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Review For Life: moral redemption in the modern legal drama

For Life, the serial representation of hypocrisy about the American system. In the balance between crime and the law; moral redemption experienced through a modern and atypical legal drama. Here is our review

ORIGINAL TITLE: For Life. GENDER: Legal drama, yellow. COUNTRY: United States of America. REGIA: Hank Steinberg. CAST: Nicholas Pinnock; Indira Varma; Joy Bryant; Glenn Fleshler; Dorian Missick; Tyla Harris; Mary Stuart Masterson; Boris McGiver; Timothy Busfield; Chance Kelly. DURATION: 13 episodes. DISTRIBUTOR: Netflix. PRODUCER: ABC Studios e Sony Pictures Television. STREAM OUT: 02/01/2022

Among Netflix’s wide assortment of carefully guarded titles; the modern jewel of the television series appears with great style: For Life. Legal drama written and created by Hank Steinberg (known name in American seriality); the gripping court case nestled in a modern American society, dirty and contradictory.

Inspired by the true story of Isaac Wright Jr.; a story about the importance of moral redemption and the conquest of one’s rights.

Leading the cast, we find the compelling performance of Nicholas Pinnock; assieme a Joy Bryant; Indira Warma; Glenn Flesher  Tyla Harris; Boris McGiver e Dorian Crossmond Missick.

Plot and Trailer | For Life review

For Life focuses on the history of Aaron Wallace, a well-known nightclub entrepreneur, wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit. Married to Marie and with a daughter named Jasmine; the quiet family life will be brutally turned upside down by Aaron’s sudden life sentence.

Determined to prove his innocence, resumes his studies in law and becomes a practicing lawyer, showing himself as a beacon of hope for the other inmates. Aided by prison director Safiya Masry (played by Indira Varma); Wallace strives to win victories for his clients, looking for evidence, testimony, not forgetting his ongoing struggle of personal blackmail.

With executive producer Curtis Jackson (50 cents); full episodes of the first season are available on the platform Netflix.

Race Issues: Prejudice Overrides the Law | For Life review

From the first moments of the series; For Life engages all viewers in the harsh prison system; representing a real complaint about appalling injustices inherent in the American socio-cultural system (a cross-section very close to the current historical moment).

The protagonist Aaron Wallace himself will be repeatedly confronted with the hypocrisy of the American system; defined by him as dirty and corrupt; a place where favors become blood debts. In this sense; the discrimination pungent between blacks and whites, it will be consumed above all in the cold courtrooms. The result? A total annulment of the basic sense of justice and equality.

Those considered social outcasts will continue to be victims of gross racial abuse; gender; affiliation and religion.

Review For Life: moral redemption in the modern legal drama

Il strong emotional impactis mainly given by the feeling interpretation from Nicholas Pinnock, combined with the impetuous and charismatic characters of the various characters. A true overwhelming effect for the spectator, dressed as a faithful omniscient companion in the tough battle in defense of human civil and political rights.

Double in the legal drama| For Life review

The dynamics faced in the prison world also stand out thanks to the style and defining pace of the series. In fact, from the very first moment he manages to juggle a continuous space-time leap between past and presentemphasized by the sudden change of lights and shadows, warm tones and cold tones.

The intense initial gaze veiled in sadness and melancholy, gives way to a succession of happy and joyful memories of the past life. Thus, the cold and aseptic white walls of the prison reveal themselves as opposed to the bright colors of the familiar environments. What it symbolizes is the clear contrast between crystallized time lived in prison, and the continuous becoming of the outside world.

Review For Life: moral redemption in the modern legal drama

Same proof for the double narrative structure outlined in the series; able to shape a complex and articulated network full of information. Wallace’s life in its judicial monotony manages to conquer a constant evolution, meeting and colliding with the individual cases that are the protagonists of each episode.

However, the presence of the voiceover accompanying, together with a very often gray and dry photograph; turns out to be a disturbing element to the vision. The final result could therefore resemble a didactic and monotonous narration.


In conclusionFor Life a series of pleasant vision is presented, equipped with a solid and well-studied narrative structure. Despite some small shortcomings from a photographic point of view; is full of many food for thought.

In fact, the design of the current American socio-cultural context is offered to the public through the rules of a cool modern drama. Also, by not giving in to chaos or banality, the series keeps the cultural influences highlighted throughout the episodesoutlining its strengths and weaknesses.

The clear example is well represented in the heartfelt demonstration of belonging to the African American community; adequately expressed through gestures, music and words typical of the culture, without ever abandoning or hiding it.

In addition, the time jumps are never an excess in the series, but they prove to be fundamental pieces for getting to know events and people at 360 °.

The legal drama that doesn’t go out of fashion

Plus points

  • Balance in individual episodes
  • Actor’s interpretation
  • Respect cultural influences

Points against

  • Shots too standard and slow
  • Often intrusive voiceover

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