I have a theory that we have been in a minor television renaissance for the last ten to twelve years ever since cable stations began producing original scripted shows and the major networks were forced to better the quality of their offerings. If my theory is correct then Murder One stands as a network prelude to that renaissance in scope, concept, acting, writing and production. I didn't watch Murder One when it aired but I was distantly aware of it and when searching for something to watch in the Instant Video offerings, I remembered this and bought the series. I was glad that I had.
Murder One follows the progress of one criminal case in exquisite detail over the course of a season. Bad boy movie star Neal Avedon has been accused of murdering his fifteen year old girlfriend via strangulation. His semen is inside the victim, he was on scene within the timeframe of the death, he has had a string of minor legal troubles and problems with drugs, alchohol and blackouts and he has a penchant for strangulation, the method of murder employed. It seems like a slam dunk for the prosecution but defense attorney Ted Hoffman of Hoffman and Associates sees something different and takes the case. The viewer is treated to original characters in the form of the prosecutor, a Machiavellian billionaire who seems to be pulling the strings, the victims sister, a femme fatale who is broken herself, Ted's long-suffering and finally impatient wife, investigators for the police and the defense, junior associates working long hours on the case and trying to further their careers, an unethical psychiatrist who gives damning testimony and many, many other minor characters all painted with a detailed brush. It is the proverbial human drama and not to be missed.
All aspects of the production are top notch and the writing is for adults. Sex and drug use are portrayed but never without a moral context. Truly a highlight of legal drama and at 15 years it is as fresh as when it originally aired. Recommended.