Innocent until proven guilty. That’s the law of the land in the US Justice System (or at least, that’s how we say things work). The new crime drama from Apple TV+, Presumed Innocent, drops viewers into that world, exploring the burden of proof in a high-profile murder case.

Jake Gyllenhaal leads the limited series as chief deputy prosecutor Rusty Sabich. When the horrific murder of Carolyn Polhemus (Renate Reinsve), another prosecutor, upends the Chicago Prosecuting Attorney’s office, everyone is shaken when Rusty himself is accused of the crime.

Presumed Innocent is based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Scott Turow. (Turow’s novel was also previously adapted into a 1990 feature starring Harrison Ford.) The series comes from prolific TV producer David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, Ally McBeal, The Practice). Kelley serves as showrunner and executive producer on the series, which J.J. Abrams also executive produces.

In addition to Gyllenhaal and Reinsve, the series also stars Ruth Negga, Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, Peter Sarsgaard, and O-T Fagbenle.

When we’re introduced to Rusty Sabich, he’s clearly a skilled prosecutor — a commanding presence and a confident speaker. But the more we see of Rusty, the more we realize how volatile he really is. He lies to his family, his friends, his coworkers, even his therapist – and then acts like he can’t begin to fathom why anyone would feel hurt or upset by his actions. He gets explosively angry at the drop of a hat, often taking that out on the people who care about him. At one point, his friend and fellow prosecutor Raymond (Camp) tries to explain to Rusty the difference between feeling ashamed and feeling guilty for your actions; it’s clear Rusty struggles to own his mistakes in a meaningful way.

I can’t fault the strong performance by Gyllenhaal here, but Rusty’s outbursts made it difficult for me to sympathize with him. Obviously, the idea behind Rusty’s volatile behavior is to plant a seed of doubt for the viewer; he vehemently denies involvement in the crime, but we see how he can turn to extremes and even violence. But I felt like Presumed Innocent strayed a little too far with the character; I found him sort of generally unsympathetic, which doesn’t make me the most invested in seeing the show prove his innocence.

Presumed Innocent really shines when it commits to being a legal drama. The scenes in the courtroom are tense and enticing, with a clear battle of wits and wills on display between the characters. Similarly, the series does well when it explores the politics of the legal system, and how individual ambitions, personal vendettas, and professional ladder-climbing can impact investigations. And it all filters down through the US legal system basis of the burden of proof. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty. So, even when suspicions begin to mount, we don’t know if there is enough evidence to convict – or indeed, if the accused is truly guilty of murder.

Unfortunately, when Presumed Innocent tries to expand past the courtroom to dive more into familial and interpersonal dramas, it doesn’t fare nearly as well. Rusty’s interactions with his wife Barbara (Ruth Negga) and kids tend to come across as soap-y and repetitive, rehashing the same beats episode after episode. Though the episodes always come back around to end on a cliff-hanger or reveal that keep you wanting to continue watching, almost every episode also hits a dragging point in the middle that slows down the show’s momentum.

Significantly, the series also struggles to make Carolyn feel like a real, three-dimensional person. Since we only see her through flashbacks – and generally through Rusty’s POV – it feels like we learn very little about her actual life and personality. That leaves Carolyn feeling too distant from the audience to form a real emotional connection to her, which in turn makes us a little less invested in finding her killer.

Combine Carolyn’s lack of characterization with Rusty’s explosive personality, and the series’ essential “whodunnit” loses momentum as it churns toward its conclusion. To the show’s credit, after watching seven out of eight episodes, I still don’t know if Rusty killed Carolyn. So in the “keep the audience guessing” category, that’s a win. The problem is that headed into the final episode, I’m not sure I really care whether the verdict comes down guilty or innocent.

Presumed Innocent premieres on Apple TV+ June 12.