Defending Jacob – an exquisite crime drama everyone will enjoy
Over the past few years, we have witnessed many adaptions and excellent shows filmed by big corporations such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Apple TV. Thanks to gigantic investments in the film and TV production industry, we now have an opportunity to watch a wide variety of shows. The sector has become so competitive that there is very little point in comparing productions to each other. Rather, we should evaluate and discuss them individually. We have come to the point where every TV product and a movie is remarkably personal.
The year 2020 was extremely important for the industry. This year, we saw releases of a number of great productions along with the new seasons of already loved and highly acclaimed shows. Yet, there has not been too much in the crime category. In general, this niche of the industry seems to be lagging behind significantly, compared to when it was thriving just a couple of decades ago.
When crime truly shines
With the crime category, we do not only mean investigative productions but also action dramas. Does anyone recall the Ocean’s Eleven? Bank robberies and casino thefts? The world might have changed as a whole instead of the sector or the general public. Canadian research has found that the number of luxury gambling venues and their visitors in iconic cities like Montreal and Vancouver are plummeting. This is a result of the fast-growing online gambling sector that is gradually replacing the traditional gambling industry as we knew it before. Therefore, it is obvious that Canadian online roulette games can not provide the environment and the material enough for an entire movie. Therefore, luxury roulette casinos and movies based on them are slowly fading away.
Yet, this trend does not only concern the action crime movies. Rather, it has also affected the investigative dramas that the world used to love not too long ago. Sherlock Holmes and his iconic apartment are not as interesting to the average viewer anymore. However, the year 2020 brought a great surprise to us. The Apple TV+ bought an all-star team for the TV adaption of the 2012 novel by William Landay – Defending Jacob.
Chris Evans has not changed a lot for this brilliant show. The only significant difference is his heavy-beard that only adds some years to the 39-year-old actor. He plays Andy Barber, a district attorney and a passionate family man, a father and a husband. His presence is crucial in the show and in the life of the Barber family. Andy is married to Laurie Barber (Michelle Dockery) who works for childcare services. They have a child together, a teenager that seems just normal at a glance. Jaeden Martell plays Jacob or Jake Barber in the show.
The family lives in a Massachusetts family home with Andy being the district attorney, providing for the family and being a respectable member of the local community. Everyone knows and likes him within the community. Laurie is successful at work as well while being a good housewife. Their son Jacob goes to the local high school but does not seem to have too many friends. As may teenagers these days, he enjoys playing video games and surfing through the web. His parents are often curious about what his social life is like but never interfere too much. From the very beginning of the show, it is evident that the family enjoys good, stable and calm dynamics whilst being successful and well-respected among their community.
When the drama truly kicks in
However, the stability and peace changes with the complete horror and chaos as Jacob gets arrest for the alleged murder of his schoolmate. The body of a young boy was found in the park, dumped into the small alley near the high school. Soon after the discovery of the body, the police find that it is covered with Jacob’s fingerprints. Andy, who was the leading attorney in the case is removed amidst the allegation of Jacob.
Soon after the accusations against Jacob, Andy is temporarily fired from his position as the general attorney. From this point onward, the entire saga of defending Jacob will all the potential resources begins. The family, including both Andy and Laurie, do everything they can to support their son and prove his innocence. Not even for a brief moment they suspected anything weird or blamed Jacob for what had happened to the boy from his school.
The main mystery begins as further evidence against Jacob is discovered not only by the police but also by Andy himself. He finds a knife covered in blood that was found near the dead body. To hide it from the investigation, he gets disposed of the evidence. Neither Laurie nor the investigation finds out about the knife and its existence. However, Laurie soon suspects that Jacob might not be as innocent as everyone thought.
Another breaking point in the plot is when Andy’s family finds out about his father and his past. Prior to the investigation, everyone thought that he lived far from Andy and did not care about him too much. However, as the investigation leads towards the discovery of Jacob’s grandfather, Andy decides to tell his family the truth himself. His father is serving his life sentence for raping and brutally murdering a young woman. Shocked by the news, Laurie becomes even more confused and starts blaming Andy for what has happened.
The entire show is full of plot twists and mysterious stories from the past of main characters’ lives. Yet, the biggest mystery is Jacob himself. Every viewer will notice the cold blue eyes of the main character in the show. His speech is often irrelevant and insignificant, not addressing the issue of what had happened. He tries to keep living his normal life but soon realizes that it is no longer possible.
The finale of the show will not be loved by many. There are still too many questions left without answers and the story just seems unfinished. However, I can assure you that every second of Defending Jacob is worth watching and evaluating. Each and every episode leaves a new question at the end, making us furious for the answers. Some might say the show is nothing special. For instance, The Guardian rated it with 3 stars. Yet, there is no way of telling but watching the show by yourself. Will Andy manage to defend Jacob? That is a less important part of the show. The biggest asset of this production is the character development and exquisite filming that makes it so unique and pleasant to watch.