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Rectify Is the Best New Show You Haven't Watched


Sundance Channel's Rectify fittingly started with an image of its protagonist Daniel Holden peering through a window. During the fantastic six-episode first season, which concluded last night, Daniel did a lot of staring. He stared at the displays in big-box stores. He stared at one of those wacky, inflatable dancing tube men that are popular with used-car lots. He stared through his family when they first picked him up from prison in the series premiere. But it was never clear, during all this staring, whether he was peering in or looking out, including in that first striking shot. Does he belong where he is, or would he fit better somewhere else? That's the question that persists throughout Rectify's marvelous first season.

I'm treating this writeup as a (mostly) spoiler-free collection of words about the series as a whole in an effort to get more eyes on it, because it deserves all the attention it can get. Sundance, an offshoot of AMC, doesn't have the marketing funds to spread the word, so it's partly up to TV writers like me to preach the gospel. You should watch this show.

Rectify was created by Ray McKinnon, the man behind the acclaimed short film The Accountant. But you probably know him best as an actor; he played Linc Potter in Sons of Anarchy's fourth season and Reverend Smith in Deadwood. Part family drama, part murder mystery, Rectify's premise is remarkably simple on the surface, but incredibly nuanced and vulnerable upon deeper examination, just like its beating heart, Daniel Holden. After spending 19 years on Death Row for the rape and murder of his high-school sweetheart, new DNA evidence frees Daniel from jail and allows him to return to life in his small Georgia hometown—but it doesn't free him from the loneliness and suspicion that surrounds him after nearly two decades of being locked in a room the size of a walk-in fridge.

The series, which easily tops my list of Best New Shows of 2013 so far (yes, even with the fantastic The Americans to compete with) and is a serious threat to claim the title of Best Show period, is as much about a man readjusting to the outside world as it is about the outside world adjusting to him. Daniel is a man who's permanently caught between two existences; he's in a sort of surreal limbo that looks an awful lot like our real life. Though he's free to do as he pleases, the routine of his life on Death Row life has left him rigid and unable to open up. Though scientific evidence says he's innocent, the guts of most of the citizens in the small town he returns to say he's guilty—and his confession to the crime, which his family say was forced, follows him everywhere. Though he's welcomed back by his friends and family, he's mired in solitude.

At times it's a painful watch. At times it's a jubilant watch. But it's always a challenging, exhilarating, and captivating watch that gets deeper and deeper as the series goes on. The notion is best exemplified in the magnificent must-watch-by-every-human-being fifth episode, "Drip, Drip," in which Daniel is taken for a joy ride by a mysterious man known only as the Goatman. The journey is scattered, sudden, and—for 15 minutes or so—pointless and confusing. Daniel steals goats with the man, wrestles with the man in the woods, and is handed a wad of cash at the end of the trip. Then it's over. It's only later in the episode that we realize the encounter (which may or may not have happened at all, it's never explained) meant so much more as Daniel struggled with his own internal demons. The religious metaphor is there, and it's driven further home with an amazing baptism scene. But it's also stripped down to the basics of the good and evil that lie within every man, and it opens up a new side to Daniel that's both sympathetic and frightening. Rectify loves to take simplicity and fold it into complex puzzles without ever veering into pretentious or pseudo-intellectual territory, but it works on so may levels. Under the surface there's so much to explore. You take as much from Rectify as you're willing to find. 

If delving into existentialism is too much for you, then feel free to just enjoy the sights and sounds. Rectify is GORGEOUS in every sense the television will allow. Think Terrence Malick, but on half a cup of coffee and less weed (less, not zero). Trees stretch out across the screen, the camera slowly tracks from a percolating coffee maker to the scene of a beating while a tape of Daniel's confession plays, the modern excess of a department store stacks high against the sky. Every scene is fraught with obsessive attention to detail, the likes of which only Breaking Bad can match. But it's Rectify's sound that may be its hardest worker; scenes are filled with a powerful poignant score that enhances what's on the screen and pushes things to almost emotionally overwhelming levels, and the licensed soundtrack is top-notch.

