great writing, direction, and acting, and you have, well, Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.

But it all starts with the writing. Law and Order isn't just procedural, it's damn near Kabuki. And yet, it's still regularly watchable.
Oh, totally. I think a lot of people don't understand how important the writing is with a show - the writers have the power. Example: 40 Year Old Virgin, as a concept, is pretty poor. I could well imagine a movie with that title being dire trash. But, well, it wasn't - critically, it did very well. And that's because the script was kinda great (although the final act was pretty bad). A show like Charmed is actually so diverse it could be brilliant television.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-03-03 18:55 ]
Not a fan of procedurals so despite being a fan of JAR i won't be watching this, assuming it ever gets over here to the UK anyway.

I've given up on Bones too. I've REALLY tried to like it (despite it's procedural nature) but it has bored me stupid every single week. I know not every show can be the same as Angel but i really wish that our guys could have gone on to bigger and better series than these. Ones that showed just the tiniest amount of imagination. So far the only ex-Angel cast members who have gone on to other actually interesting television series are Daniel Dae Kim and possibly Amy Acker, short lived though her time on Alias may be.
Dead on, gossi, about Charmed. The premise is not at all bad, but the show is. Bad.
I plan to tape it. I usually avoid these shows, but I think that if I pretend J's being Gunn in season 5, I should be okay. Who knows, maybe he'll start humming some Gilbert & Sullivan?
Yep, Charmed could be brilliant. But it is just so not.

I love JAR! So talented! I'm so with Zachsmind! Get him off this lame ass procedural and get this guy his own show with his own ensemble. We need more diverse lead actors as it is, he could do it!
I wish JAR all the best, I will watch the show, at least initially. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person here who actually enjoys Charmed...of course it suffers when compared to Buffy, what show doesn't? But it has lasted a long time for several reasons...you have three talented young lead actors, each of which is "easy on the eyes", you have an understandable, often interesting mythology that, while certainly not up to Joss's standards, is better than any other fantasy-based show currently on TV, and the music and guest stars are a big plus. Charmed will never be favorably compared with Buffy (or Angel and Firefly) but it is highly watchable...look at it this way, I love beer, especially full-bodied brews, but with my high BP, I'm compelled to drink light beers...consider Charmed "Buffy-Lite" and it goes down pretty smooth!
Calledon: But it has lasted a long time for several reasons.

Yep, six of them, to be precise!

(Not enough to get me to watch!)

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2006-03-03 23:42 ]
I'm more than willing to give any show the benefit of the doubt against the likes of Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Compared to those three, very few shows are ever going to measure up.

However, Charmed takes itself to a whole other level of sucking. I've seen childrens television series on the BBC with better plots and more interesting arcs. Some of the acting on that show is so phoned in that it makes you cringe. Basically it is the kind of show that makes you happily destroy your front room in the frantic search to find the remote control if it means you get to turn over just a few seconds faster.

Sorry, Callendon but even ignoring the high bar set by Joss Whedon's shows Charmed is just ... bad!

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