NBC is on a roll this year. A couple of months back, The Good Place rocked my world with its absolutely perfect debut season. And Trial & Error? Well this unique little comedy is just as brilliant. I can’t recommend it enough.
A spoof crime documentary that details the trial of a poetry professor in a small town in South Carolina, Trial & Error is ridiculously hilarious right off the bat. In fact, I found myself laughing out loud throughout the entirety of its 13-episode debut season. The characters are extremely well defined, the humor never falls flat, and there’s always a visual touch (or well-executed cliffhanger) to spice things up and keep you on your toes.
And really the cast is spectacular. From Sherri Shepherd’s crazy assistant and her multitude of bizarre disorders, to Nicholas D’Agosto’s neurotic lead, every single member of this colorful crew is hysterical in their own way. But it’s John Lithgow who steals the show as the accused murderer Larry Henderson. Lithgow’s performance is as nuanced as it was on The Crown (but in a completely different way of course); you can never really tell if he’s guilty of the crime in question or not, and the show keeps you guessing until the very end. Isn’t that such an amazing accomplishment for a sitcom no less? I’ve seen dramas that could barely muster the suspense and emotional engagement that Trial managed to infuse within a matter of minutes. Wow!
Much like Big Little Lies (one of the finest dramas I’ve seen this year), I don’t even know if I want a season two. This is a highly-serialized story with a complete and satisfying resolution. Why mess with perfection?
Enormously clever and always endearing, Trial & Error is a perfect gem in every way. Every comedy should be this well made.