The biggest knock against Rectify, from what I've read, is its extremely deliberate pacing. And yes, it can be a snail in molasses. It doesn't zip by like 24 or even Friday Night Lights. But like the latter, it's best in the quiet moments that you don't want to stop. The silent beats between dialogue or the extended scenes where there's no dialogue at all are captivating, and say more than words ever can.

Australian actor Aden Young is mesmerizing as Daniel, and will almost certainly be passed over for awards consideration (part of rookie hazing) despite being as good as anyone else out there. Young's deep eyes take the art of staring to a new level, and the uncertainty that fills them transforms Daniel into a character we simultaneously care for and are weary of. Abigail Spencer is fantastic as Daniel's sister Amantha, Clayne Crawford brings just the right amount of despicable haughtiness as Daniel's antagonist stepbrother, Johnny Ray Gill is heartbreaking as another Death Row inmate in Daniel's haunting flashbacks, and the rest of the cast is so well-rounded you'd think they've been together for several seasons. 

Rectify borrows the best parts of Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Mystic River, and Terrence Malick's films to create a series that works as a powerful work of weekly art. In a time when television series are measured by thrills, big moments, and overachieving heroes, Rectify's appreciation of the subtle and personal feels the most alive. I'm obsessed with it.


NOTE: All six episodes of Rectify's first season are available via On Demand, iTunes, and Amazon. The series has already been renewed for a 10-episode second season scheduled for 2014.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I watched the first three episodes from afar and then, slowly, strangely, it was family. These actors are on another level, everyone of them. It's so poignant at times it hurts. And like they say on the show, sometime it's the beauty that hurts most. I finished the rest of the first season in a weekend, but now I'm taking my time, like the show does, and I enjoy every minute of it. The first two episodes of the second season are painfully beautiful, can't wait for the rest.
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Tried the first episode, but nothing really happened. Like in my ex wife's books by authors with Spanish names. Lots of pretty words, painstakingly described landscapes, sunsets and overhelming feelings, but nothing ever happens!
But hey - I could be wrong, I have been wrong once or twice before (although I still think Mad Men is boring and wildly overrated). But if Tim Surette says this is a must-watch, I'll trust him and try again!
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I watched the first two episodes which seemed to be about a confused guy who was victimized, perhaps illegally convicted or something. Other than that I don't know what the hell this show's about, but its too slow to want to find out.
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Watching Rectify makes me realize just how unrealistic Banshee is (the getting out of prison part, not everything else).
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just watched the first season on dvd...Love it:)
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Just finished watching it and thought it was stunning. I was nervous because people said it moved too slow, but I actually appreciated the pace. It gave you a lot of time to just think and the music really enhanced it. I can't imagine being bored watching it. I found all the characters to be intriguing and when it was just Daniel staring the scenes were too beautiful to think of anything else. I don't know how a 10 episode season would do, but I trust the writers of Breaking Bad.
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however you put it the show tantalizes every sense and thought you have ever had in your mind & also serves as a great reminder to appreciate everything you have
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Beautifully shot and a great cast as you mentioned Tim, but wanna mention Adelaide Clemens as well as she is excellent in this. Looking forward to season two.
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Art in the purest sense of the word. No show has made me ponder right and wrong the way Rectify has. Not even Breaking Bad. I really needed this. Thanks Tim.
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Loved it! Thanks Tim. I echo everything you said times ten! Rectify is beautiful. It's compelling, intelligent, awkward and deeply touching. A must-watch for everyone who likes to ponder life's many questions even after the credits have rolled.
This show has helped restore hope in the gaping hole that Breaking Bad left in my heart. Eagerly awaiting the second season!
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Every scene with Daniel brought a fresh tear from the beginning to the end. I can't wait for the next season. Best New show 2013.
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Holy crap, I just watched this show and it's even better than it sounds from Tim's synopsis. It is brilliant. And as for the claims of slow-pacing this is one of the most consistently gripping things I've seen in a long time. Definitely right up there with the best shows of 2013.
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There are no two ways about it the show is slow, but there's slow and then there's sllooooow. The show definately isn't the second;it's unhurried, deliberate , studied and about another fifty synonyms of slow but none of them bad. Lots of other shows could have done the six episode plot in two episodes and if they'd tried to make those two episodes last six it would have felt forced and stretched and full of filler, which is not an acqusation that could be made of Rectify.
What happens over the six episodes? Well, not much really but it happens in such an interesting way that you just have to see what comes next.
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Watched it all in one sitting! Could not stop. You really feel what they are goin through. Acting is so good. Keeps you interested and does not give away too much. Can't wait for 2nd season!
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Love the show, but its the SECOND best new show so far this year. Orphan Black is just more entertaining overall. I'll go ahead and put The Americans third. Its been a surprising good year!
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I had not heard of the show at all before reading this article. After watching the first season over the last week, I can say with confidence that it's easily the best thing I've seen this year.

