The Whole Truth [ABC, Wednesdays, 10/9C] is the series that gives us both sides of a criminal investigation. We see the arrest and then each ep bounces back and forth between the points of view of the prosecutor, Kathryn Peale [Maura Tierney] and defence attorney Jimmy Brogan [Rob Morrow], and their respective teams. It’s a great concept, but unfortunately, only one side really stands out.
In the series premiere, the perp walk is taken by a family man and high school teacher who is accused of raping and murdering one of his students. The witnesses range from a stoner to the man’s daughter. Evidence includes his DNA on her breasts [bit nowhere else] and a depiction of the Chinese character for friend – a gift to him from her.
Peale, as played by Tierney, is a pit bull that has been given the attack command. She’s focused, fiery and determined. Morrow’s Brogan is equally as fiery, but comes off as more than a little sleazy. Both have teams that cover a number of demographics – something that plays into Brogan’s choice for second chair for the trial.
Outside of the back and forth, getting to see both sides of the investigation, nothing here is really groundbreaking. It’s like taking a show about a defence attorney and one about a tough prosecutor and splicing them together. Neither lawyer’s team is particularly memorable, so it comes down to the concept and the lead characters. The writing is about par for the genre – regardless of which side of the court you’re on.
Since the concept is the mashup of two types of lawyer show, it finally comes down to the leads. Tierney’s Peale is a more intriguing character; Morrow’s Brogan is a higher-class take on an ambulance chaser. In the end, Tierney is really the only reason to watch The Whole Truth.
Final Grade: C-