“Rectify” is one of TV’s best shows, but it’s also one of the hardest to describe to those who haven’t seen it. What it’s about plot-wise isn’t at all what it’s about thematically, or as an experience.
Tell someone “it’s about a man released from prison after years on death row for killing his high school girlfriend,” and it sounds like a revenge thriller, or a legal drama, when it’s not that at all. Over its first two seasons, the series dealt with issues relating to Daniel’s legal case, and gave us a few alternate suspects for the murder – albeit without ever telling us that Daniel had nothing to do with it – but it’s primary about the emotions swirling around Daniel and his loved ones as he returns to a world he never expected to see again, where half the people assume he’s guilty and the other half don’t understand what’s going on behind his unnerving stare.
Still, even a niche, artistically-inclined channel like Sundance has to find some way to sell the show to newcomers, which is why the season 3 trailer (embedded above), focuses almost entirely on Daniel’s legal troubles, the death of potential suspect George, and the local cops finally looking into the role Trey may have played in all of this. I haven’t yet watched episodes of the new season, and it’s entirely possible that Ray McKinnon has pivoted the show into a more straightforward narrative style this year, but a trailer is a sales tool far more often than it’s meant to be an exact representation of the thing it’s promoting. Either way, I’m glad “Rectify” will be back very soon, and that we got to see a bit of new footage today.
“Rectify” season 3 debuts on July 9 at 10 p.m. on Sundance. Sundance will be showing a marathon of the first two seasons on July 4 starting at 2. (The first two seasons are also streaming on Netflix and available for download on Amazon, iTunes and elsewhere.)