While I'm sure some would hold the show's languid pace against it, I feel that it's the show's greatest asset. Everything unfolds at its own pace, with many beautifully composed shots having an almost hypnotic effect. Terrence Malick is a good comparison -- the cinematography is very filmic in scope.

Last but not least, Aden Young has done an amazing job portraying the lead, Daniel Holden. His measured mix of quiet melancholy and zen-like stillness create a very compelling character to watch.

I'm glad to hear the show got renewed for a second season. The sky's the limit with this one.
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I checked it out after reading this article. Its definitely brilliant!
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Thanks for the recommendation Tim, I absolutely loved it!

For a slow moving show, it really was an emotional rollercoaster!

The saddest, or perhaps most poignant, scene in my view was when Daniel found his stuff in the attic and was dancing around. It really felt like he had completely missed time passing, with the tapes, and the video game controller he used. As if he had been off the earth for that time and went from 18 year old kid to a 37 year old man. They talked about it a lot, but for me, that one really brought it home for me.

Interesting that the others talked about whether or not they thought he did it, but he never did. I'm eager to see if that continues in future seasons.

I also found it interesting that he actually seemed happier and better adjusted in th death row flashbacks. So sad!

Loved it!
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Wife and I just watched all 6 episodes in a row, superb.
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Thanks Tim, for the advice. I saw it today (Dutch, so different timezone) in one go and it was worth my time. Good acting, almost philosophical, lots of questions and pretty much no answers. There had to be a second season and I'm happy there will be.
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Would love to see it. Unfortunately can't find it so far in Canada - not even on Sundance :(
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Netflix has all 6 episodes on HD!
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Thank you so much for this article. I just watched the first episode and was absolutely blown away. What. A. Show.
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Loved it. This is the sort of rare, fiercely intelligent and beautiful storytelling I wish networks had the pride and temerity to offer and that American audiences had the grace and patience to receive well and support.

The epic surreality of Daniel's life inside/outside prison was one of the most fascinating aspects of the series. At times I found myself captivated by how seemingly real and solid the stark, sterile world of the prison was in Daniel's memories, which were masterfully juxtaposed against the at times mindbogglingly incomprehensible and foreign world of Daniel's life outside of prison. As the series progressed it became apparent that "freedom" was its own sort of prison filled with mostly unaware inmates.

Perhaps the most compelling component of the storytelling is the symphony of emotion that serves as the undercurrent through every scene in the most artful yet gripping manner. There is an ever-present quiet desperation, a very real understanding and acceptance of the impermanence of each moment and event, of the beauty, weight and importance of the smallest events set against the background of the huge life and death issues, all presented with a careful balance of whimsy and wistfulness, gravitas and solemnity that can leave one with a vague desire to weep, though unclear whether for joy or for sorrow.

