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TV Review: Rectify


Shrewsbury, Massachusetts- With so much tremendous television, many good shows will be hidden away under the Breaking Bads and Sons of Anarchys. Sundance appears to be a veritable treasure trove for such shows with The Returned, Top of the Lake, and Rectify, which returned for a second season a couple of weeks ago. A slow burn of a drama, the first season quickly became one of television’s best-kept secrets.

Daniel Holden is finally released from 19 years on Death Row after DNA evidence exonerates him. Though his family welcomes him with open arms, Daniel remains a pariah in the town. After the events of season one Daniel lies in a coma and his sister Amantha and mother Janet stand by his side, insuring that nothing else bad happens to a man that has been considered an outsider all his life.

Rectify is a truly unique piece of television that stands out amongst most high-end cable dramas. Ray McKinnon and company prefers deep delves of character drama over flashy plot developments. As a result Rectify is a deeply enriching character study about purpose, redemption, and justice. The first two premiere episodes of the second season continue to build on those ideas with slickly done panache. The impeccable cinematography really helps to highlight the honesty of the performances.

Rectify’s ensemble is filled with dedicated actors who propel deeper into the drama. J. Smith Cameron and Abigail Spencer do lovely work as Daniel’s mother and sister who stick by Daniel’s side no matter what. Adelaide Clemens is sweetly powerful as Tawney, Daniel’s sister in law and vague love interest. Clayne Crawford is also great as Ted Talbot, Daniel’s stepbrother and Adelaide’s husband. However they are all led by the quietly commanding presence of Aden Young as Daniel whose performance continues to be one of the most understated on television.

Rectify is a remarkable show that is unfortunately hidden deep in the seas of programming. The show was a knockout in its first season and continues to build on that for its sophomore return. The stakes have been upped, but that doesn’t mean the show’s pacing has rocketed forward. It remains steadfast, determined to go at the pace it needs. As a result, Rectify continues to be one of the most interesting shows on television.

Rectify is on Thursdays @ 9 pm on Sundance. Season One is available to stream on Netflix. 

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