The Good:

  • Well written, well directed, with real-sounding (if mannered) dialog, just as you would expect from a series run by HOMICIDE and OZ’s Tom Fontana)
  • Strongly evokes the time and place
  • Earnest and filled with a concern for justice, social as well as legal

The Not-So-Good:

  • I don’t believe the existence of the ex-slave/forensic genius character for a minute for all sorts of historical/socio/criminological reasons
  • Seems to betray its concern for justice with its overwrought yet titillating portrayal of evil
  • Wears its earnestness as though nothing else should matter (which means don’t look for any laughs here, folks, even though real people do often demonstrate sense of humor

The Worst:

  • My wife, who is well-versed in matters related to child abuse, refused to watch after a certain scene on the subject
  • Much as I respect the attempt and those making it (HOMICIDE was in my opinion one of the Top 5 cop shows ever), this show makes me feel the same way OZ did: No way do I want to spend one second of the time alotted for my life in this unrelievedly dark, ugly universe