I am looking forward to season 2 and if it is as fantastic as season 1, AMC will have some serious competition for best TV drama billing with critics of distinction.
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"a careful balance of whimsy and wistfulness, gravitas and solemnity that can leave one with a vague desire to weep, though unclear whether for joy or for sorrow." Well said!
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Loved this show and Aden Young was so the right choice for Daniel. Never saw any of his work before Rectify, but now I'm going to make it a point to see what else he's done. His mastered the nonverbal acting and pretty much could watch him say nothing for probably a good part of the show and still see a story being told. The writing is just great...Sundance found a gem.
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I finished the show 3 weeks ago and loved it too ! Aden Young is good as he does not give much away and Abigail Spencer is wonderful. I liked the fact that we still do not know the truth. I loved episode 5 too. Quite a shocker for me !

Rogue is another show which I am watching and preaching. It's pacing and style is more like Banshee but is really good too especially episode 4 to 8.
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We don't know for sure but come on...We can feel the truth. He is not guilty. I was worried in the end of episode 5 and I thought maybe this is going to be another bad guy like Dexter I am going to root for but in episode 6 I was laughing my a** off :) If he is guilty I will be very surprised, but I think he just found her dead. Or I just want him to be innocent and that's what I'm seeing, not sure :) But can he become such a pure soul just because he was in prison for 19 years? I don't think so...You are or you're not...
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I was not going to include too much details as the site had lots of people screaming you SPOIL their show but since you started it....

I had the exact same thought about episode 5. I was really worried that HE died! I was relief that he did not but at the same time, I think that was the 1st time the show reveal the scarier side of Daniel.

I too lean him towards innocent more due to the fact of the events of his buddies and the river scene. However like I mentioned, we still do not know the FULL story.
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I wonder if the writers know yet if Daniel is guilty or not (they could go either way if they don't have it mapped out already). I lean towards innocent (same reasons as you all) but depending on how the story goes I could lean towards guilty. I REALLY want to know more about the "river"/etc...
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I wonder if he is schizophrenic or something else--at times he seems to have lost touch with reality (goat-man)--something more then just having to deal with readjusting to the world--kind of delusional at times imo and most apparent with the goat-man--but even if he has some disorder of thought/reality it doesn't make him guilty. I don't know if he is innocent or guilty but I lean towards innocent because of other events shown in the show (don't want to give away to many spoilers).

I also wonder if he was on death row the whole time (isolation the entire time) because of the whole "coffee event". I don't blame him for that yet I don't blame the other guy for his actions either. Another reason why I really love this show--it makes you think.

I love all the scenes--especially the Walmart scene and the scene with his brother at the skate park where he rides the bike.

I want to know more about the woods and later the river scene near the end----part of why I lean more towards innocent but I'm not 100% sure. I hope they answer that question next season.

His sister is one of my favorite characters.
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*I don't blame him for that yet I don't blame the other guy for his actions either. Another reason why I really love this show--it makes you think. *

I totally agree with this. I kind of get what their motivations and view points are.

Even the sister-in-law, really reminds me of some "kind" church folks that I faced throughout my whole life. Very eager for you to be saved and also very beautiful and sweet. Haha...
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(Spoiler!!!) (Spoiler!!!) (Spoiler!!!) (Spoiler!!!) (Spoiler!!!) (Spoiler!!!) Not schizophrenic for sure but remember Brody (Homeland)? There's definitely some kind of PTSDish condition in Daniel's behavior and it started when he found the body and then got deeper in prison. We all know that if you live in isolation for 19 years you are going to be screwed up when you get out but in this show, this is explaned in a whole new level... Remeber when he spoke with his sister about his feelings after his girlfriend's death. He spoke about guilt but not the guilt of a killer, but the guilt of a survivour who wanted to be in the victim's place because he can't bear to live without the person he loved... At least that's what I got from this conversation :) I agree that his behavior is wierd but it's also mesleading if you don't watch closely. Remeber the confession?

