REVIEW: The Jury Room S1E2 continues to provoke thought and encourage discussion
After last week’s introduction to CBS Reality’s cleverly configured The Jury Room series, episode two put us straight back in the judging chair with another powerful and controversial case.
Episode two deals with the case of Barry Selby, a family man who was shot and covered with acid by gang members in his home at 2am, resulting in injuries that would lead to his death four days later. Four men were convicted of the murder, including alleged getaway driver Andrew Feather. Feather has always claimed no involvement with the crime and recently his family launched an appeal to get his name cleared.
The first thing that is clear on watching the second episode is that The Jury Room has done a wonderful job of selecting cases where the conviction leaves room for doubt. As the evidence for and against Feather is rolled out, what actually happened on that terrible night in 2013 becomes less and less clear. Was Feather really at the scene of the crime at the time it took place? Was the car crucial to the prosecution’s case even his? How involved was he really with the murderous gang?
These questions befuddle the show’s television jury just as much as it does us, and the show excels in choosing members of the public who ask the same questions we’re asking at home. Their discussions are easy to follow, because they’re not experts. There’s no use of unintelligible jargon – just a discussion of facts that have been delivered to people very separately to the crime.
That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement. The Jury Room is a race from the start to the finish, and a lot of time seems to be spent repeating information. Audiences enjoy feeling involved, but not so stupid we cannot recall a crime for the duration of an episode. The Jury Room would benefit in some pauses to allow the audience to absorb all the information that has been thrown at them. With just a small amount of tinkering, this show could be really excellent.
For fans who enjoy The Jury Room and would like to hear more about the proceedings, CBS has launched a companion podcast for the series – available to download and listen below: