These days, dramatic series will burn through plotlines like kindling. Take a bathroom break while watching “Empire,” and when you’re back, everything will have changed.
“Rectify,” by contrast, takes it slow. Maybe that’s because it’s set in the small town of Paulie, Georgia, where things … do … not … move … quickly. But that’s not to say things don’t happen.
So far this season, Teddy (Clayne Crawford) tried to get a candy bar out of a vending machine in the sheriff’s office. “My Twix is stuck,” he tells the sheriff, who notes, “Yeah, they’re tricky sometimes.” Because, the sheriff explains, the wafer’s ridges can cause it to get “hung up” and refuse to emerge.
Teddy has other issues. His wife, Tawney (Adelaide Clemens), has miscarried and gone to live with a friend. Plus, she has feelings for Teddy’s stepbrother, Daniel.
And that brings us to the central character of this unsettling stew. Daniel is now roaming around town making everyone kind of uncomfortable after his release from prison, where he served 19 years for allegedly raping and strangling his girlfriend when he was 18 and she was 16. Even though he has confessed to the crime as part of a plea deal, he’s been freed due to conflicting DNA evidence. He’s supposed to leave Georgia within 30 days, but it doesn’t look as if he’s going anywhere soon. He’s just moved in with his sister Amantha (Abigail Spencer), the one person who’s always believed his innocence.
Meanwhile, George, who might have been the real killer, has been found dead in a lake. Murder … or suicide?
Clearly, small-town life can be a trial. But it’s never dull. Take it from state senator Roland Foulkes, who as a prosecutor put Daniel in prison all those years ago: “Life is always perilous. That’s what gives it its spice.”
A few scenes later, he suffers a stroke.
So maybe “Rectify” really is the best — the best languidly-paced, slightly weird southern Gothic dramatic series on television today. The first two seasons are on Netflix now — better hurry and catch up before it moseys on without you.
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