By | Javon Cohen
The hit Netflix series “Seven Seconds” is a show so intent on producing drama, that it often overlooks the message behind the heavy scenes of loss, grief, and pain. Whether it’s overly engrossed on the squad of dishonored cops who are objectively bad men in their own way, or too profound to watch a heartbroken mother cry.
Hovering around the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality and politics, this 10-episode series has the potential of a good crime drama as it leaves it viewers suppressed and drawn to the edge of their sits begging for more at the end of each hour. The first season of the series follows a white policeman’s Peter Jablonski hit-and-run of a black teenager Brenton Butler, the ensuing cover-up, and the racial tensions that flare up in the absence of quick resolution of the case.
Setting the tone, the centralized theme of this new series, created by The Killing’s Veena Sud as a course of whose identities matter the most. Can society tell the difference between an accident and an intent to murder? Do people even care if you have factual evidence of people’s sneaky history? Well “Seven Seconds” tells us no, the premise is flawed, but the story unravels in an attracting way that reveals complex characters in an ill-conceived factual world.
Star Regina King, plays Latrice Butler a mother mourning the loss of her son and is the leading draw in this drama set in Jersey City. Her prime work is always emotionally involving, and she does what she can with the restricted scripts. However, her and among other characters are stranded in a crime serial that tends to become reeled in misery without offering whatsoever especially to say about crime, race, or the justice system. although the crime in question drives the narrative, “Seven Seconds” is to long-drawn-out when it comes to supplying dramatic developments in the case that most can be fathomed far in advance.
King’s performance overshadows all things wrong with the series. As the troubled mother, King is relentlessly hit with being unstable, her reactions never feel repetitive and is surrounded by plenty of emotionally unneeded story beats. When asked to weep, frenzy, question, sit in silence or reach every other corner of the pain King undeniably crushes it. Whether it’s the scripts of the scenes giving her life or if she’s just in tuned into role of Latrice, King uplifts her supporting role so much that it feels like she’s the focal point.
KJ Harper played by Clare-Hope Ashitey, a young assistant prosecutor who’s given a case the cops describe to her as simply a “slam-dunk” because of her history, Harper is in no shape to handling anything challenging. A semi-functioning alcoholic with a flair for falling asleep during karaoke, KJ is your usual self hating narcissist. Throughout the series she will drink or sleep with anything that serves as a distraction from her painful reality, even though key pieces doesn’t come into play until later in the series.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, creator Veena Sud said “that her key writing interest is in “the cost of a life”. She also talked of growing up hearing horror stories from her mother who was tortured when she was a baby in the Philippines during the Second World War”.