If you're like me, your cable package does not include the Sundance Channel. That's really a shame, too, because that network just premiered one of the most exciting new dramas on television: a little show called Rectify.
I don't mean 'exciting' in the white-knuckled, pulse-pounding, Breaking Bad sense of the word. Rectify is a slow, quiet series that follows Daniel Holden, a man recently released (but not exonerated) from death row and trying to return to the real world in a small southern town that still believes him to be guilty. Fans of Justified might see Rectify as the FX series' quieter brother, and they wouldn't be wrong.
Rectify might deliver southern-accented verbosity in a way similar to Justified, but this time, it isn't Elmore Leonard or Graham Yost writing the dialogue: it's Ray McKinnon, an Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter. You might know him as an actor -- he had a recurring role on Sons of Anarchy as Lincoln Potter, and he starred on HBO's Deadwood as Reverend Smith. But McKinnon's best work is a short film titled 'The Accountant,' which won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 2001. The Accountant (which stars Justified's Walton Goggins) is a clever, unsettling, and often hilarious film -- and with a running time of just thirty-five minutes, it's one worth watching twice.
But Rectify (which premiered on Monday) is much more introspective than The Accountant or Justified. It's extremely compelling television, but more for its character development than its plot. Since that doesn't always lend itself to high viewership for a weekly television series, Sundance has gone ahead and released all six episodes of the first season on iTunes. For just $9.99, you can watch the entire thing, either binge-watching (as I currently am), or at your own pace. If you purchase on iTunes, you'll be able to watch the season's remaining four episodes before they air.
Regardless of how you watch the series, though, you definitely should watch. Fans of shows like Mad Men, and Justified will probably find something to love with the series -- I'm only two episodes in at the moment, and I'm hooked. It's a quiet series, but it might just be an important one.
For those of you who are watching along on Sundance Channel instead of on iTunes, Rectify will air its third episode, "Modern Times," this Monday, April 29, on Sundance Channel.