by Kate Newton
The Sundance Channel has already secured one hit this year with Top of the Lake (starring Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss), and fans of the network can watch a sneak peak of its next buzzed-about program, Rectify, at the Loft tonight at 7 p.m.
The Loft is one of only 14 theaters screening the preview of Rectify, which is Sundance Channel’s first “wholly owned original scripted series,” according to a release from Jeff Yanc, the program director at the Loft. The show already has a few things going for it: produced by the same team behind cable favorite Breaking Bad and already being hailed by TV critics in advance screenings, Rectify has potential to put the network on the map the way The Walking Dead, Mad Men and the aforementioned critical behemoth Breaking Bad transformed AMC into a ratings powerhouse.
The first two episodes of the show will screen tonight in advance of the April 22 premiere date, followed by a Skype Q&A with Rectify’s cast members. Admission is free, but the Osborne Association, which aids families affected by incarceration, will be accepting donations.
The ties to criminal justice makes more sense given the plot of Rectify, outlined in Yanc’s release:
RECTIFY is created and written by Ray McKinnon (That Evening Sun) and executive produced by Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein (the team behind the critically-acclaimed AMC series, “Breaking Bad”). When Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released after nearly 20 years of complete isolation on Death Row, he returns as an outsider to his family, to his community, and to the times. Somehow, he survived the mental and emotional strain of his imprisonment, but now the walls have suddenly come crumbling down and Daniel is set free in a world he no longer understands. He’s an outsider, lost in a once familiar world, struggling to navigate his new found freedom. Combined with two decades of technological and social changes to his small town and the larger world, everything he encounters is a puzzle.
Also starring in RECTIFY alongside Aden Young (Killer Elite) as Daniel Holden are Abigail Spencer (Oz the Great and Powerful), who portrays Amantha Holden, Daniel Holden’s younger sister who believes completely in his innocence and has devoted her entire adult life to securing his release; J. Smith Cameron (“True Blood”) who plays Janet Talbot, Daniel’s loving mother, who has been living with the impending death of her son for nineteen years, and who long ago had made peace with the loss of her son, giving up on any hope for his release; Luke Kirby (Take this Waltz) tackles the role of Jon Stern, Daniel’s lawyer who works for an organization dedicated to exonerating the wrongfully convicted; Clayne Crawford (A Walk to Remember) portrays Ted Talbot, Jr., Daniel’s stepbrother whom he had never previously met; and Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby) plays Tawney Talbot, Ted’s kind-hearted wife; Bruce McKinnon (The Way Home) as Daniel’s step father Ted Sr.; Jake Austin Walker (The Chaperone) as Daniel’s half brother Jared; Michael O’Neill (Transformers) as Senator Roland Foulkes; and Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild) as Rutherford Gaines, Daniel’s former attorney.
Call the Loft at 795-0844 for more information about tonight’s event, or drop by at 7 p.m. to join the only audience in the Southwest (you would think Albuquerque would have had this locked down) for the screening.