Your Honor (2020-21)
Bryan Cranston, Hunter Doohan, Hope Davis.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A judge confronts his convictions when his son is involved in a hit and run that embroils an organised crime family. Facing impossible choices, he discovers how far a father will go to save his son's life.
OUR THOUGHTS (First episode spoilers)
Your Honor has an extremely simple premise which gives birth to one of the more complex series we have seen for a while. The setup is simple - the judge (Cranston) is shown to be an honourable (will use the British spelling in this context) man who is fair and 'just'. Things take a southward turn when his son is involved in a hit and run. The judge and his son are set to do the right thing by confessing to the police when they realise that the boy who was killed in the accident was the youngest son of a local crime boss. Knowing that a confession would almost certainly result in a nasty act of vengeance, the judge sets the wheels in motion for what will turn out to be an agonising bump-filled cover-up.
This is a difficult show to review as it does a lot of things incredibly well, but some things rather poorly. The acting is mostly top-notch, barring the judge’s son who is insufferable at times. Cranston does the job we have come to expect of him, convincingly carrying us on his journey and portraying the complex array of emotions one might expect from one shouldering such a burden. The story is quite gripping and will constantly have you questioning the actions of the characters and whether or not they are morally justified. As might be expected the show is very dark and at times difficult to watch; we see this as a credit to the show given the subject matter.
The main area Your Honor falls down is in its pacing. This is a ten episode series that could have easily been covered in eight or perhaps six without any real detraction of story or character exploration. There was a small stretch past the midpoint of the series where three episodes went by with very little plot advancement. Ironically the ending (whilst in our view satisfying) actually felt slightly rushed.
In Your Honor all the ingredients were there for an absolute premium viewing experience. Unfortunately inconsistent (mostly excruciatingly slow) pacing led us to the point of pleading for the show to "just finish already!". Don't get us wrong, this is worth the watch, just be prepared for a dour affair which will push your patience at times.
PUFF'S FINAL SCORE