Critic Consensus: Despite outstanding work from Michelle Dockery and Chris Evans, Defending Jacob stretches its source material too thin, undermining its own rich tension with too much melodramatic padding.
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You've seen it before, perhaps, but don't let that stop you. "Defending Jacob..." is gripping enough in its own way, despite some of the familiar moves, and the acting is consistently fine.
For a show so devoted to stringing you along for answers, "Defending Jacob" doesn't leave you with much once it's over.
The high-profile names involved and impressive production are what really separate it from your standard basic cable crime dramas and not necessarily the content itself.
Defending Jacob suffers greatly from its format, stretching 120 minutes of story max into eight hours of episodic television.
The ambiguous ending to the eight-part series is a bit frustrating, but it sets the stage for a possible second season.
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