Roush Review: The Tepid ‘Delilah’ Lays Down the Law

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The more agitated Delilah Connolly (Maahra Hill) gets, the more interesting Delilah becomes. “Let’s talk when you’re not upset,” says Gordon (Lyriq Bent), the ex-husband of the titular Charlotte-based lawyer and single mom. And when would that be?

Just about everyone in her world disappoints her, including her wounded war-vet brother (Leonard Harmon), her rebellious son (Braelyn Rankins) and especially her BFF, Tamara (the spirited Jill Marie Jones), whose work for a posh law firm puts her in direct conflict with Delilah’s latest tricky underdog case. For Delilah, it’s almost always an underdog case, given how small her operation is.

“This is like a Marvel movie,” gushes Delilah’s secretary and sole employee, Harper (Ozioma Akagha), at the thought of the besties facing each other in court. “I hope it’s not that long,” Delilah responds with customary world-weariness. (Although I kind of agree with her retort.)

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Even with all of her aggravations, would Delilah really give the third degree to a concert violinist who has offered to tutor her gifted daughter (Kelly Jacobs) for free? And when set up with what seems to be the perfect guy (Michel Curiel), why put on the breaks the minute their flirtatious conversation veers into matters of faith?

This surprisingly tepid drama from the creator of OWN’s much juicier Greenleaf goes glossy when it should be gritty. Passable as a legal soap opera, the show builds the emotional stakes way too slowly in Delilah’s investigation of a cover-up involving malfunctioning military equipment.

Hill is fine as the would-be supermom trying to do it all, but it’s a problem when the title character isn’t the show’s most interesting person. Delilah almost seems a supporting player when upstaged by her more colorful friend Tamara and even her office’s irrepressible new associate candidate, Demetria (Susan Heyward). Delilah and Delilah need to step it up.

Delilah, Series Premiere, Tuesday, March 9, 9/8c, OWN