Seven seconds is all it took for Netflix’s new gritty crime drama to grab me by my grey, chocolate stained trackies and pull me in.
From the moment I first watched four New Jersey cops make the decision to leave a 15-year-old black boy to bleed out in the snow, I knew I’d be bingeing Seven Seconds from beginning to end in a single weekend.
The 10-episode series based on the Russian film The Major follows the aftermath of a white police officer and his narcotics unit covering up the fact he ran over Brenton Butler and left him to die.
What starts as a case no one cares about, just another black faceless gang banger, soon becomes a racially fuelled murder investigation when the teenager dies.
Watch the trailer for Netflix’s Seven Seconds below. Post continues after video.
Seven Seconds isn’t a who-dunnit, or a why-dunnit. We know right from the start exactly who committed the crime, how it happened and why.
The hook is, will they be caught?
How will a state prosecutor with a taste for Bombay Sapphire gin and tonics (Clare-Hope Ashitey) and a washed up detective (Michael Mosley) connect the crime back to police corruption? And if they can, will the Butlers get the justice they deserve?
If you’re looking for something to fill the hole left by The Sinner, Mindhunter and Manhunt: Unabomber, Seven Seconds is it. Only you should know, it won’t plug up the gaps completely – think of it like an octagon peg.
The Sinner and Seven Seconds have a few things in common – a troubled lead detective with marital problems, a Nordic Noir aesthetic, the way the plot is structured to keep you invested right to the end and brilliant performances from familiar A-list faces.
In Seven Seconds, it’s Regina King as Brenton’s grieving mother.
We deep dive on new Netflix show The Sinner, from Jessica Biel’s acting to the major plot hole, on our pop culture podcast The Binge. Post continues after audio.
Ashitey’s portrayal of prosecutor KJ Harper is also brilliant. If she makes you uncomfortable, “I’ve done my job right”, the actress told Bustle.
That said, the show is more Law & Order or Chicago PD than it probably would like to admit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Themes like police brutality and racial tensions will always be important and relatable.
Seven Seconds also has a major flaw. The pacing is almost its undoing – the series probably could’ve been two to three episodes shorter.
But just as your mind starts wandering – it happens around episodes three and four – through all the other things you could be watching on Netflix instead of this, something big will happen to pull you back in again, and again.
And it won’t let go, at least not fully, until the end.
You can watch the entire season of Seven Seconds on Netflix now.
Have you watched Seven Seconds? Did you think it was any good?