For Life: Pilot
February 11, 2020 8:44 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

I thought this was terrific.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:59 PM on February 11

Thankfully this is on On Demand here, so I was able to finally see it. I was aware of the story before this, but it was structured way better than I was imagining it could be. Go screenwriters!

It was also scheduled for regular broadcast tonight, which NBC also did with Zoey's Playlist, replaying the first episodes (they don't feel like pilots) for a few weeks, but it looks like the next episodes are going to be on regular rotation over the next couple weeks.

And how 'bout this fuckin' guy? He always makes a great villain. IMDB doesn't list Peter Green though, and it didn't feel like a one-time cameo.
posted by rhizome at 1:42 AM on February 17

but it was structured way better than I was imagining it could be.

I wasn't sure where they were going with introducing the forged suicide note into evidence - like, was it "if the corrupt cops & prosecutors are going to use falsified evidence and perjury to convict innocent people, we can too to overturn those convictions"? And I don't know, that felt like a very 'only-on-tv-law-show' kind of thing. So I liked that the letter itself wasn't the evidence, that getting it introduced just gave Aaron the opening to shock the witness into telling the truth about how her parents had destroyed the original note and pressured her into lying in the original trial. It was more cathartic that he went free because the truth was exposed in court than if it had been from forgery alone.

I'm also thinking that the prison-lawyer setting will mean they don't have to do the TV-law thing of having the whole 'arrest/arraignment/trial/sentencing' happen at lightning speed instead of dragging out for years the way it would in reality, since the clients will already be in prison, so the cases will appeals/retrials/etc. and/or him taking over a case that some other defense lawyer is bungling.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:35 AM on February 17

Yeah I too wasn't sure about the way the note was played, but when his questions were obviously circumscribing the note's authenticity it came clear. I wonder how much is

I do hope they make it arc-y for characters other than him. There is necessarily going to be the battle between him and the DA office that will have to progress, so hopefully the other characters aren't just LEGOs that are snapped in and out of that main storyline, like a grimdark reboot of My Name Is Earl (which is probably more applicable to God Friended Me, but still).
posted by rhizome at 3:05 PM on February 17

Oh wow, this is really good, but I'm not sure I can get behind using falsehoods, even for the sake of justice/ goodness/ fairness.

Definitely giving it the 3 ep treatment.
posted by porpoise at 9:05 PM on March 2

I'm all in for this show. I kinda wish it had been launched as a Fall 2019 show instead of with the mid-season shows so it would have gotten more promotion, but maybe it would have gotten lost in the shuffle.

My main worry for the show is that odds aren't great for getting closure -- ideally the show would end with Aaron a free man, but for that to happen the writers will need to know before the end of a season whether they're writing a series finale or season finale. They certainly wouldn't know for this season, so if they don't get picked up for S2 this is probably going to be a bummer, though knowing that the real 'Aaron', Isaac Wright, Jr., was vindicated will make it less of a frustration that other unresolved endings. Also though, this isn't the kind of show where the writers would have to keep postponing the end-goal to keep the show going--I could see this show working great for additional seasons with Aaron freed and re-adjusting to life, and continuing to fight for justice, so I hope that if they get renewed and find themselves on the bubble they won't hold back in hopes of another season.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:57 AM on March 3

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