He wants people to believe that he is innocent but he won't try to make them believe, he doesn't know how and doesn't care at that point. He is still 18 years old if you ask me but he read a lot so he knows things. He is so confused that the only thing he cares for right now is how to go on with his life. The river scene is exactly why I think he is innocent but maybe that's too easy...

And now I am going to shut up otherwise I can go on forever...So impressed with the story :) Daniel is my favorite character in this show but I like his sister too and Toni I can't wait to see how this turns out...
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now I added Rogue and Top of the Lake to my list of shows to watch--seriously, users here give good recommendations--will check these 2 shows out soon
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I have finished top of the lake. It is not as good as Rectify but it did introduce me to the wonderful "lord of the rings" scenery and about NZ as a mountain town. Anything else to recommend? These long breaks without any shows to watch is killing me. I am thinking of picking up drop dead diva which I never watched before. Well most of the other shows I already watched and I do not want to start something that is already cancelled.
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I have started watching top of the lake. I enjoyed Elisabeth moss and the great NZ scenery but I had a hard time understanding some of the spoken English which had a very strong accent. I am now on episode 4. It is certainly not Rectify but its better than average so far. I will finished it as it is a mini series with 7 episodes.
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I found it - Jane Champions and Elisabeth Moss. Looks good. I probably watch it soon many shows have ended and there is some time before summer shows are on !
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You have to be a little patient with Rogue. The 1st 2 episode will make you think this is another one of those revenge shows but the twists especially in episode 6 to 8 is worth the wait. I have never heard of Top of the Lake,will go do some research on it.
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I'm caught up on Rogue and love it. It took a few episodes to really get into it but now that I'm caught up I can't wait to find out what happens next! Thanks for the recommendation
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Thanks for the info and I'll be patient with it. I usually give show a few episodes until the first is unwatchable--Rogue sounds good and I'll try it next~I'm finishing up Life (a show I had missed when it was aired)
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Definitely watching this one. Thank you, Netflix!
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Finally something me and this site agree on :). The regular users around these parts know Ive been preaching Rectify for a while now. Such an absolutely beautiful show with some of the most 'real' performance Ive ever seen. Part Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption and a little of the Six Feet Under family dynamics thrown in. While the exact opposite pacing of Banshee, its another show that I just cannot look away from. A man walking through walmart is one of the best scenes on television this year, if not last as well.
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Just some random trivia but Walter Goggins (The Shield, Justified) was originally going to be doing the role of Daniel. How interesting would that have been?
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I think he would have the acting talent/skills to pull off the role but he has "played the bad guy" in so many shows that it's hard not to typecast him. Regardless, he is a seriously talented actor!
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Check out Walton in The Apostle for what he's capable of.
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Just went ahead and got the 1st ep & you are absolutely fracking right Tim! Thanks for the recommendation! Will watch the rest in a few days!!!
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I feel in love with the series on the first minutes of the pilot ... the Aden Young acting , the intro, the Flume song from Bon Iver ... everything was just perfect.

Saw the six episodes on a row and i can't wait for a 2nd season.
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Tim got it right (as he often does) this is the most mesmerizing show I've ever seen. You have to be patient at first as everything starts really slow but after the first 15 minutes you are completely in, you feel everything so deeply. So simple and soo...NOT. This is the best thing I've seen in a long, long time.
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Wary of. Weary of after one season really?
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This is one of the best shows of the year so far, it is a slow burner but it has great emotional depth and the characters are all completely different and have different feelings towards Daniel, it makes you think about alot of things mainly did he do it, did he not do it. Its funny in 6 episodes i feel like ive absorbed so much in terms of the characters that i just want to keep watching.
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Also it is great to see this show get the recognition that is deserves, i thought that it would just be brushed under the carpet, i hope to see more from the Sundance Channel
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already on my list for this end summer / fall
;)
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I have the series on DVR, I just have so much to catch up on after my in-laws 6 week visit! Working through my backlog 1 show at a time, looking forward to this one.
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Been saying it since episode 1. Awesome show.
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Actually the DNA results were "inconclusive" so there is no way he would have been released in the first place. While I enjoyed the show it's not nearly as "complex" as the author lets on. It's actually quite simple and that's what is so attracting. Unfortunately it's also about as predictable as can be. You won't be surprised by anything. The dialogue is what keeps the show moving. The best character is his sister. She's a malignant narcissist but she loves her brother.
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Loved it SO much; it was such a breath of fresh air amongst all the awful reality shows and lacklustre 'dramas' on tv at the moment. It was the sort of show that really stayed with you and I often find myself thinking about it even now. I think it being a slow moving show was the best part - no one is going to be released from a long prison sentence, especially on death row, and just jump back into the world as if nothing had happened.

