Picks and Pans Review: Nancy Grace
CNN Headline News (Weekdays, 8 p.m. ET)
Grace, a former prosecutor and Court TV commentator, has been a ratings hit at the helm of her own hour-long show. And why not? She’s thumpingly original.
Grace has a vivid backstory—she became a lawyer after her fiancé was murdered—and commands the camera with the outsize aggressiveness of an actress charging through a big courtroom scene. She has large cat eyes that glare out as if scanning for fugitives who might be hiding under your living-room furniture, and she uses her flat Georgia accent to make even blunter her skeptical questioning of anyone she suspects of impeding justice. She has been especially rigorous (and emotional) in the case of Natalee Holloway, the teenager gone missing in Aruba, but she pretty much gets worked up over everything.
The persona is almost too strong to fit within this format. Grace needs something of wider scope: If she were let loose in the Harry Potter saga, she’d have hounded the Dark Lord into handing himself over by the third book.