Posted: 10/23/2011



by Caress Thirus

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It takes a determined person with a passion for life to turn a city around, and sometimes rules and restrictions set by authorities just get in the way. Judge Patrick Coburn (Robert Pugh) is an enthusiastic judge in the town of Liverpool. He believes that “It’s better to be effective than popular,” and this view is reflected in his casual courtroom sessions at the controversial Public Justice Centre.

is a courtroom drama miniseries from BBC. A town that was once known for its rich history and involvement with the Beatles has now become a cesspool of crime run by a local mobster by the name of Jake Little (Jake Abraham). There is prostitution, gang violence, burglary, and pretty much anything else that would make a city high-risk. Little turns innocent citizens into mobsters with the prospect of money and fabulous gifts like shopping sprees and cars, and people are falling for his tricks left and right, as fortune isn’t something that comes to the people of Liverpool very often.

Throughout the five-episode series, Judge Coburn’s every unorthodox move is tracked by Louise Scanlon (Gillian Kearney), a zealous reporter for the Liverpool Enquirer. While this slows him down, he doesn’t let it get in the way of his main priority: shutting down the crime rings in the city and bringing peace to the stricken residents of Liverpool.

Judge Coburn is a great character. He has a Sherlock Holmes-like ability to find clues and to sniff out danger, and he always seems to make the best decision for everybody, whether people like it initially or not. He’s a determined, powerful figure with a shady background that is only slightly revealed as the episodes progress, but his heart is rooted deep in the city. Whether it’s giving a youngster community service in exchange for jail time because of a genuine change of heart, or firing a dishonest employee who was becoming a good friend, Judge Coburn is always making changes for the better.

Each episode does a good job of multiple threading – there’s a lot going on, but just enough to keep the viewer intrigued; there’s never too much happening at once. There are funny moments, heartwarming moments, scary moments, and quite a few shocking moments in this entertaining series. While some of the one-liners are a little gimmicky, and some of the music is very odd, Justice is a pretty solid drama. Judge Coburn has become more of an impacting force in the city than he realizes, and despite the daily threats, he promises that if “Anybody wants me out, let them come and get me. I’m not leaving without a fight. I’m here to stay.”

Caress Thirus is a student at Roosevelt University and a film enthusiast.

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