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pudge (1)

pudge
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Journal of pudge (1)

Thursday July 01, 2004
10:34 PM

The Jury

[ #19637 ]

I am a fan of the TV shows Oz, Homicide, and Law and Order (all three). Homicide and Oz -- both off the air now -- featured the team of Tom Fontana and Barry Levison for writing and producing. I don't know what Law and Order had in common on that level, but many cast members of Oz are also on Law and Order (the female cop on Criminal Intent, the male cop on Special Victims Unit, the psychiatrists on both SVU and the original L&O, as well as many guests). And of course Richard Belzer's character, Detective John Munch, was on both Homicide and is now on SVU.

So Levinson/Fontana have a new series out, The Jury, where instead of looking behind the scenes at the cops, or the lawyers, or the criminals, you look behind the scenes at the juries. The evidence unveils to the audience as the jurors discuss it, and flashbacks show us some of what happened. It's a pretty good show, if you like the ones I mentioned above. Not as engaging as Oz, maybe, but this is network TV, not HBO.

On this week's episode, "Last Rites" -- because the case involved a murder of a priest during a prison riot -- Oz was well-represented, with thirteen regulars/recurring guests.

One of the witnesses was from Oz, a cop (inmate James Robson), as well as all of the jurors (inmates Dino Ortolani, Bob Rebadow, Poet Jackson, Cyril O'Reily, Kareem Said, and Vern Schillinger; inmate Ryan O'Reily's mother Suzanne Fitzgerald [also Abby from Eight is Enough]; Vern Schillinger's daughter-in-law Carrie Schillinger; the brother and sister of an inmate, Carlos and Margarita Ricardo; Detective Nancy Mears; and the mother of officer Clayton Hughes, Lenore Hughes).

That's a whole lotta Oz.

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  • I watched the first two or three episodes of The Jury, and then gave up. In order to maintain the dramatic tension of television, the stories were set up so that by the time the jury needs to make a decision, it's a toss up whether the guy did it or not.

    That's reasonable doubt, to me. Which means the verdicts should have come back "not guilty", which means there's no more dramatic tension.

    I'm hoping they get it tweaked, at which point I may go back to it.

    • I caught part of the end of the show. The heavy reliance on flashback and needless quick cuts was rather annoying. The only thing I liked about it was playing "Spot the Oz Cast Members". ;-)

      PS: Vern is looking quite good these days -- he's lost weight and isn't playing a sociopath anymore! Making Kareem Said a Christian while keeping his old animosity towards Vern was quite entertaining (and somewhat distracting to the plot of The Jury -- I honestly don't remember what they were arguing over, except th

      • Valid points there, but the flashbacks and quick cuts are stuff I am used to from Oz anyway ... :p

        Also, Robson as a prison guard was pretty funny.

        Vern also plays a psychiatrist on L&O, and he looks pretty much the same there as he does here. That one is the biggest shock, because he plays such a calm and controlled and nice guy on L&O.
    • I watched the first two or three episodes of The Jury, and then gave up. In order to maintain the dramatic tension of television, the stories were set up so that by the time the jury needs to make a decision, it's a toss up whether the guy did it or not.

      I saw two like that, and on the first one I saw, they said he was not guilty for that very reason. On the second one, "Last Rites," they found him guilty because the circumstantial evidence was so strong. I see no reason to think every episode will be li