Comic turns in the courtroom
In the deceptively bucolic South Carolina town of East Peck, eccentric poetry professor Larry Henderson (John Lithgow, fresh off his Golden Globe win as Winston Churchill in The Crown) has been accused of murdering his wife by throwing her through a plate-glass window.
Brought in to prepare his defence is young New York attorney Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto, Heroes). He’s given an office in the back of a taxidermy shop — “just past the albino muskrat” — and a support team that includes sickly receptionist Anne Flatch (Sherri Shepherd, a long-time co-host of The View) and not-toobright local Dwayne Reed (Steven Boyer).
This all sounds rather serious but in fact Trial & Error is a comedy, and an outspokenly funny one at that. A mockumentary spoof of reality television with a touch of the fish-out-of-water dynamic that made Northern Exposure such an enduringly popular show in the early 1990s, the Trial & Error 13-episode run was created and is executive produced by the veteran team of Jeff Astrof (the great It’s Like, You Know) and Matt Miller (the equally great Chuck).
They’ve infused the proceedings with the same energetic spirit, at once anarchic and unerringly deadpan: when outspoken and unfortunately named trial judge Horsedich (Patricia Belcher) hears something she doesn’t like she tells Josh, “I’m impartial, but, damn, man”, while prosecutor Carol Anne Keane (Jayma Mays, Glee) can’t decide between pressing for a conviction and bedding her legal opponent. There are two chapters an episode of this fastpaced farce, and if the first pair are any indication, this will be the funniest credit on Lithgow’s CV since 3rd Rock from the Sun cemented his status as a comedy mainstay. Sunday, 10pm, Seven
John Lithgow plays a poetry professor accused of killing his wife in