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NYPI) Blue creator Steven Bochco is back with a new courtroom serial. Mun/er (Me. How does it measure up to the real-life American legal drama that‘s coming to our screens. asks Brian Donaldson. while (below) Eddie Gibb looks at a new documentary series about .‘-\lllCI‘lCilll society.
A rich public ﬁgure is charged with a brutal murder and immediately hires a celebrated del'cnce lawyer. .-\
Courtroom drama: Daniel Benzali presides over Steven Bochco‘s hot new serial Murder One
“lull” Chm” 9”“"9‘ Mt“ WC“ (lute 9‘9"“ l” WU” tlm‘t’is'l‘ (.“l’” ill- hit" l‘limkt‘l st’H‘l'iti—T "l lllk‘ ' should the audience lap up imaginary legal drama l’lilFC‘l “l” til" it” ill’tllt‘llk‘t’ litt‘lhl”? With it m“ “l Shun-w" ll'lill- “illt‘ltl'lfs' CWI'} “WW “l lllk‘ when it cart consume. at a sale ilis’laticcft'erll people (lief—“N "Wt f—‘lCC‘ ililh‘ NW itis’iilh‘l i'l’l‘t‘ill‘s solid lil‘oiii combatants and. tiltiitiiitk‘lN iis‘llhf-f i1\‘€1\t“"'”i~'ille llh'}l in real dilliculties‘.’ ltoclico may lccl he has yet again the outset yet is steadily chipped away by dcl'encc just what is 0.] writing down" Do I beliexe tlrc tapped into something new. though the initial i skill and prosecution incompetence. lt‘s American bloody- stick theory"? l‘ni not sure I like .\iarcia's new audio-noo- j-mcmm m hum-jg, “a; jukmcm-m “ml ll.“ ﬁlming l“ lil'lll‘l‘ *lllilll’hcwcnh “0””. liilli'tlo Admittedly. being scheduled iii a head to-licad with
NW ll“ hi“ it “Cl'ilillhiltiiiii 0i the ()1 “till hllt 1! "CW At its tail-end last September. :\lt(' launched .\'lt(”s hugely successl'ul hospital dranra lz'./\’. could drama lroni hot .Nlltc‘l‘lc‘tllt series creator Steven .l/ttl‘r/ei' (Me and the public were gi\cn an not ha\ e helped. ltochco knew the risks. stating: Bochco. .llrmler (Me is the latest in a faultless line ol opportunity to decide which was closer to surrealism "they're going to kick our ass. Who‘s kitldiiighliol" tltlillll.“ L's liltli—‘l'il‘ll'l‘L‘S “W” “19 BOChCU Still‘lc- Ple and theatre. Many would haxe Plurnbed l‘or‘ (hurl (‘uiirr '/'l"\ sirccess. meanwhile. may eyentualb your own layouritc from this trio: Hill Street Blues. ‘l‘t'. play a pair in j[\ own downtall The saturation ' l.xl IAIN. .\')’l’l) Blue. The boundaries between tact and ﬁction haye coyct‘age ol' the ( )J Simpson case had Ielt a bad taste
With “Wt/V" UW- “Wm” hi!“ ltCi-‘CVCI'Ul Willi the slowly but surely become ex'er more blurry. ('nnrl '/‘\' in the public‘s mouth long belore the trial was over. 5"le “l. m'Cl'ltll’l’l“? Plullincs “"htk‘h lili‘ SCI'VCtl him had an el'l‘ect on the lictiorral drama in two ways. In 'l‘lre accepted \ iew is that the trial would have met a so well. The series has stunning production \‘illUCS. the couttrootn scenes :1 li\cd camera probes deep into speedier conclusion away lion] the media \poilighr each episode tags on two sub-plots to keep the main an indiyidual. whether it be a lawyer pinning dow n a The reasoning behind courtroom cameras as a way story ticking met and contains some seriously smart witness or someone taking the stand to tend oll an ol' spreading inlorrrration about the justice system ' dialogue. .\lost of this is uttered by the imposing attack. While the moments on the \lL‘jis‘ outside court was thoroughly undermined. lirstice was sharnbolic ligure ot Daniel ltenxali as the slap-head chiel became an unot‘l‘icial press conl‘er'cnce. 'l'i'y watching and seen to be slrarnbolic. \Vitlr cameras haying ‘lClC'lCC WWW}. 'lt‘tl lttlll‘lltilh- Willi it \“lCC l” (“1'0 . 'l‘ed llol'lman lacing the media scrum without already been allowed into Scottish courts once: the need (it a l~'islier'tii;rir‘s liricnd he charms and taunts I recalling ()J‘s dream team leadcr .lolinnic (‘ochrane ()J circus seems likely to ensure the experiment isn't clients and colleagues in equal measure. delivering his daily drip-teed to the assembled media. repeated in a hurry '
Where Bochco hit the mark with .t/urr/er One was t So who will end tip the loser .' .-\t lirst sight the Mun/er ()iie .\‘/(tI'/.\' the week lire/lining Sat 3 .llui: in the \\ :1} he captured a particular mood. Americans. liction would appear to be on dodgy looting. Why ('nnr/ '/‘l'i\' (/ue In star! on Sui 0.1M):
bunk beds. The reason is simple - to expand the capacity hi the Prison
drugs, or at least the judicial response System-
"ﬁ to the Number One issue in domestic In his dry, understated way, Wheeler
. "V. . . , . politics. Wheeler travels to Georgia, @595 “the mom than 3" eVeth at th A j u r one of several states in the Union with thIS statement, but the Ptogtamme
a ‘mandatory minimum’ life sentence adds UP to a deVaStatihg critique 0t 3
for conspiring to traffic drugs. judicial system which appears to have
‘Conspiracy’ could amount to refusing caved in totally under the political Vete'ah ieumaliSt Chattes Wheelet is to give evidence against a dealer. pressure to be tough on drugs. A most Otteli seen Standing outstde the Wheeler discovers one man serving a fifteen-year-old kid picked up for White House. muttted against the Chi“ life sentence - and that means Iife- dealing a small amount of crack faced Wind thWthg "P the Potomac filler. for refusing to testify against his son a mandatory six years in prison if detiVetthg ah thSighttut ahalVStS 0t who was caught growing cannabis convicted, with judges stripped of the Ameticah tetetgh policy. I" a new plants. There are over a million power to give a discretionary
convicts in federal penal institutions sentence. The American right, it alone, never mind state penitentiaries seems, will not rest until all the
series Wheeler On America, however, the BBC’s Washington correspondent
has headed 0" into middle America to Charles Wham“ mewstating unique» or police jails. Over half the prison nation’s have-nots are behind bars. revisit 30 years at "-8- reporting- population is black and many of those Who will they pick on after that?
In ‘hiugs Add PﬂﬂiShment’. the fourth are filling up to the point where relate to drug offences. But still the (Eddie Gibb) instalment of this absorbing series, recreation rooms have to be turned Georgia state attorney argues that the Wheeler an America is on Sundays at
Wheeler looks at why America’s jails into dormitories with row upon row of only way to combat rising drug use is 9.05pm on 8802.
The List 23 Feb-7 Mar l996 83