Conviction

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Conviction TV Poster Image
Predictable procedural squanders a strong leading lady.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The team is tasked with weighing the merits of various convictions in hopes of overturning them; other major themes include the tension between seeking truth and justice and taking advantage of privilege and entitlement.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character has a shaky past (complete with a bust for drug possession), but her team is stocked with passionate and hard-working colleagues of various backgrounds.

Violence

Some cases deal with murder, involving weapons and visible blood.

Sex

Flirty banter and innuendo; palpable sexual tension.

Language

Audible words include "damn" and "hell," plus suggestive phrases such as "ménage à trois."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character was busted for cocaine possession with intent to distribute but avoided charges by agreeing to work for the D.A.'s office; some cases involve steroids and illegal drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Conviction is a crime drama that follows the newly formed Conviction Integrity Unit that's tasked with examining old convictions and helping to overturn them. Cases are varied and can involve murder, drug use, and other serious charges, so you might see blood, dead bodies, or drug paraphernalia. You'll also hear words such as "damn" and "hell," along with flirty banter and sexually charged talk. There's some sexual tension, too, though the show largely eschews racy visuals in favor of innuendo.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychris d. October 19, 2016

cms underappreciated this one

OK I have to say it may not be the best show ever but it is a damn good one and it's only getting better I love the lead female here she's more qualif... Continue reading
Adult Written byRenew Conviction S. February 1, 2017

One of the best shows!

Conviction has a fantastic cast that portray a very unique ensemble of characters. Plus, the show brings up many socially relevant issues. I definitely recomm... Continue reading

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What's the story?

When she's busted for cocaine possession, former First Daughter Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell), a Harvard-educated lawyer, reluctantly accepts an offer from the Manhattan D.A. (Eddie Cahill) to head his newly formed CONVICTION Integrity Unit, or CIU, a team tasked with reviewing old convictions -- and hopefully overturning them. She doesn't really want the job, but saying "yes" is the only thing that will keep Hayes' latest scandal from spoiling her mother's (Bess Armstrong) run for the U.S. Senate.

Is it any good?

After watching her wow audiences as über-intelligent undercover operative Agent Carter, it feels downright criminal to see Atwell wasted in this predictable procedural that lacks any real conviction. Most of the characters, including Atwell's own, feel disappointingly two-dimensional (in particular, the team of archetypal justice-seekers that comprise the CIU), and the cases they investigate aren't terribly compelling. The writing won't be winning any awards either, but at least Conviction's dialogue isn't as cringe-worthy as ABC's Notorious.

ABC explored the same topic before -- and did it far better -- with the short-lived but superior drama In Justice, which shadowed a group of dedicated attorneys and investigators (led by Kyle MacLachlan) who worked pro bono to exonerate the wrongfully convicted and make the guilty parties pay. We say it's too bad Atwell's not working with that team -- or better yet, that Agent Carter's not still on the case. This half-baked series can hardly compare.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Conviction's premise and what it suggests about the justice system. How common are wrongful convictions, why do they happen, and how can we prevent them? How realistic (or unrealistic) is Conviction's portrayal of how easy it is to overturn them?

  • How does Conviction compare with other TV procedurals? Is the show attempting anything different in terms of plot and character, or is it putting forth more of the same? More importantly, does it work?

  • How does Hayes measure up as a role model? Do her more admirable traits make up for her murky past?

TV details

For kids who love courtroom drama

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