March 31, 2017 by phicks2012
Yes, I know that when I talk about TV Shows my tendency is to pan the ones I hate – probably because I find so few I like — but I recently tuned in to Trial & Error on NBC, an absolutely hysterical 10-episode mockumentary chronicling the investigation and murder case of Larry Henderson, a poetry professor accused of murdering his wife in the fictional town of East Peck, South Carolina.
The cast includes:
Nick D’Agosto as Josh Segal (first time defense attorney from New York City prepping the case for his boss)
Jayma Mays as Carol Anne Keane (ambitious & sarcastic local assistant D.A who unabashedly states that she needs Larry to burn to further her career)
Steven Boyer as Dwayne Reed (local yokel, failed cop and Investigator for the defense — he also has bathroom issues)
Krysta Rodriguez as Summer Henderson (Larry’s daughter)
Sherri Shepherd as Anne Flatch (researcher & receptionist for the defense — and for the taxidermy shop – afflicted with just about every odd syndrome in the book)
John Lithgow as Larry Henderson (the defendent – what else needs to be said? He’s John Lithgow!)
plus some other wonderful extras like Patty Belcher (as Judge Horsedich)
Julie Hagerty (as the third most popular local pet psychic)
Bob Gunton as Jeremiah Jefferson Davis (the victim’s brother) who hired Josh’s boss on the basis of his “Northeastern” heritage, and who, as a tobacco company magnate, is proud to have contribted heavy to the local cemetary).
The characters are so quirky that this really ought to be too over-the-top to be funny, but somehow it isn’t. The characters are played straight — thank GOD with no laugh track — often addressing the camera as though being interviewed, and the plot twists just keep right on coming. Rotten tomatoes gave it an 87% approval rating right off the bat, but I’d have rated it higher!
My understanding is that no one (including the rest of the cast) knows whether or not “Larry” is going to turn out to be innocent or guilty, and at the rate he keeps self-incriminating it’s sort of hard to imagine him getting off. The defense is mostly incompetant (and bizarre), the prosecution is pretty much unprincipled (if highly entertaining), and the jury pool is totally poluted.
I’m LOVING this, and can’t wait to see how it turns out, but in the meanwhile I’m laughing more than I have in YEARS at a TV comedy.
Trial & Error! I highly recommend it! Tuesdays at 9pm EST on NBC. Start from the beginning if you can!!