'Rectify' was utterly believable and I think the slow pace was a big a part of that believability. Aden Young should definitely get an awards nod for his role; he was so haunting as Daniel, he really got in your head. It became more about how he'd survive in the outside world as much as it was about whether he was guilty or innocent.

I hear there's going to be a season 2; I hope that's not just a rumour. Personally I do believe that Daniel's innocent; it's just a hunch, but it's what I believe. I've had others say to me that they believe he's guilty but is now trying to make amends. So I think, just the like Daniel's hometown, even the viewers can be split on whether his innocence is true or whether he's guilty.

I think he'd do better elsewhere; certainly returning to a town where the vast majority believe him to be guilty was probably never going to have a Hallmark ending. Perhaps in the next series they can have him start again elsewhere and see how he fares; or I suppose him returning to his hometown after what happened in this season might put a different spin on things - though I doubt it.

I can't wait for season 2 and to see what happens next........
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Couldn't agree more. I still think of it as well. The slow deliberate pace was so refreshing and is exactly how it needed to be. This is a show about normal people coping with this event in their daily lives. Daily life is slow and "small" and where most of the living happens. Watching Daniel try to adapt to all the changes in life and also with how various people perceive him was fascinating.
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You've hit the nail on the head; his wonder at things like mobile phones and changes in the shops in his hometown really brought home to me how much he'd missed and how out of the loop of every day life he'd been - it made the years he'd missed with his family far more poignant than any of the more emotional scenes.

Out of all the other characters I liked his sister Amantha the most; I think she was the only one who really 'got' him as he is now, and didn't want him to go back to the boy he'd been.

It was such a thought provoking show and I think that's why I liked it *so* much; a rare commodity in today's reality rubbish and quick fix dramas. I really hope that the talk of a season 2 is not just a rumour.
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Again, couldn't agree more. I often think of the scene where the teenage boys in the convenience store sneak up & take a picture with him without his consent. Though he probably knew why they would do it, he didn't know that they took his picture let alone what was going to be done with it afterwards. The look of confusion on his face. Such a quick, small moment and yet it speaks volumes about the reality in which Daniel now lives. It also underscores the disconnect between him and other people and his true isolation from his family and society.

So thought-provoking, and yet deceptively simple. Tim put it well- you can take from it as much as you're willing to find.
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Oh that's good; I know sometimes the things I post read more than little strangely. I do try to rectify if them (no pun intended), but then miss other errors.
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Well I'm sorry you had to go through that but your posts sound great! I would have never known you had those issues so no worries! :)
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Wow, I did not know that. It did seem like it was a lot longer; I thought it was over the course of a few weeks at least, possibly even a few months. I shall have to watch it again some time and see if there were clues as to the time frame.....

Oh and I must apologise, I had two strokes a few years back (I was just 41) and it's left me a bit brain damaged, amongst other things, so I do tend to have typos. Though my main problem is missing words. I tend to think them, but my fingers forget to type them! lol! However it can make my posts read a bit bizarrely. Sorry.
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Also, I just watched a clip of Aden Young talking about Rectify and I did not realize the entire first season took place over the course of six days. Whether due to the deliberate pace or the events that took place (or both), it seemed much longer. He went through so much in one week!
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Totally understandable! I know, I felt for Daniel so much. The scene didn't make me cry, it made me angry at those selfish rude teenagers. I also thought that maybe it was better to leave than to put up with such things.

