Of all the shows I watch, I can’t think of any that packs as much of an emotional wallop as Rectify. Judging by all the sniffles I heard during the screening of the season two premiere at the recent ATX Television Festival, I’m pretty sure everyone who was in the audience at the panel agreed. For those who haven’t caught up with the drama, its six-episode first season is currently streaming on Netflix Instant, and the new season premieres on the Sundance Channel this Thursday (June 19). Set in a small Georgia town, the story follows Daniel Holden, who has been released from death row 19 years into his sentence for the murder and rape of his high school girlfriend after some new DNA information comes to light. His family, the town and obviously Daniel himself all struggle with his reintroduction into society in different, beautiful and heartbreaking ways.
Despite just six episodes, Rectify and its characters feel lived-in and thoroughly authentic, due in no small part to the singular vision of creator Ray McKinnon and its main cast. Executive producer Mark Johnson and actress Abigail Spencer, who plays Daniel’s forthright and fiercely loyal sister, Amantha Holden, were at the ATX Festival for the post-screening Q&A, and even Spencer had tears in her eyes as she made her way up to the stage after watching the season two premiere. This is a special show, and the Q&A only showed me even more why that is, thanks to the dedication and care given to this story by its cast and crew.
Before season two starts, catch up on all six episodes of season one (and then count yourself lucky that you won’t have to wait long to see how that heart-wrenching cliffhanger resolves). Check out a trailer for the show’s first season below.