Rectify doesn’t feel like anything else on television – ‘you have to do work to watch the show, like reading a book or doing a puzzle.’ But it is worth it
True crime has never been as popular: the podcast Serial broke all records, drawing more than 5 million listeners into re-examining the case of Adnan Syed, and listening to the journey presenter Sarah Koenig took with the case and her mission to find the shadow of a doubt.
Quick on Serial’s heels, HBO premiered The Jinx, an interview series with New York real estate scion Robert Durst, which became a must-watch as documentarian Andrew Jarecki found new evidence in murders long linked to Durst. The inevitable confrontation was riveting television, Durst’s body burping in response to the possible validation of his crimes, and then topping that moment, The Jinx team got his possible confession on audio.
“As a culture, we’re very interested in whodunnits,” actress Abigail Spencer said over the phone. She’s familiar with the allure, between her role on True Detective season two, currently airing on HBO, and her performance as Amantha Holden in Sundance Channel’s Rectify, whose third season premieres on 9 July. Both dramas are rooted in horrible crimes, the price of masculinity and how violence ripples out into a community. Yet, despite True Detective’s mix of spiritualism hoodoo, Rectify may be the show more concerned with the human condition and how the spirit can survive impossible odds. “What’s very special about Rectify,” she says, “is that the whodunnit doesn’t matter any more. You’re met with the absolute worst being on death row. And what would happen if you get another shot?”