Transitioning to Distraction

It’s more than just a Star Wipe now

Thinking about the new TV season I have noticed a disturbing trend- terrible scene transitions. This primarily seems to be an ABC problem and I suspect it’s because Scandal’s silly blipy transitions caused it. But 2 of ABC’s new series, Conviction and Notorious, have taken the nonsense to new levels.

Notorious, a story about the symbiotic relationship between a news magazine producer and a powerful lawyer (based loosely on a true concept), is a fun and sexy quasi-procedural . Piper Perabo’s Julia George and Daniel Sunjata’s Jake Gregorian have a fun interplay while she crafts the latest media narrative and he defends someone intensely. But, every time they go anywhere, we’re forced to endure this:

What in Google Street view hell is that? It happens every time anyone even approaches a car! And it’s just as dizzying every. Single. TIME! Besides the fact that it’s distracting as hell, it doesn’t really visually convey what they think it does. It looks like the camera zoomed right past the action and realized it at the last second before turning around to find it again.

Which is not a terrible metaphor for the show which spices up the overarching story of an internet mogul (Kevin Zegars) accused of murdering his wife with SVU-lite procedural stories told through the eyes of the lawyer involved and the TV producer who controls the minds of the nation. While the show is engaging enough, it seems odd that a show literally about crafting a narrative so often forgets about the narrative it purports to be crafting.

And then there’s Conviction which is where you can find Hayley Atwell now that Marvel’s Agent Carter has been sent off to pasture. The show is about New York’s Conviction Integrity Unit which seeks to look through old cases to confirm justice has been done.

Atwell plays a former First Daughter with a party-girl past. Her team, featuring Shawn Ashmore and Merrin Dungey and overseen by Eddie Cahill (seriously, this show was practically aimed at me), all have their own issues and pasts which intersect with the case of the week in interesting ways.

And, to depict the interconnectedness of all things, this happens between nearly every scene:

And, this is a short one. Honestly, they seems to use them to pad out the runtime of the episode.

But, see, it’s like they’re assembling the puzzle! Like, putting together the pieces of the oh my GOD we get it!

After Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell deserved to be in another great show. Conviction has potential but is doesn’t really do a lot to distinguish itself from SVU and shows of its ilk. Even the subplot of Atwell’s Hayes Morrison trying to repair her relationship with her Senate candidate mom & her relationship with ex/current DA (read boss) Cahill isn’t nearly as compelling as they seem to think it is.

If you can get past the ridiculously overpowering scene jumps, you can expect to find 2 pretty fun, if flawed, shows that will be lucky to survive until May let alone next season. If nothing else, Atwell is still on TV and everyone on Notorious is ridiculously hot. Besides, you need something to watch until Scandal comes back and send you into epileptic fits between shots.


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