Non-Spoiler Review: Netflix's 'Seven Seconds' is worth the agonizing watch
Seven Seconds is an incredibly heavy drama, but it’s also one of the best you’ll see this year. Here's a quick summary:
After Brenton Butler, a black teenager from Jersey City, is accidentally run over by a white police officer, a cover-up ensues and racial tensions explode.
It’s not an exaggeration to say this entire cast put together brilliant performances. However, there were still a few that managed to stand out from the pack. The prosecution duo of KJ Harper and Fish Rinaldi (Clare-Hope Ashitey and Michael Mosley) carried the show, while Latrice Butler (Regina King) gave the series its powerful emotional edge.
Police Officers Peter Jablonski and Mike DiAngelo (Beau Knapp and David Lyons) felt particularly authentic, as well, a seemingly easy feat that is far too uncommon in most crime dramas. They deserve praise for not falling into the trappings of clichés and stereotypes. The same can be said about most of these characters. Tremendous performances from the leads to the supporting roles make an otherwise slow-pacing utterly captivating. Anything less than stellar performances would have caused Seven Seconds to drag, but the risk paid off.
Much of the criticism surrounding the series – coming in at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.1/10 on IMDb and 68% on Metacritic – reflects on the amount of ‘filler’. I’ve seen multiple sources point to how little actually happens from start to finish, essentially stretching an hour worth of material into a ten hour showing.
Respectfully, I think these critics are missing the point.
Due to the topical nature of this story, the emphasis should be placed as much on the details and character development as it is on the main plot. This was about showing the complexities of all human beings. There is no such thing as pure good or pure evil in a person. We all have shades of both and Seven Seconds did an excellent job at both demonizing and humanizing all of its characters.
Let me be frank here. This is a hard watch. It’s going to take some perseverance to push through the emotionally draining story, but if you’re tough enough to handle it, you’ll be greatly rewarded. Ignore the mixed reviews and give Seven Seconds a shot. I thought it was great.
(image via Netflix)