Hayley Atwell returns to ABC on October 3rd when her new drama, Conviction, makes its debut. The British actress, best known for her role as Agent Peggy Carter in the Captain America films and the spin-off series, Agent Carter, ditches her natural accent to play an American this time around. And not just any America, but a former first daughter with a damaged personal life who is blackmailed into taking a job she doesn’t want.
Welcome to New York City’s CIU (Conviction Integrity Unit) where a team of lawyers investigate closed cases where wrongful convictions may have occurred. When Hayes Morrison (Atwell) gets forced on the team as their new boss, personalities clash and her expertise is challenged. But with a desire to prove everyone wrong and Holmesian instincts, she quickly finds herself becoming a great leader.
In addition to Atwell’s exceeding likability in a role that sounds annoying on paper, Conviction also has an incredible supporting cast. Merrin Dungey (Ursula on Once Upon a Time) as Maxine Bohen quickly became my second favorite character. Another Marvel veteran joins the team with X-Men‘s Shawn Ashmore as Sam Spencer. And Eddie Cahill (Rachel’s younger boyfriend Tag on Friends) adds some sexual tension for Atwell’s character as her boss and blackmailer.
What I love the most about Conviction is the contrast for Hayley Atwell between being a public figure and trying to prove herself as a capable person. Hayes Morrison is like a ticking bomb waiting to explode after a life of growing up in the public’s eye, which should lead to some very exciting moments. And Atwell is such an accomplished actress and gives such a brilliant performance that this show could easily coast on her charm alone.
While Conviction feels more at home on Thursdays with shows like Notorious and How to Get Away With Murder, I hope that its Monday time slot sets it up for success. With the ever popular Dancing with the Stars as a lead in, I hope it’s able to keep enough of an audience to give it the success it deserves. Of the new shows debuting on ABC this season, this is far and away my favorite.
With great characters, wonderful actors and an intriguing premise, Conviction deserves to be the breakout success this season on ABC. Because it deals with lawyers, cops and politicians, its has the potential to be incredibly poignant during this election season and uses recent media events within the pilot to prove its relevancy. I can’t say enough good things about Conviction, my new favorite show.
Also to answer the question you will have while watching, yes, that is Damon from Mean Girls.