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Seven Seconds - Advance Preview: Depraved Indifference

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"The dead don’t need answers, they’re dead."

In a society fraught with racial tension, sensational headlines, and an audience who would rather be entertained than informed, seven seconds can mean life or death.

Where to start? Seven Seconds is an experience, and a depressing one at that, it's not some light procedural, and it's not even a drama with this big cinematographic moments, it's a slice of life, of every terrible thing in life that is. Seven Seconds touches upon race issues, everyday bigotry, religion, parenthood, healthcare, corruption, and even veteran affairs. And it is not pretty, it is not clean, it is not a fable with a moral at the end, except for maybe "man, this world is fucked up". This is not an anthology, or I really hope it isn't, because there's nothing comfortable with leaving things the way they ended, and you could argue life is not comfortable, and you'd be correct, but sometimes, what we want is not life so accurately portrayed, we have real life for that.

The best idea if you really want to experience this show is just immersing yourself without much preamble, because It’s gonna be pretty hard saying anything without spoiling it, but I'll do my best. Brenton Butler, a fifteen-year-old black kid, is accidentally hit by a white cop, and don't be fooled, the fact that it was an accident does not erase the racial bias that changes everything, because it is not something you can do away with just because it makes you more comfortable, there's nothing comfortable about this, and there shouldn't be.

If you are someone who's aware of many of the social injustices we live with every day, this show will have you shaking your head every five minutes or so. You will hate almost every single character at one point or another, with bile, and you will love some too. The show is Set in New Jersey, but the issues that it touches upon can be pretty universal. The pace is slow but it succeeds in building tension, and boy does it get intense. If you get through the first few episodes, I guarantee you'll finish the whole season, and probably without stopping, because you need to know what happens next, and mainly, how it all ends.

The most interesting thing is the investigation, where we follow Assistant Prosecutor KJ Harper (Clare-Hope Ashitey – Shots Fired), a hot mess of a public attorney, and her reluctant partner, Detective Joe “Fish” Rinaldi (Michael Mosley - Ozark). KJ is a proud, disheartened alcoholic who's the first one to be interested in finding the truth and not just taking the easy way out. and she's a black female prosecutor so you can imagine how well she fits in the justice system. She has to constantly deal with the cops’ bullshit, the misogynistic insults and the undervaluing of black lives. And Fish is not perfect by a long shot but is at least willing to improve and very charming.

The acting caliber here is off the charts starting with Regina King (The Leftovers, American Crime, Southland) who's Letrice Butler, Brenton's mother, and David Lyons (Revolution) who's Detective Mike Diangelo, and boy he'd be the perfect mob movie lead. But they're not the only amazing actors around, we have Russell Hornsby (Grimm, Fences), Beau Knapp (Shots Fired), Nadia Alexander (the little sister on The Sinner), Raul Castillo (Looking, Atypical), Gretchen Mol (Chance, Boardwalk Empire, Mozart in the Jungle, Life on Mars),David Zayas (Dexter’s Angel Batista) and an appearance by Fredric Lehne (Supernatural, Chicago Fire).

Seven Seconds will stay with you, there's a weight to it you can't escape, and somehow, even though every character is deeply flawed and most of them aren't all that charming, you will want to know what's next for them. It is a gorgeous, emotional rollercoaster, it can be depressing, but mainly because it’s too damn real, so it's up to you to decide if you have the energy and the strength to climb on. If you do, I would recommend you line up a light comedy to watch immediately after you finish the season. I, for one, need a second season as soon as possible (and a cozy blanket).

Welcome to the criminal justice system gentlemen, no one gives a fuck about the truth.

Seven Seconds premieres on Friday, February 23rd, on Netflix. Are you excited about this one? Let me know in the comments.

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