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Soapy ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Centers One Very Flawed Lawyer: TV Review

Daniel D'Addario Chief TV Critic “Reasonable Doubt” has a healthy amount of “Scandal” in its DNA. The series was created by former “Scandal” writer and producer Raamla Mohamed; Kerry Washington directs the first episode. And the swirling intrigue around a self-styled do-gooder protagonist — who’s unconventional in her methods, and irresistibly drawn to drama — will recall Olivia Pope, the character Washington played on the ABC drama. Back then, Olivia unwound with a glass of red wine; as if to flex the looser, loucher possibilities of streaming, Emayatzy Corinealdi’s Jax Stewart ends her day with a cigarette. That seems an apt distillation of a series that’s charged with a nervy energy; “Reasonable Doubt” places Corinealdi’s very flawed protagonist at its center and watches as she generates smoke, and steam. Jax is a former public defender who now works in high-profile criminal defense in Los Angeles; her attention is divided between her caseload and her attraction to a man she once defended, incarcerated for many, years but still a vivid part of her life.

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Anne Heche Remembered: A Sad End to a Beautifully Human Hollywood Story (Column)
Daniel D'Addario Chief TV CriticThe news that Anne Heche has been declared legally dead from the injuries she sustained in an Aug. 5 car crash comes as a particularly baleful end to her story. There’s not merely the obvious element of human tragedy for Heche and her family, as well as, it ought to be said, the woman whose house Heche destroyed with her car. But Heche’s final days playing out in a spectacle of tabloid interest and ambiguity around her state of mind comes as an eerie echo of various moments throughout her life in public. Heche was a star dimmed and diminished by the aura of scandal that she couldn’t shake — and one who, despite that, tried unrelentingly to bring the audience into her world.Heche was, first, a gifted performer; she went from being an Emmy-winning soap star to film stardom in the late 1990s and seemed, with lead roles in “Volcano” and “Six Days, Seven Nights” to be locked and loaded for A-list fame, a blonde counterpart to Julianne Moore with a bit more jitter underlying her calm. (A favorite performance of mine of hers at the time is as a White House aide in “Wag the Dog,” amoral but poised, and sparking with ideas that might salvage a doomed presidency.) And though she would go on to other accomplishments on film, TV, and stage, Heche’s story necessarily must include mention of what halted her ascendant career: In 1997, the year of “Volcano” and “Wag the Dog,” Heche began publicly dating Ellen DeGeneres.