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‘Presumed Innocent’ Review – Your Next TV Obsession


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This review was made possible by early screeners of the first seven episodes of Presumed InnocentPresumed Innocent premiers on Apple TV+ on June 12th with new episodes releasing every Wednesday.

Are you on the lookout for the next big show to hit television? Look no further than Presumed Innocent, the latest limited series from Apple TV+. Based on the Kindle County Legal Thriller book series by Scott Turow, Presumed Innocent delivers mystery, intrigue, lust, murder, and a shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal, all wrapped up in a fictional serialized storytelling format that feels almost like true crime.

Photo via Apple TV+

The legal thriller stars Jake Gyllenhaal, who shines in his role as Chicago district attorney prosecutor Rusty Sabich. When one of Sabich’s work colleagues, Carolyn Polhemus (Renate Reinsve of The Worst Person in the World), is discovered murdered in a manner eerily similar to one of their past cases, things quickly escalate. It’s revealed that Rusty was having an affair with Carolyn, and he soon becomes the main person of interest in her murder. Gyllenhaal excels in portraying the very definition of an “everyman” despite the darkness his character hides beneath a perfectly crafted “family man” facade.

Rounding out the cast is Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Loving), who plays Rusty’s suspiciously forgiving and gracious wife, Barbara. O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale, Black Widow) and Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern, The Batman) portray new District Attorney Nico De Guardia and prosecutor Tommy Molto, respectively. The duo is determined to pin Carolyn’s murder on Rusty and win their case. Bill Camp (The Queen’s Gambit, Joker) plays Raymond Horgan, the previous district attorney, and Rusty’s mentor and shark of a legal defense.

Presumed Innocent
Photo via Apple TV+

The series is a suspenseful and gripping mystery that keeps its audience constantly questioning what they think they know about these characters. Everyone seems to have a secret and a dark side that isn’t apparent at first glance. The show heavily explores how even the most well-respected individuals have skeletons in their closets or dark urges they struggle to suppress. It’s a whodunit where every character has a motive. Duality is a significant theme in this story, showcasing the contrasts we all face between our outer and inner selves.

Fans of Scott Turow’s novel will appreciate how the series stays true to the book’s core themes and plot twists, while also taking creative liberties to enhance the visual storytelling. The atmospheric tension is palpable with dimly shadowy offices, and rain-soaked streets of Chicago creating a almost noir-like backdrop that heightens the sense of suspense and foreboding. The series captures the book’s intricate plot and complex characters, bringing them to life with vivid performances and fairly detailed production design.

Gyllenhaal and Negga exhibit a chemistry that fuels their brilliant performances. Their relationship is almost too honest yet somehow full of secrets. Negga brings an underlying tension to her layered persona that keeps the viewer constantly guessing, unable to fully figure her out. Gyllenhaal, in particular, showcases a wide range in this role, and his nuanced performance captures the actor’s skill superbly. Rusty and Barbara both harbor the seeds of deep-seated anger beneath their facades, which manifests in their character’s exhibiting random spurts of unhinged behavior as the series progresses.

Presumed Innocent
Photo via Apple TV+

The show is packed with twists, turns and red herrings. Just when you think you’ve figured something out, the writers throw a curveball. As Rusty digs deeper into the mystery of Carolyn’s murder, he inadvertently incriminates himself further, with each clue making him seem guiltier and guiltier.

Presumed Innocent is sure to be your next TV obsession, keeping you captivated from start to finish. With its compelling narrative and rich character development, the series is a masterful adaptation that will please both fans of the book and new viewers alike.

Rating: 8.9/10

Hey hey, I’m Max Taff! If you found my insights on this series compelling, join me for more discussions on Twitter @VigilanteVibes. Dive deeper into the world of nerd culture with my podcast, Vigilante Vibes: A Marvel Podcast. AND if you’re looking for a welcoming community to explore all things nerdy, join my non-toxic Facebook group, MediaVerse: Comics Unwrapped, boasting over 50k members. Let’s connect and delve into our favorite fandoms together!

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