Content - 92%
Comedic Timing - 96%
By Angie Quidim
Starring: John Lithgow, Nicholas D’Agosto, Steve Boyer, Sherri Sheppherd
NBC, 9 pm PST
Creators: Jeff Astrof, Matt Miller
Do you remember the days of wild whodunits like “Clue” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Encapsulating this in a thirty-minute sitcom format isn’t easy, but leaving it to the writers who worked on such shows as “Angie Tribecca”, “Friends”, “Chuck” and “Forever” this task doesn’t seem daunting.
The new comedy “Trial and Error” brings the gritty true crime stylings of “NCIS” and “Cold Case” into a wacky mockumentary. It takes more than just a few funny lines to make a serious topic like murder laughable. It also takes a talented group of individuals to commit to the comedy material. The casting of a menagerie of off the wall comic geniuses does a lot to even the most ordinary dialog.
The story begins with Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto), a bright young upstart from a New York City travels to East Covington, North Carolina to represent a roller skating peculiar professor accused of murdering his wife. The circumstances surrounding Margret Henderson’s death were strange, to say the least and how each member of his unqualified legal team is able to gather a single shred of admissible evidence is hilarious. Starting with the client himself, Lithgow plays the constantly befuddled Larry Henderson who always ends up saying the wrong thing and back peddling his comments that end up getting him into more trouble; a lawyer’s worst nightmare. Dwayne Reed, a redneck, local law enforcement reject adds fuel to the fire as his wildly active imagination and his small town country charm gets Josh into some of the strangest places in town. The last of the team is the most minor of characters in the show but things like “face-blindness” and other quirky character traits seal the deal in the show.
There are also other obstacles in the way besides his own team. An overzealous, sex-starved career driven prosecutor to seeks Josh’s defeat and Larry Henderson’s conviction as a new career move to make her the new District Attorney of East Covington. Also, the big tobacco big wig just happens to be the town’s underwriter and the brother of the now deceased Margret Henderson.
Josh’s optimism never relents regardless of how his put together team of legal outcasts bumble and the fact that his prestigious law office is a back-alley arrangement in a taxidermy shop. This is Josh’s first case away from the law firm and his first murder trial. Nothing is going to dissuade him from success on the path to becoming a legal partner. Even if his client continues to say and do things that sway people’s opinion on his innocence.
The pacing of the show is quick with witty one-liners that if you don’t pay attention you can miss a moment. The rapid fire between the cast keeps things in motion with each crazy new reveal in the case. Check out the show’s teaser trailer below and let us know what you think!