Friday, June 05, 2009

Must Watch Friday - Murder One

Biddy has spent a long time deliberating over her choice of topic this week. She even sacrificed herself by watching some of the possible candidates just to check she had the right one. And from this she narrowed it down to the 1995 TV drama Murder One.

Murder What? I can hear you all saying...

Well let me take you back...

The year is 1996 (well 1995 in the US) and a new series starts. In its first season, the series starred Daniel Benzali as defense attorney Theodore (Ted) Hoffman as a criminal litigator and the head of his own firm, Hoffman and Associates. Backed by a cadre of young associates, Hoffman was a masterful, though gruff, criminal lawyer who zealously represented his clients in high profile cases. Patricia Clarkson played his long-suffering wife, Annie. Always waiting in the wings to play the villain was Stanley Tucci, who played the part of Richard Cross.

Somewhat unusual for a lawyer related television drama, the first season of the series revolved around a single high profile criminal case, with each episode following the latest drama in that particular trial. For the duration of season one, Hoffman defended Neil Avedon, a young Hollywood star accused of the murder of a fifteen year old girl. Hoffman's lawyers also handled smaller cases which were usually wrapped up in an episode or two. While there were many plot twists and misdirections, fundamentally the entire season consisted of one defense case for Hoffman & Associates. I loved this premise. I loved that every week I was glued to the TV waiting to find out the next twist and turn. It had fame, drugs, sex and a great cast of characters.
What was also compelling were the characters in the law firm. Ted Hoffman, the boss and how his work causes problems at home. The young lawyers all jockeying for position, their relationships with each other and the mistakes they make. It made 1996 a memorable television year (along with Pride and Prejudice). And then about two years ago I noticed it was out on DVD!! Woooo Hoooo!! Was it really as good as I remembered it?
Oh yes! I spent all that weekend watching it back to back. And you know something the only thing that felt dated about it was the mobile(cell) phones. Oh and Jason Gedrick looks fabulous.They did do a second season but they changed the format and didn't have the one story line for the whole season and I think this made it weaker.
Run, don't walk to your rental place, or fire up Amazon or Netflix or however you get your video content and download THIS NOW! What 1990s TV show do you love?

Biddy is trying to resist the urge to watch Murder One season one again! She is in the middle of her first draft of the next book and has till the end of July to get it done.


  1. My favorite show from the 90's in Northern Exposure. Twin Peaks miniseries is a close second.

  2. Ooo Mari, Northern Exposure!! I'd forgotten that one. I used to have to borrow someone's TV at University so I could watch it... And now of course Rob Morrow is in Numb3rs.