I'm excited for season 2 as well, especially since it's going to be 10 episodes instead of six. And like you I really wonder where they're going to take Daniel after what happened.
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Being honest here - that scene made me cry. As you say it was so quick and small a moment, but it was *so* telling that my heart just went out to Daniel; I just got so choked up and felt so sorry for him.

It was then I really felt he should've gone somewhere else to live, because this town was never going to really accept him again - whether they believed was guilty or innocent was irrelevant, it was the remind.he represented of what had happened to one of their own.

Really glad they're doing another season; though, given the ending of Season 1, I do wonder where they'll take Daniel next.
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It's been renewed for a season 2 which should air sometime in 2014
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Brilliant; good news, cheered me up considering the hell the UK's in at the moment. It will be nice to have such a wonderful programme to escape to, even if it won't be until next year. With luck they might release this season on dvd.
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You know, Tim, I listen to you but you don't seem to cotton much to me. TV dot com is my favorite website and you and I have been around a while, so can't we be friends? I know, I know, you're mouthing, "What's that about? I'm a TV dot com staffer - who is this guy?" Wacky shit, I know, but think about it, ComiCon 2010. Anyway, I took your advice, yet again and watched this. I had them all but was on the fence and you pushed me over. And yet again, you were right. Rectify was all you said and more. Now I'm sorry I only have 5 more to watch 'til next year and I'm going to savor this one - probably take till August before I'm done because I never marathon anything - slow and easy wins the race. This was anything but slow, and oh so tasty. I'm really glad you wrote this, just one more gem in a sea of many you've recommended...
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don't worry about Tim;-) It's his loss.

KiowaWoolley recommended this a while back (before Tim)....seriously, there are a ton of tv.com users who give great recommendations.

Once you have finished the season let me know what you think--did you enjoy all of it? Do you think Daniel is innocent or guilt? Coverup or not? so many questions (but was so entertained/mesmerized while watching the show). I had to binge the entire show--If I ate ice cream I would of eaten it all in one sitting--you can still savor something even if you binge on it! lol
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There's a place about six miles from my house that has these incredible half-pound pastrami sandwiches, down near the ghetto. but it even takes me two sittings to eat one of those. I still have the finale of Suits, six episodes of my favorite, The Good Wife and 5 Orphan Blacks to go and that makes me a rich man. Envy me...
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All great shows and I envy you having the anticipation/enjoyment of watching them for the first time. I thought you were caught up with Suits. I just finished the part of your excellent book where you quote Mike (why we won WWII--Spook didn't let Kirk save Joan Collins)...just finished chapter 2--excellent book (so far, lol).
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Shuhhh, I don't think were supposed to be talking about that here...
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Wow, that's some big talk Tim, but because I applaud you doing your rightful duty as a TV writer and 'preach the gospel' of Rectify, I'll listen to you and watch it ASAP (I was planning to watch it eventually anyway). I'm a little worried about the slow pace everyone's talking about, but six episodes isn't that big a commitment for a TV show, so I'm sure I'll push through and watch them all, I have an I denying urge to at least get to that 'magnificent must-watch-by-every-human-being fifth episode' that you mentioned in particular. And then I'll watch The Americans, because I respect your opinion that much :)
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Treat it like a Tootsie Pop and don't break the shell, this one's way too good to gobble, although you'll want to...
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I applaud the makers of daring to do this in a slow and fantastic pace.Some people out there complain, but the only way for us to really FEEL how he struggles is by going slow. I've seen all episodes and couldn't stop. The performance by the actors is out of this world.
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Acting is mindblowing. The only show that comes close to Breaking Bad.
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Thought you wrote "action is mind blowing" and my sarcasm detector exploded. I am a dumbass but I agree with you
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Wow, you really made me go watch it after this article. And I must say, I found the Pilot mesmerizing! Seriously, what a captivating show.

