Anatomy of a Scandal review: Netflix drama misses the mark

Anatomy of a Scandal is not afraid to take big risks. Like so many other David E. Kelly-produced and -written productions, the new Netflix series is largely a courtroom drama. However, despite its relatively grounded tone and serious subject matter, Anatomy of a Scandal doesn’t shy away from attempting the kind of elaborate visual moments that turn its characters’ world upside down or, in one instance, show them falling in slow-motion into empty courtrooms.

The problem is that many of the visual and narrative risks the series takes are misguided at best and irritating at worst. Anatomy of a Scandal wants its viewers to not just feel but see everything its characters are mentally and emotionally experiencing on a moment-to-moment basis. Rather than relying on the strength of its material and actors, many of whom turn in strong work here, the series tries to come up with a million ways to hit its points home as hard as it possibly can.

It’s difficult not to feel like you’ve been hit overthe head by the time everything is said and done. The series, which is based on a novel by Sarah Vaughan, fails to deliver any of the subtlety or nuance its subject matter demands.

Key witnesses