‘Rectify’ back for much-anticipated third season
Still no shortage of first-rate television shows for summer of 2015
Greetings TV fans! Proper Channels is going on vacation, but, not to worry — The Summer of Great TV™ is showing no signs of letting up, so it’s a real treat to be able to devote this final column for July to a closer look at three more pretty decent summer shows.
“RECTIFY” (Sundance TV, Thursdays): Season three of the finest under-the-radar drama on television began July 9, and even with the small sample size of a single episode to judge the new season on, it’s plain to see that all the things that made “Rectify” essential viewing during its first two seasons are still front and centre.
This slow-burning series created by veteran character actor Ray McKinnon tells the unsettling story of Daniel Holden (Aden Young), released from death row after nearly two decades when new DNA evidence casts reasonable doubt on his conviction for the first-degree murder of a teenaged girl when he was just 18.
But unlike your usual televised crime story, “Rectify” is no whodunnit that restlessly turns over every rock to find the killer, who, truth be told, may or may not be Daniel himself.
Instead, it’s a thoughtful meditation on what it might be like to have your life put on hold and, after having become resigned to your fate, be suddenly and unexpectedly thrown back into the great, wide world once again. From its very first scenes, “Recify” has always been the story of a man slowly learning how to live again, with all other subplots, as compelling as they may be, pushed to the margins in service of the larger story.
McKinnon, a Southerner, has created a show that is specific to the languid rhythms of smalltown Southern life, and with supporting characters, particularly stepbrother Teddy (Clayne Crawford) and his wife, Tawney (Adelaide Clemens) so perfectly in tune with his vision, it’s little wonder “Rectify” is considered one of the finest dramas on television.
At the same time, it’s different enough that it would never at- tract an audience large enough to survive on network television, so we can thank Sundance for giving “Rectify” the exposure it so richly deserves.
“WAYWARD PINES” (Fox, Thursdays): I’m a huge fan of televised science-fiction/fantasy, but I’ll admit I didn’t hold out much hope for “Wayward Pines” when I heard Fox was doing a series on Blake Crouch’s trilogy of the same name, mostly because Fox is usually so bone-headed in the way it handles sci-fi — i.e., their miserable treatment of such underrated gems as “Ter- minator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles” and “Dollhouse.”
Shows what I know. “Wayward Pines” is a mind-blowing viewing experience that’s right up my science-fictional alley, and it looks like Fox is keeping its interfering paws off the show, at least for the time being.
The series stars Matt Dillion as secret service agent Ethan Burke, who travels to the sleepy town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two fellow agents who have gone missing. Once Dillion’s character arrives in town, he finds he cannot leave and his every movement is being watched and recorded.
Things get more and more bizarre with each passing episode — he finds the dead body of one of the agents, but the other has settled into a typical suburban lifestyle and tells Ethan she’s been there for 10 years, even though he last saw her only weeks before — until the Big Reveal in episode 5 that’s a true jaw-dropper.
I won’t spoil it for anyone wanting to get caught up with the show, but series creator Chad Hodge has struck gold with “Wayward Pines, a wildly entertaining yarn that’s helped out considerably by a cast filled with great character actors like Melissa Leo, Juliette Lewis, Toby Jones and Carla Gugino.
“KEY AND PEELE” (The Comedy Network, Wednesdays): I’ve seen some first-rate sketch comedy this year (“Inside Amy Schumer” and “Sunnyside”) but I don’t think I’ve seen a funner bit than last week’s “feminist pirates” sketch from the season 5 premiere of “Key and Peele,” where a bunch of ferocious pirates sing blood-curdling songs about how much they . . . cherish and respect women.
The lyrics were hilarious and things were rolling along just fine until one scurvy dog sings a really nasty anti-women verse — only to be promptly shot dead by a lady pirate lurking unseen in the background.
I don’t know how I managed to miss the first four seasons of Keegan-Michael Key’s and Jordan Peele’s hilarious sketch show, but I’ll be tuning in for the rest of season 5, for sure, and probably hunting down the previous seasons as well.
Ken MacLeod is an editor and reporter with the Cape Breton Post. He probably watches more television than is good for him, but welcomes any comment from readers on what they might have read in this column or what they might like to see in future columns. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Alden Young has delivered an Emmy-worthy performance as lead character Daniel Holden in the first two seasons of Sundance TV’s Southern Gothic, “Rectify,” and it looks like more of the same is in store for fans of the show with the new season. Season 3 premiered on Sundance last week and has since been picked up by Netflix Canada.