Sorry for the delay, I had some computer problems. But I’ve caught up on Rectify.
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When you watch a series like Rectify, you become amazed that there simply isn’t anything like it on television right now. You can count off the procedurals that deal with unsolved murders or the family dramas that keep us coming back week after week, but it’s a truly rare occurrence to watch a series that takes so much time to develop the people we’ve come to care about over the course of however many seasons. When Rectify premiered in 2013, it was lauded for its deliberately slow and beautiful pacing; two seasons later, it continues to earn raves from fans and critics alike for its patience in exploring the repercussions of Daniel Holden’s release from prison and the effects on the Holden family and small town.
While it has been fascinating to see the continued evolution of everyone involved, I’ve found one of the most interesting transformations to watch has been that of Teddy, played by Clayne Crawford. Teddy started out the series as a seemingly content, Frat-boy-esque, presence amongst the Holden clan. He had the steady job, the sweet wife, and was generally at peace with his place in the world. With the release of his step-brother Daniel from prison, we’ve seen Teddy’s life get completely fractured. And regardless of Teddy’s original demeanor, Crawford’s amazing performance has turned a once unlikeable character into a fully-imagined individual for whom we feel incredible empathy. I spoke to Clayne last week about Teddy’s gradual change in perception, and where he thinks the character goes from here.
First of all, congratulations on the early season four renewal. That’s fantastic news!
Clayne: Thank you.
I’m really loving the new season so far. A lot of people praise the show for its pacing and its attention to character. What drew you to this project originally?
Clayne: Many things. I think it was the detail that Ray has with each individual character. I felt like I had a connection with everyone from the Sheriff all the way to Daniel. I didn’t feel that anyone was written in a typical role. Television kind of follows guidelines of you’re the protagonist , the lead character, the strong character, the sympathetic, the emotional. And I feel like Ray allows everyone to be human in this story. Meaning they wear different hats at different times depending on the situation that they find themselves in. I mean the individuals that they’re communicating with, at that time. I had not read anything like that. And then, of course, I felt that it depicted the south in a way that I’ve never seen before, an honest way.
Did you identify with Teddy as a character right off the bat?
Clayne: I grew up with Teddies, right? I knew Teddies when I was in high school. And I think being an athlete growing up and being in locker rooms with these guys and spending time with these individuals that you realize that they’re jerks, or they’re perceived as jerks, because of their own sadness and their own insecurities. And I feel like American television has depicted these guys as being these just boisterous, confident, with the big hair and kind of good looking guys with their polo shirts on, and we never really see who these guys are. And I felt like I could bring a certain honesty to Teddy that wasn’t necessarily on the page in the first script that I saw. Then after communicating with Ray, I realized that he kind of had the same intentions that I felt that I could bring to it as far as the way he wanted to depict Teddy.
I’ve updated the photo gallery as well as the video gallery with the first two episodes of Rectify’s Season 3. Hope you’re enjoying the season so far!
A day before the Season 3 premiere of Rectify, SundanceTV has ordered a fourth year of its signature drama. No episode count was given for the fourth season, which will premiere in 2016.
Even in an increasingly crowded field of dramas on television, Rectify has established itself as something special,” said Charlie Collier, President of SundanceTV and AMC. “Rectify has had such a huge impact in establishing SundanceTV as a home for high-quality, intelligent drama.”
The Peabody Award-winning tells the story of Daniel Holden (Aden Young), who is released after serving nearly 20 years in isolation on death row and returns to his small hometown in Georgia and must cope with being an outsider to his family, his community and the times.
Rectify was created and written Ray McKinnon, who executive produces along with Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron, Luke Kirby, Clayne Crawford, Adelaide Clemens, Bruce McKinnon and Jake Austin Walker also star. Last year, the series was renewed days before its sophomore-season finale.
As former death row inmate Daniel Holden (Aden Young) addresses the press in the pilot episode of “Rectify” (Sundance TV), the camera moves like a supplicant shifting from one foot to the other. His conviction in the rape and murder of 16-year-old Hanna Dean two decades earlier vacated due to new DNA evidence, Daniel speaks with the soft assurance of a philosopher, or a priest, explaining the ordeal as a “strict routine” of despair suddenly disrupted by new hope.
“I had convinced myself that kind of optimism served no useful purpose in the world where I existed,” he says. “Obviously, this radical belief system was flawed and was, ironically, a kind of fantasy itself. At the least, I feel that those specific coping skills were best suited to the life there behind me. I doubt they will serve me so well for the life in front of me.”
Faith, broadly defined, is rarely taken seriously on American television, for all the supposed influence it has in our society. By comparison with greed, or fame, or power, religion as an animating force in the lives of fictional characters seems almost quaint, a relic of bygone days and retrograde opinions, or otherwise the scrim behind which corruption hides. “Rectify,” by contrast, registers as a “radical belief system” of its own, not because it evangelizes on behalf of a particular creed but because it explores the terrain on which faith and doubt meet in such crisp, painstaking detail. Among its many other merits, creator Ray McKinnon’s series achieves an austere command of the varieties of religious experience to which few recent works of American art have even aspired. It’s devotional television.
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?”
I’ve also added some photos to the gallery.
SundanceTV’s Peabody Award-winning drama “Rectify” will return on Thursday, July 9, and Variety has an exclusive first look at the cast portraits for season three, which picks up immediately where the second season finale left off, on the very afternoon of Daniel’s (Aden Young) plea deal, with pressing questions still lingering over Daniel’s freedom: Will the deal be accepted? Will Daniel be forced to leave town? And when the body of a missing person is discovered, law enforcement once again turns to him for answers.
Elsewhere in season three, as Daniel’s devoted sister Amantha (Abigail Spencer) attempts to live her own life, she is given an opportunity at a local store that for the first time in a long time has nothing to do with her brother. Meanwhile, Tawney (Adelaide Clemens) and Ted Jr. (Clayne Crawford) struggle to see if their marriage has a future by delving into their pasts for answers. Janet (J. Smith Cameron) and Ted Sr. (Bruce McKinnon), also under pressure from Daniel’s actions, will find that their marriage is put to the test as well.
SundanceTV will also run a marathon of the first two seasons over the Fourth of July weekend — beginning Saturday, July 4th at 2 p.m. ET/PT. The marathon will kick off with the series’ season one premiere followed by episodes airing back-to-back in order through the season two finale. In addition, SundanceTV’s sister network, AMC, will run a late-night marathon of both seasons of “Rectify” during the week of June 15th, to give viewers another chance to catch up.
Clayne and the Rectify cast attended The 74th Annual Peabody Awards where they won an award for 2014!