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Recommended: Reasonable Doubt on Hulu

The new series, from Raamla Mohamed and Kerry Washington, tackles the intricacies of the law when it intersects with race, class, and gender.
  • Emayatzy Corinealdi and Angela Grovey in Reasonable Doubt. Photo by: Ser Baffo/Hulu
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    Reasonable Doubt | Hulu
    Hourlong Legal Drama | TV-MA

    What's Reasonable Doubt About?

    The legal drama follows the private and professional lives of Jax Stewart, a brilliant criminal defense attorney who must defend a millionaire accused of murdering a former employee and lover.

    Who's involved?

    • Emayatzy Corinealdi (Ballers, The Red Line) plays tough-as-nails lawyer Jax Stewart. Formerly a public defender, Jax moves to the private sector after losing a high-profile murder case. Jax struggles to balance the demands of being a name partner at a prestigious law firm with the roles of wife and mother.
    • McKinley Freeman (Queen Sugar, Hit the Floor) plays Lewis Stewart, Jax’s husband and father to their two children, Spenser and Naima. Lewis is frustrated with Jax’s preoccupation with work and feels their marriage has taken a backseat to her career. 
    • Pauletta Washington plays Mama Lu, Jax’s fiercely protective mother. Mama Lu is concerned about her daughter’s high-pressure job and how Jax’s marriage troubles are affecting the family. 
    • Michael Ealy plays Damon Cook, a former client of Jax’s who was wrongfully convicted. After serving 15 years in prison, Damon decides to take a plea for early probation, which complicates things for Jax, who had developed feelings for Damon while working on his case. 
    • Sean Patrick Harris (Save the Last Dance) plays Brayden Miller, a successful businessman with plans to sell a lucrative liquor company. When Kalisha Moore, a former employee, threatens to publicly accuse Brayden of sexual assault, she’s found brutally murdered. Brayden hires Jax to defend him in court.  
    • Brooke Lyons (The Affair) plays Sarah Miller, Brayden’s wife. When Brayden’s secret affair with Kalisha goes public, Sarah is persuaded by Jax to remain with her husband to convey a united front, but Sarah has her own secret agenda. 
    • Christopher Cassarino (New Amsterdam) plays Rich, Jax’s colleague at Binder Hurwitz Binder. Jax and Rich have a competitive work relationship, but Rich defers to Jax’s experience in criminal law when they are both assigned to Brayden’s case. 
    • Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere) serves as executive producer via her production company, Simpson Street. Washington made history in 2011 as the first Black actress to lead a network drama since 1974 with Scandal
    • Shawn Holley also serves as executive producer. The character of Jax is loosely based on her real-life work as an attorney who has advised such famous clients as Lindsay Lohan, Tupac Shakur, Justin Bieber, and the Jenner and Kardashian families. Holley was also a part of the “Dream Team” defense for the O.J. Simpson trial. 

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    With the constant onslaught of crime procedurals like the shows in the NCIS and Law & Order franchises, television has become a beacon for copaganda shows that focus on those in power. But what does justice look like on the other side, especially when you’re Black? Series creator Raamla Mohamed uses Reasonable Doubt to tackle the question of how the law intersects with race, class, and gender.

    To that end, Corinealdi’s Jax Stewart doesn’t suffer fools lightly – she takes protecting the rights of her clients very seriously, while giving the middle finger to the justice system. Early in her career as a public defender, she learned the hard way that justice isn't blind and impartial: it’s preferential to those with enough money and influence to bend justice to their will. 

    Jax finds herself defending Brayden Miller, who’s been accused of murdering his former employee and lover, while still reeling from news that a former client, Damon Cook, has been granted early release after confessing to a murder he claimed he didn’t commit. Damon is a sore spot for Jax, who's still carrying guilt from losing his case 15 years ago. 

    Jax’s personal life is equally stressful – her marriage to Lewis is on shaky ground due to the demands of her career, her eldest son Spenser is going through a rebellious teenage stage. and her mother is pressuring Jax to slow down to mend fences with Lewis. 

    Through Jax Stewart, Reasonable Doubt presents viewers with another complicated and morally messy protagonist in the vein of Annalise Keating and Olivia Pope. Corinealdi is in top form here, nailing both the tough exterior needed to navigate a world that is rarely welcoming to people like Jax, while also hiding the pain and anxiety of having to play a game that’s already rigged. When Jax says “I love criminals,” the statement isn’t about deviant behavior, but rather speaking to the history of how Black men have been profiled in this country, and the state-sanctioned violence and injustice that comes with it. 

    Reasonable Doubt offers no easy answers, as the men in Jax’s life don’t fit tidily into boxes of “guilty” and “innocent,” but rather asks the audience to look at our own internalized biases, who we deem worthy of justice, and those we don’t. 

    Pairs well with

    • For Life (Hulu): Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., the series follows Aaron Wallace, a former convict turned lawyer who litigates cases for other inmates while working to overturn his own sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. 
    • All Rise (Season 3 in currently on OWN; Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Hulu): Created by Greg Spottiswood, All Rise takes an inside look at the lives of judges, prosecutors, and public defenders in Los Angeles while working in a flawed justice system.

  • Reasonable Doubt
    Premieres September 27 on Hulu with 2 episodes. New episodes Tuesdays at 12:01 AM ET.
    Created by: Raamla Mohamed.
    Starring: Emayatzy Corinealdi, McKinley Freeman , Tim Jo, Angela Grovey, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Aderinsola Olabode, and Michael Ealy.
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    TOPICS: Reasonable Doubt, Hulu, Aderinsola Olabode, Angela Grovey, Emayatzy Corinealdi, McKinley Freeman , Michael Ealy, Raamla Mohamed, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Tim Jo