Series Review: Rectify – Season 1 (2013)


Time for another series review (Yippee?). But this time we are stepping it down a little bit and instead of reviewing an entire show, we are only having a look at the first season of a show. This is a format I will go by if a show has multiple seasons and I have started it after I created my series reviews. So you won’t see any season-by-season reviews of “Arrow” or “Hell on Wheels” or other shows, those will get full on reviews whenever the show wrap up and I have finished them. Now that this disclaimer has been issued, let’s review this show.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s all have a look at the first season of… “Rectify”.

Daniel Holden (Aden Young) has been on death row for 19 years after he raped and murdered his girlfriend. Although DNA evidence has now, after all this time, shown that it might not have been Daniel who did it. So now he is released back into the world, to reunite with his family which has changed a lot in the 19 years he’s been locked up. So we get to follow Daniel as he has to try to reintegrate himself into society with the help of his family. We also get to see how his family and other people try to cope with Daniel back out. Not gonna lie… I fucking loved the plot here. It’s incredibly fascinating to see how this man who has been locked away from society for so long try to become part of it again. Also, it’s a very quiet show. It is really about the little things in life, even though his release is a pretty damn big event. But like I said, it is a quiet show… until the explosive season finale which I will not spoil because I’m nice like that. But yeah, I found the drama extremely riveting and I loved it all.

The characters all feel fleshed out, unique and very real. Despite all being fictional characters made up for this show, they all feel like very real people. And I think part of that is because of some really good writing. Then of course also have the very grounded performances. Aden Young as Daniel is fantastic, giving a very subdued and quiet performance. I don’t know about you, but if I would get released after spending 19 years in isolation, I think I’d have a hard time fitting in, just like Daniel. And Young manages to capture that perfectly in his overall fantastic performance. Abigail Spencer plays Daniel’s younger sister, Amantha and she is pretty great in the show too. Her character is a little more talkative and “happy” (in lack of a better word) even though it’s weird for her that her older brother’s out of jail, and she is fantastic in her role. Every actor does in fact give a performance that is on one of two levels; great or fantastic. Also, I forgot to mention that the characters are very deep as well. Which is great because it just improves everything so much.

The score was done by composer Gabriel Mann and I have to say that it is one of the best scores I have ever heard. It is a very contemplative and thought provoking score, which perfectly suits the plot of the show in that sense. It is also overall very beautiful with perfect use of the instruments to create any mood the show wants to portray, even if it already does that perfectly through the writing and the acting. I would put it like this: The style of the score is a mix of the intro to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Afterlife” and the overall score of the show “Justified”. I don’t know if that is a good comparison, but we’ll go with it anyway. Despite my weird comparison, I think the score is pretty fantastic.

This show looks gorgeous. The directing is fantastic and so is the cinematography. It’s pretty stylish and unique in it’s look, but I don’t complain, it looks great and fits the show perfectly. Also, while I won’t compare too much here, there can be a lot of parallels drawn to “Breaking Bad” in the show’s overall style. But I guess that might come from the producers of “Rectify” who apparently also worked on “Breaking Bad”. And while I see a few similarities in style, “Rectify” does enough unique things to stand out as it’s own thing.

This show has been overall really well-received. Of course we are only taking a look at season 1 here, but still. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And has no average per season, so I’m just linking you to the overall imdb page.

“Rectify” season 1 is a great way to start up a show. It has a thought provoking & terrific plot, fantastic characters & performances, fantastic music, terrific directing & cinematography and some overall great drama. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for the first season of “Rectify” is a 9,89/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Season 1 of “Rectify” is now reviewed.

Sentenced to die, condemned to live.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.