Mercado on TV: Presumed Innocent remake on AppleTV+ with Jake Gyllenhaal is a mixed bag

Plus this week TV Gold looks at new Stan Original, Exposure.

Presumed Innocent (AppleTV+) is the latest movie to be remade as a TV series and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. It’s another legal drama from prolific producer David E. Kelley. This one features an unconvincing performance from Jake Gyllenhaal in the central role.

It now appears that any movie with a recognisable title will probably get a TV remake. That’s because it’s a great way to stand out in a crowded field. Presumed Innocent has already had a sequel TV miniseries and telemovie, so it’s much easier to remake the original and start all over again.

Who’s who in Presumed Inncocent

In this new version, Jake Gyllenhall doesn’t have the gravitas that Harrison Ford brought to the central role of a district attorney. His performance is very jumpy given this show really wants you to think he is guilty. Co-stars Peter Sarsgaard and Bill Camp (and an all too brief cameo from Patricia Arquette) are better, but are they enough of a reason to revisit this material?

TV has always been sniffing around successful movies and one of the first was 1953 musical How To Marry A Millionaire. Hitting TV four years after it had been in cinemas, there was no music or Marilyn Monroe, but it did feature future Jeannie star Barbara Eden.

In the 60s, one of TV’s biggest shows was Peyton Place, based on the 1957 movie. Throughout the 70s, M*A*S*H and The Odd Couple both surpassed the motion pictures that had inspired them.

However, for every series that worked, dozens more failed. TV tried to adapt Casablanca into a series twice, once in 1955 and again in 1983 with David Soul substituting for Humphrey Bogart. Unsurprisingly, nobody cared. After the success of 1978’s Animal House, all three US networks tried to turn it into a weekly sitcom. Without John Belushi, they all went nowhere.  

Presumed Innocent could be copying the template from last year’s TV adaptation of Fatal Attraction. Both were two-hour movies tuned into eight-hour series, and their stories are padded out with a new focus on the characters’ children. 

Fatal Attraction changed the movie ending and then finished with a TV cliffhanger, only to then be cancelled. Oops. Presumed Innocent could be planning something similar, given the final episode is being withheld from critics. Let’s hope it’s more convincing than Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance.

TV Gold

This week on TV Gold: Presumed Innocent, Exposure & Lost Boys and Fairies

Presumed Innocent (AppleTV+, 8 episodes) is a remake of the 1990 court-room drama of the same name starring Harrison Ford. In this TV version, Jake Gyllenhaal takes the lead role as he investigates the murder of a colleague.

Exposure (Stan, 6 episodes) tells the story of Jacs Gould (played by Alice Englert), a photographer, who is coming to terms with the death by suicide of her closest friend. While searching for answers, her own buried trauma percolates to the surface.

Lost Boys and Fairies (Stan, 3 episodes) is about Welsh gay couple Gabriel and his partner Andy and the challenges they face trying to adopt a child.

Listen online here, or on your favourite podcast platform.

To Top