“Philly D.A.” has been compared endlessly to “The Wire,” and rightly so. An eight-part portrait of Larry Krasner, a civil rights attorney who was elected the head prosecutor of one of America’s most incarcerated cities in 2017 on a campaign of racial equity, the docuseries is a nuanced and sobering account of what it takes to create change — and the limitations of what one man can achieve, especially when he’s surrounded by people who share his outrage and sense of urgency but may ultimately enable his self-segregation from potential allies. The show incorporates a wide variety of perspectives from those affected by Krasner’s ambitious agenda, from suspects and prisoners released through his reforms to the police officers and their reps lashing out against a district attorney that views them with contempt. Krasner even confounds many of his employees, like the prosecutors under him suddenly bereft of institutional knowledge after a staff purge. Too many TV docs feel bloated, but “Philly D.A.” judiciously uses its wide canvas to tell as full and multifaceted a story as it can about an effort to find justice within our ailing court system that’s too radical for some and not radical enough for many.
- Director: Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, Nicole Salazar
- Client: PBS, Topic, BBC