Defending Jacob now streaming on Apple TV Plus

Photo: Defending Jacob Season 1 - Courtesy of Apple TV+
Photo: Defending Jacob Season 1 - Courtesy of Apple TV+ /

Defending Jacob, starring Captain America’s Chris Evans as a district attorney whose son is accused of murder, is now available on Apple TV Plus.

Apple TV Plus returns to the TV crime drama world with Defending Jacob, featuring Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Good Behavior). The first three episodes are now streaming here.

The series is based on William Landay’s novel, in which Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber (Evans) is stunned to find out that his son Jacob (Jaeden Martell) is a murder suspect. Now, the high-flying prosecutor must become a defense attorney to hold his family together.

But while Andy and his wife Laurie (Dockery) believe that Jacob is innocent, what can Andy prove? And is it possible that their son could actually be a murderer?

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The main cast also includes Cherry Jones (24), Pablo Schreiber (The Wire), Sakina Jaffrey (Timeless), Betty Gabriel (Nurse Jackie) and Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons (Counterpart, the Law & Order franchise).

The Vampire Diaries alums Paul Wesley and Kat Graham have recurring roles in the Massachusetts-set whodunit, as does Jaffrey’s Timeless co-star Matt Lanter.

With that many established names, many TV crime drama enthusiasts will be motivated to check out Defending Jacob because of its cast. But that’s not the only reason audiences should give it a watch this weekend—the source material is both a tightly plotted thriller and a family drama. If the series stays true to the novel, viewers will be talking about this one for awhile.

Dockery and Evans both seem particularly suited to the series. TNT audiences saw what she could do in a modern thriller with Good Behavior, and Evans has played a lawyer before, albeit one much more dysfunctional, in the film Puncture.

But with many people knowing and loving them as Lady Mary Crawley and Captain America respectively, this project should also help broaden viewers’ perception of just how talented both actors are. From the trailer, they seem to make a pretty powerful combination, which is important because the show relies on getting the audience into Andy and Laurie’s hearts and minds.

It follows Apple TV Plus’ release of another crime series with a high-profile cast, Truth Be Told, which was recently renewed for Season 2. Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul headlined that cast. Defending Jacob, however, is currently billed as a miniseries and therefore expected to conclude after eight episodes.

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Episodes 4-8 of Defending Jacob will be released every Friday in May, with the finale scheduled for May 29. If you’re not a current Apple TV Plus subscriber, Apple does offer a 7-day free trial so it is possible to check out the first three episodes this weekend for free.