come and see (elem klimov, 1985)
music friday: songwriters

20 best and rectify

I missed this article in the New York Times from January: "The 20 Best TV Dramas Since 'The Sopranos'". You might have different choices ... heck, the article ends with some of the critics choosing the shows they thought should be on the list but weren't. Many of the shows are obvious: The Wire, The West Wing, The Shield, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood, Mad Men, The Americans, The Leftovers. In this era, when television watching is essentially based on "catching up", you could do worse than to hunt those 20 shows down and stream them, binge them, re-watch them, whatever. In a couple of cases, notably Atlanta, you can catch up and then continue watching, since it's still on.

But there's one show I was very happy to see on the list, a show that no one I know watched, a great show that deserves to be discovered: Rectify. In the article, Margaret Lyons writes:

Watching “Rectify” will turn your soul into a pensive cello song, and your hands into those of an aged person mourning their youth. You’ll discover an old handkerchief in the back of a drawer, behold it briefly in the dusty sunlight, then collapse onto the corner of the bed, weeping at the fragility of all human life — how fallible and wonderful it all is, how damaged and dark.

In my recap of television in 2016, I wrote:

"The best show currently on TV (The Americans is between seasons). Its glacial pace turns away most viewers ... it’s a gift that creator Ray McKinnon has been given the chance to tell the story in full, given the poor ratings. Recently, I decided the show reminded me of soap operas, where it takes months to resolve anything. Except I don’t expect things to be resolved on Rectify. I can only hope that sometime in the future, people catch up with it on streaming, and kick themselves for missing out in the first place. Aden Young, the unknown-to-me star, is as good as anyone, week after week. And this is what Abigail Spencer did before Timeless. If you actually want to take my advice, this is the show to start with.” Since I wrote this, Rectify’s series finale has been shown. There was more resolution than I expected, but even then, it was very much in tune with how Rectify worked. As Aden Young as Daniel said, “I’m cautiously optimistic.” I’ll emphasize this point one last time: Rectify is one of the best series to ever appear on television.

You can watch Rectify on Netflix.

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