TV review: 'Presumed Innocent' is guilty of being wildly different from the movie

Neal Justin, Star Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

You may be tempted to skip the new version of "Presumed Innocent," now streaming on Apple TV+, especially if you read Scott Turow's 1987 novel or saw the 1990 movie starring Harrison Ford. Why watch a mystery thriller if you already know whodunit?

But this limited series — for better or worse — veers sharply from those past accounts. I haven't seen the last of the eight episodes, so I don't know how it all ends. But I wouldn't be surprised if screenwriter David E. Kelley has cooked up an entirely different murderer. There's a good chance you won't stick around to see the conclusion; it all depends on how many times you can put up with your eyes rolling into the back of your head.

The basic premise is the same: Chicago prosecutor Rusty Sabich (Jake Gyllenhaal) is accused of killing his mistress, who also worked in the district attorney's office. But this time his boss ends up representing him and we spend a lot more time with his wife (Ruth Negga) who forces them into counseling and considers an affair of her own. There's also one of those outrageous trials that only Kelley ("The Practice") can cook up.

But the most glaring difference is Sabich's personality. Gyllenhaal plays him as an arrogant jerk, someone who belongs in jail regardless of whether he's the killer. Those who loved the original story will call for a mistrial.

Also this week

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Donald Duck gets his first stand-alone starring role since 1961′s "The Litter Bug" in this three-minute short about the dangers of trying to accomplish something as simple as changing a light bulb. It's not his funniest adventure, but the animation from the recently retired Mark Henn, who worked on "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King," pops off the small screen. Disney+

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Jean Smart may get all the awards, but "Hacks" wouldn't be one of TV's best comedies without the contributions of Einbinder, who plays her beleaguered assistant. Einbinder is also a talented stand-up, which is evident in this one-hour special that was recorded in April in Los Angeles. Einbinder can be a bit melodramatic at times, speaking like Marlene Dietrich and collapsing backstage after her act, but there's lot of clever material here about her days of being a competitive cheerleader and having a crush on Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Thursday, Max

'The Plot Thickens'

TCM co-produces this series about Hollywood, but you can't see it on screen. It's a podcast hosted by Ben Mankiewicz. The latest season goes deep on John Ford, which is a bit of a problem since the director was a notorious liar. But Mankiewicz does his best to get to the truth. Skip Episode 4 in which the host goes on a wild-goose chase for lost footage from World War II. Apple Podcasts and tcm.com

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