*off to watch rest of series*
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I watched the first episode, and though I recognize the show´s qualities, it was just too depressing for me. I like my shows to cheer me up, rather than bring me down.
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Fantastic review Tim. Couldn't have put it better myself. Rectify is superb- beautiful, artful, challenging, absorbing, realistic. Everything that happens in this family and the town could happen to our family should those tragic circumstances ever befall us. While it is frustrating to not know for sure if Daniel committed the crimes I find the ambiguity of guilt very true to life. In the real world we don't always get to know what really happened. And as gpgurl50 said you can still relate to and sympathize with Daniel as a human being regardless of whether he's guilty (and also with his cell block friend whose name I'm forgetting at the moment). The entire concept of guilt, in all it's forms, is explored beautifully. What does it mean to be guilty, to be innocent, what "crimes" are deserving of guilt, who feels guilt and for what (forgive me for waxing philosophical...Rectify will bring that out of you).

So many themes, and yet it does not lecture. You can understand each character's stance, whether or not you agree with it. Which is due not only to the wonderful dialogue (or sometimes lack thereof) but also to the stunning performance of Aden Young and the rest of the cast. A beautifully layered show. Can't wait for season two.
More+
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I am incapable of murder, but if I were, I'm the type of person who also could not lie about it either. I'm no Saint and I've certainly done a few things in life I'm not particularly proud of, but I believe I'm like a lot of folks. Never been charged with a crime, never intentionally ever hurt anyone, stuff like that. So I believe Daniel didn't do it, because of the person he is portrayed to be throughout the first episode. You also hit the nail on the head about the rest of the characters and they are realistic as hell. Great comment jossjunkie...
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Thanks! I also believe Daniel is innocent. But they put in just enough oddness to make it plausible that he did it. And you don't know for sure where it comes from...was he always like that or was it all the isolation and trauma from going into death row as such a young man. I love the complexities and layers of all the characters. In real life that's how we are, various shades of grey. The step-brother is sometimes an ass, and yet I understand where he's coming from. And even if it turns out Daniel did do it, I still empathize with him and feel protective of him. I don't condone what the victim's brother did at all but I understand that this is the man he believed murdered his sister. Like you said, realistic as hell.
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What I believe so far is his interaction with the other guy on death row says a lot about him. What I think is his - sort of roomie - will be executed and will have a profound effect on Daniel - because roomie evidently did do it. He's also wonderfully portrayed...
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Yes he is. I liked him and I also really liked the lawyer/Amantha's boyfriend. Pretty much every single person is spot on.
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Not airing anywhere in Canada, as far as I know.
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No such thing as "the best show, period". But it sounds like something I must watch. Does buying Blu-Rays help with keeping the show on the air? But really, this article has me interested in The Americans, which looked like another recycled terrorist tv show which is why I avoided it.
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How about Top of the Lake?.... Just like Rectify, it's gotten really good reviews from the critics all over the Internet....... Planning to watch it some time later.......... Anyway... Rectify is really a good show focused on character study......
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Sold, I'm giving it a shot, Tim ! ;)
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You won't regret it, Tim and I guarantee it...
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one of the best of 2013 and I hated the short season.
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tried watching gave up on it!!!
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I'm so angry at this show, cos I didn't want the season to end. Like I want more. I want to know what happens. I need to see the reactions to what happened at the end. I can't believe I have to wait an entire year to watch it again. Brilliant, simply brilliant.
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I watched it and it was definitely one of my favorite shows of 2013. The show explores these issues beautifully as well as the relationships. I also like that the show doesn't confirm or deny whether Daniel is guilty or whether he is guilty for one of the crimes if not both. You can find yourself sympathizing with him without really knowing. Also, Aden Young needs to supplement his Rectify income by doing audio books. That voice is something.
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