With Breaking Bad winding down, it’s lucky that creator Ray McKinnon is filling the void with a brand spanking new series. Hidden in the unknown lands of the Sundance channel is Rectify, a startlingly good show that follows a man who spent 20 years on death row until DNA evidence called his conviction in to doubt. Well, doubt in the legal sense because the residents of his home town are still pretty damn sure that he is guilty of raping and murdering his classmate all those years ago. Interesting, no? What makes it better is that the who-done-it aspect of the show is a minor focus compared to the story of adjusting to a world that has passed by a man for 20 years.
Daniel Holden, the former convict played by a superb Aden Young, is naturally just odd. In prison since 18, freedom isn’t something he knows what to do with. I mean, he was in jail before a playstation was a thing. At almost 40, Holden is still a child in some ways and seeks the familiar in skate parks and tape players. Years in near solitary confinement has completely broken his communications skills though, as books were his only companion, his vocabulary is highly developed. Thank goodness, cause watching this character grunt through most of his dialogue would be a waste of McKinnon’s writing.
Young does a great job in making a whole lot of staring in silence interesting and a little heartbreaking. However, the chatting of rest of the cast often fails to be as capturing as Daniel standing in front of a row of flatscreens in Walmart. Besides his caring and compassionate sister, played by Abigail Spencer, all of the supporting characters…well, I just don’t have much of a reason to care about them yet. Luckily, so far Young is fully capable of carrying the show on his own while his supporting cast fleshes out.
The first two episodes are now streaming on the Sundance Channel. Definitely check it out if you’re looking for a new show to follow on Monday’s at ten.