Rectify Review: Charming, Disturbing, Eye-opening

I love TV Drama. Sitting down to binge watch a new series is a great use, and waste of time, and when I heard about Rectify, a new drama about Daniel Holden, released from Death Row after 19 years following new DNA evidence, I was already gripped. When I sat down to watch the first two episodes, there was only a shimmer of disappointment in sight.

The characters in Rectify are complex and full of emotion yet the cast do an astounding job in their portrayal. Daniel is quiet and solemn but filled with confusion and an array of emotions that we, as the audience, are continually trying to break down. Aden Young, who plays our protagonist, is excellent, hiding the truth behind the crime he was accused of, and confessed to. The use of seemingly stock characters, who are predictable and not entirely original (Ted Talbot Jr., played by Clayne Crawford for example) let the story down slightly, but intricate and thought provoking situations are created around them, some of which are rather shocking.

Some may point out that not very much actually happens in this show, and often when there are big moments, they are played down, or the pacing is off. A cliffhanger at the end of the first episode, for example, is left unexplored entirely in the second. Nevertheless the dialogue is good, and moments of silence are well shot, and well acted.

While not containing entirely original story and characters, Rectify does an overwhelmingly good job at most of what it tries. It’s emotional at times, and kind of charming. It’s eye-opening to the amount the world has changed in recent times, as well as revealing just how easy it is to judge everyone around us. There are disturbing and upsetting scenes, including flashbacks to prison, but all have meaning. There are faults in this show, but they don’t detract enough from how much it is enjoyed to disappoint. I’m eager to see how this series continues, and I’m also eager to see what the producers can do with some time to settle in, and maybe even a second season. It warrants a 8.0, for an incredibly enjoyable and charmingly disturbing(?) show.

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