Work-life balance is already a challenge as is but add in saving those convicted of crimes, your family and being a dope boss chick? Simply put, it's a lot. Reasonable Doubt, the first scripted drama through Onyx Collective's slate of programming, tackles all of this and so much more with spicy storylines, a dynamic cast and a whole lot of action.
It's no secret that Black women specifically are still so deeply misunderstood both on screen and in real life. Reasonable Doubt centers a high powered modern Black woman and her day to day woes, challenges with work life balance and more. Defense attorney Jax Stewart, played by Emayatzy Corinealdi, borders the line of determination and ethics through how she choose to interpret the law for the sake of her clients. This same spirit carries into how she navigates her family, friendships and ultimately the criminal justice system.
With an all-star cast of talent including Pauletta Washington, Sean Patrick Thomas and Michael Ealy to name a few, what makes the show that much more significant is the presence of an all- Black writers room and production who worked on this series. The show is written by Raamla Mohamed, who co-executive produces the series alongside Kerry Washington and Larry Wilmore. Once again, this type of environment sets the tone for more inclusive bodies of work and it’s a multifaceted portrayals to be shown in Hollywood.
"If you're white and only hiring your friends in writers rooms, then the shows are not going to be diverse. It's not that complicated of a situation to grasp. So with this show, I started thinking about those that I knew in my circle and decided that I wanted an all Black writers room," said Raamla Mohamed. "This would create a shorthand between all of us and a freedom for us to talk about these characters as characters without having to fight to uphold the perfect image of Blackness."
Now one may wonder makes this show intrinsically different from other scripted legal drama series? The answer lies in the deliberate intentionality out forth by the actors in front of the character.
"Before we started filming, Emayatzy and I were very clear on the decision of that what we built would be true to us. Because if it's true to us, people will see themselves reflected in the journey we go on and be able to take away some of the same things our characters have," said Mckinley Freeman who stars as Jax Stewart's husband, Lewis. We are also able to show a different image of a Black family. I play a professional husband who goes out of his way to take care of his family, which is isn't traditionally depicted but we all know fellas who do that in our own communities. Being able to see part of yourself in a world that's so intricate is one of the most tremendous opportunities of this show."
Reasonable Doubt will have its world premiere at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts this upcoming weekend. It will be available for streaming via Hulu on September 27th. Take a look at the teaser of Reasonable Doubt below: