Reasonable Doubt (2022)
From executive producer and director Kerry Washington comes Reasonable Doubt, a sexy, smart, one-hour legal drama revolving around the life and work of Jax Stewart. Who is Jax Stewart, you ask? Well, for starters she’s a gorgeous black woman, fierce, intelligent, dedicated, fashionable, and successful, but also emotional, headstrong, passionate, and secretive. She’s a wife, mother, friend, daughter, and lawyer – not necessarily in that order. Jax is also a beautiful black woman who embraces her sexuality. As she declares to her husband from whom she has separated, “I didn’t get married to sleep alone.”
When we first meet Jax (played by the talented Emayatzy Corinealdi) she is a rising star in a large Los Angeles law firm dominated by white men. Reluctantly drawn into a high-profile criminal case, this former public defender must now represent the wealthy black liquor mogul Brayden Miller (played by Sean Patrick Thomas) who stands accused of murdering a black female employee with whom he had been having an affair. Is he innocent? Jax can’t be sure, but there are plenty of other suspects – from Brayden’s morally challenged white wife, Sarah Miller (played by Brooke Lyons) to his back-stabbing white business partner Theo James (played by Paul Fox).
But Jax has more on her plate than shady defendants. Her marriage to McKinley Freeman’s Lewis Stewart, a computer game designer, is falling apart – so much so that the two have separated and Lewis has moved out. As the episodes progress, we see Jax and Lewis struggling with their marital limbo. But their mind games and double talk only make things worse. Under the guise of protecting his family, Lewis uses his technological know-how to place surveillance cameras in the family home and hires a security guard. But Jax, having none of what she interprets as controlling behaviour, proceeds to have sex with the security guard “on camera” for Lewis’ benefit. As if this was not enough drama, one of Jax’s first clients from her public defender days comes back into her life after being released from prison. To say there’s chemistry between Jax and Damon Cooke (played by Michael Ealy) is an understatement. But as grown folks know, too much heat can burn down the kitchen and lead to poor decisions! Whether about her work life or home life, for such a smart woman, Jax seems to be making a lot of those lately. Damon clearly wants more than Jax seems willing to give and Lewis wants his wife back, or some version of her that might not exist.
Moreover, Jax has an enemy who is willing to kidnap, bind, gag, and threaten to kill her. And although the crime is revealed early in the show, the culprit and the outcome remain under wraps until the season finale. Will Jax’s career and marriage survive all this turmoil? Hell, will she? Tune in and find out!