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New CW Lawyer Drama 'Burden of Truth' is Small Town Fare
July 25, 2018  | By David Hinckley
 


Troubled and restless gal from the big town returns to her childhood small town on a quick professional errand and soon realizes that one way or another, her life, her past and this town require a little more attention than that. 

No, silly, you’re not watching HBO’s Sharp Objects. Well, maybe you are. But at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on the CW, you’re watching Burden of Truth

In Burden of Truth, a 10-episode series made for Canadian TV and shown there earlier this year, Joanna Hanley (Kristin Kreuk, top) is dispatched by her father’s high-powered law firm to Millwood, a sleepy little town in Manitoba.

Her nominal mission involves derailing a lawsuit against the firm’s major pharmaceutical client. 

Seems a bunch of high school girls in Millwood developed neurological impairment after receiving one of the pharma company’s vaccines. Joanna’s father David (Alex Carter, right, with Kreuk) wants her to make it clear that if these small-town hicks dare to challenge his client, they will be crushed like bugs. 

Simple enough. The only added wrinkle is that Joanna was raised in Millwood, right up until the day David hurried everyone out of town in the middle of the night. 

Joanna had never thought that odd. But when she arrives back in Millwood, she’s forced to rethink a number of things, including her long-ago acquaintance with Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney, below), who also left Millwood for law school, then went back to do lawyering for the small-town hicks. 

In this case, he’s the lawyer for the girls. 

Mild spoiler alert: Joanna quickly does as her father asked and gets the client off the hook. In the process, however, Billy gets Joanna curious about what really might have caused this life-altering impairment, whose victims include Billy’s niece Molly (Sara Thompson).  

If you’ve seen Erin Brockovich, which David Hanley apparently hasn’t, you won’t be surprised by what begins to unfold here. 

You will guess the villains, you will guess the impact of Joanna returning home, you will guess her father’s response, you will guess the skepticism and the cynicism. 

You will even guess what happens with Alan Christie (Benjamin Ayres, left), Joanna’s long-running, father-approved boyfriend back at the law firm. 

All that said, a story of innocent and seemingly powerless victims fighting to hold government-industrial-corporate oppressors accountable for their callous immorality is a template to which it’s worth returning.  

Engagingly told and competently acted, Burden of Truthoffers a surprisingly breezy bit of summer television that still tackles authentic real-world issues. 

And reminds us that on TV at least, the small town has not been forgotten.

 
 
 
 
 
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