Let me know if any of this sounds familiar: A prosecutor loses a high-profile murder case of a wealthy black celebrity accused of killing his girlfriend and close friend because the sleazy defense attorney with slicked-back hair “played the race card,” and now the reputation of the prosecutor will be forever stained because of a case she lost.
That’s the backdrop to ABC’s new legal drama, The Fix, co-created by Marcia Clark, who lost a high-profile murder case to a sleazy defense attorney with slicked back hair and will be forever known for it. But The Fix is Clark’s “do over.” Eight years after losing the high-profile murder case, the prosecutor at the center of the show, Maya Travis (Robin Tunney), comes out of seclusion to prosecute the same man, Sevvy Johnson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) after he’s accused of murdering another girlfriend. Johnson, once again, is defended by the sleazy attorney, Ezra Wolf (Scott Cohen), who tries the case through the court of public opinion. Oh, and Sevvy Johnson also has a doofus, blond-haired step-son who lives in the guest house and is asked by Johnson to hide the murder bag when the police come with a search warrant.
It’s almost impossible not to see The Fix as a Marcia Clark exercise in wish-fulfillment, and I might not object to it so strenuously if it were any damn good. Unfortunately, it is hot trash that plays like a series too low brow even for the Lifetime network. It’s written as though by a self-published author with an ax to grind against the publishing industry for rejecting a mass-market paperback destined for the remaindered bin. If The Fix were a romance novel, Fabio would be on the cover.
Now, imagine the Fabio equivalent of a legal thriller also trying to tackle race politics, and you’ll also have a keen understanding of just how tone deaf The Fix is. To wit: A woman of color, Loni Kampoor (Mouzam Makkar) assigned as the lead prosecutor on the Sevvy Johnson case is demoted in favor of the semi-retired white woman who lost the first time around in part due to the optics of race, and instead of expressing sympathy for Kampoor, the show turns her into a villain who leaks details of the case to Johnson’s defense attorney. WHAT?
It is garbage, and nigh on unwatchable. However, to its credit — and this is all I will give it credit for — it keeps the plot twists coming. By the end of the second episode, the show has put the viewer through the wringer (SPOILERS): Did Johnson kill his girlfriend and arrange to flee the country? Nope, it was his girlfriend who arranged to flee the country with another man. Did the other man kill her? Nope. That guy just killed himself. But Johson definitely beat his girlfriend, so he must have killed her, too? Or did
O.J.s Johnson’s ex-girlfriend kill his new girlfriend in a fit of jealousy? And then Robin Givens shows up as Johnson’s ex-wife, whom he pays $100,000 to lie about their relationship. By then, the show had already gone completely off the rails.
And yet, there are still six episodes remaining of the first season, six episodes that I cannot possibly be bothered with. Sarah Paulson and The People vs. O.J. Simpson did a lot to rehabilitate Marcia Clark’s unfairly maligned reputation, but I’m afraid that The Fix completely fritters it away.
Header Image Source: ABC