If you want to try a show that I think should be universally loved, this is the one. Each of us will discover something about what we think we know as we watch.
A few years ago, I watched a show that defied me to dislike it: Rectify. It’s still available on Netflix. As many said, it was the best tv show that no one was watching when it first aired.
“It’s the beauty, not the ugly, that hurts the most.” As wounding as this quote was, I laughed when I heard it again this week. Laughter emanates from the recognition of at least a kernel of truth. Though I was prepared for The Stranger scene in Rectify, the wallop it hit me with caught me off guard. If this quote seems strange to you, it is because you didn’t visit the emotional world created in this tv series.
When Daniel violently taught Teddy a lesson about his ignorance of assault, I laughed at that too, even though the lesson was graphic.
Like other shows such as Six Feet Under, Rectify tore through me like a tornado. It uses language and emotion so close to my own inner monologue that I felt like someone strip-mined me a bit to create this show. I learned more from SFU during the second viewing. Rewatching Season 1 of Rectify both amplified and soothed my past life for me. For those not exposed to brutality, it may seem counterintuitive to find redemption in seeing someone else suffer to find it.
Along with books like “The Prince of Tides” or “A Prayer For Owen Meany,” I add “Rectify” to the list of great works that line the perimeter of the sublime for me. If you watch “Rectify” with a keen eye, you will see bits of me hidden in there.
Watching the show again, I must admit that a couple of the scenes almost led me to burst into tears. I think it’s because I recognized the beauty in the struggle. We’re never the same person twice.
Here’s a link from something I wrote a few years ago: