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Every few years a great mockumentary show comes out that stands above the rest. With shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation in the rear-view and Modern Family reaching its 10th season some new blood is needed so let us introduce you to the show that will quench that thirst.
The main story of season two revolves around the newest and biggest case that Josh Segal and Associates have taken on. Their new client is the first lady of East Peck Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristin Chenoweth) and she’s been charged with the murder of her late husband. With such a high profile case, true crime podcaster Nina Rudolph (Amanda Payton) arrives in town and hits it off with Josh causing tension between him and the very pregnant Carol Anne Keane. As the team slowly uncovers the truth behind this case, they begin to realize there is more to this small town than meets the eye.
The first season of this true-crime show was funny, but it always felt like it was setting up for something bigger. The safe jokes and toned down world looked to appease the network with just enough uniqueness to snag a second season. When it was renewed that allowed the showrunners to embrace the silliness and that allows this show to soar. This is thanks to a multitude of things starting off with the show’s Mel Brooks-style world.
The town of East Peck, South Carolina can only be compared to Park and Rec’s Pawnee. The ridiculous antics and policies in this small town create a world that is peculiar enough for a sitcom, but real enough to feel relatable to an audience. The audience tries to feel at home in this town through the eyes of the protagonist Josh Segal, a New York lawyer, who wants to assimilate to life in East Peck. Between him and the show’s running gags surrounding the town like the History lesson interludes and Anne’s never-ending list of conditions, the town of East Peck is the perfect place to set a sitcom.
Now that we have an ideal, memorable setting, the world needs to be filled with some equally memorable and hilarious characters to help sustain the series. While a story lasts a season, television survives on its characters and Trial & Error manages to deliver. Most of the hilarious ensemble from season one return from Josh’s do-gooder nature, Anne’s cluelessness, Dwayne’s idiocy and Carol’s resolve, but there are few new additions to the cast. Nina Rudolph is good as the third in the Josh-Carol love triangle and Judge Kamiltow’s (Joel McCracy) high-pitch voice is funny enough, but the biggest addition is that of Kristin Chenoweth’s Lavinia. Knowing she is the First Lady of this small town makes it a little easier to understand why this place is the way it is.
The last piece to this puzzle is the story of the season, which is just as entertaining as the previous one. Lavinia’s case feels like a mix of Clue and The Jinx as the mockumentary is filled with mayhem, silliness and fun unpredictable twists. The constant on-the-nose alibis, timelines and evidence, complete with the running Murder Board gag and new Baby Board gag, bring both thrills and absurdness to this murder mystery. The only issue is that this season introduces a true crime narrative into its true crime story through the podcast MTowne. This storyline unfortunately stays a little too serious and never fully embraces the craziness of East Peck which made it feel a bit out of place.
This season of Trial & Error is an outrageously silly and genuinely funny true-crime mockumentary that doubles down on its absurd world in its second season. While it lost its biggest star, he was replaced with an equally ridiculous one proving this series is at its best when it lets all of its silliness come out on full display. From its eccentric small town world to its quirky cast of characters, this season shows how much potential this series has to be a great, memorable sitcom so it’s definitely worth the watch.
What did you think of Trial & Error: Lady, Killer? Was it a good follow up to the first season? Let me know in the comments!
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