Time is in many ways of the essence with The Killing creator Veena Sud’s Seven Seconds. Launching on February 23, the Netflix anthology series starts with the accidental killing of a black teen by a white Jersey City cop and turns to the ugly places with a bigoted wall of blue cover-up, family fallout, our clearly broken justice system, the Black Lives Matters movement and some brutal truths about American life. Yet despite an outstanding performance by American Crime alum and multiple Emmy winner Regina King as a heartbroken but refusing-to-be-silenced mother, the succinctly titled Seven Seconds does not match the bottom line of a series that simply doesn’t know when to end, as I say in my video review above.
Look, if you are a fan of the four-season run of The Killing on AMC and then Netflix, you will find a lot to like in the 10-episode Seven Seconds co-starring Claire Hope Ashitey, Michael Mosley, Beau Knapp, Russell Hornsby and Michelle Veintimilla, with its messy investigation by an alcoholic Assistant D.A. and a detective into what really happened to Brenton Butler and the explosive consequences. The fact that the series’ second episode is the last work directed by the late and great Jonathan Demme only adds to the residuum here.
However, with all that, and the timely nature of many of the themes, Seven Seconds needed someone to remind the people behind the camera and at the streaming service of the adage that less is often more. The fact is that Seven Seconds drags on way too long, even when you think it’s over. And that’s a real shame because there is a thoughtful and deeply emotional story of needless sacrificed cultural cannon fodder and systematic discrimination on many levels in the series, one that I still think, despite my reservations, makes it worth watching — with the fortunate fact that because it is on Netflix, you can skip certain parts if you want.
Take a look at my video review above to see more of what I think of Seven Seconds. Will you be taking the time and watching Friday?