Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Con­fir­ma­tion Sun­day, 8.30pm, Show­case (115) On the heels of the crit­i­cal suc­cess of The Peo­ple v OJ Simp­son comes Con­fir­ma­tion, which is a keen drama­ti­sa­tion of the con­tentious 1991 Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion hear­ing for con­ser­va­tive can­di­date Clarence Thomas (played by Wen­dell Pierce, best known as Bunk Moreland on The Wire). The hear­ings were derailed late in the pro­ceed­ings by al­le­ga­tions from law pro­fes­sor Anita Hill (Kerry Wash­ing­ton) that Thomas had sex­u­ally ha­rassed her while she worked un­der him at the US Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and the Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion. As in real life, the du­elling per­son­al­i­ties are ci­phers: Hill was a strait­laced ca­reer woman re­luc­tant to tes­tify but all-in when she fi­nally did, and Thomas is a rigid, con­trolled man who on the sur­face seems un­likely to have done the things Hill claims, in­clud­ing lay­ing a pu­bic hair atop a can of soft drink (re­ally). The meat of the drama is the pub­lic hu­mil­i­a­tion of Hill, whose al­le­ga­tions are dis­cred­ited by the nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee headed by now-Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den (Greg Kin­n­ear). Then-pres­i­dent Ge­orge HW Bush wanted Thomas for the bench, and the com­mit­tee’s job was to make that hap­pen at any cost. As a har­bin­ger of the new dra­matic wave of true crime dra­mas set to air in the next year or so, this is a fas­ci­nat­ing start to a du­bi­ous genre.

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