After a successful pilot back in late 2014, Hand of God was quickly picked up by Amazon Studios for a complete season, which just recently launched as an Amazon Video original series. Premiering September 4th, 2015, the first season of Hand of God is available to stream instantly now.
Hand of God hits on several high notes, from fantastic acting, beautiful cinematography and an overall concept that we certainly found interesting. But, perhaps after a really bad hangover following the second season of a disappointing True Detective, Hand of God dips a bit too far down that similar road of being overly complicated and dark without really needing to do so.
The show follows Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman) a corrupt judge losing his sanity as he has somewhat of a religious awakening. Perlman is excellent in his presentation of a complicated character but is often hand fed a direction that loses its focus far too often. The premise is certainly interesting, as we’re left to wonder if his new found vigilance is a direct order from God or perhaps just his own sanity slowly disappearing. Overall we would have loved to have seen the story perhaps given a bit more tailoring.
Interestingly, despite struggling a bit to enjoy the opening episodes, there was something compelling enough to keep us watching each of the 10 episodes. You want to keep watching, perhaps largely in part to the mysterious feel of the show, that just makes you wonder what direction things are heading. Aimlessness can certainly be enjoyable in some regards, we just struggled with it in this case.
To put it bluntly, Hand of God flashed greatness but also felt hard to watch at times. We can always enjoy a dark show, but Hand of God feels a bit over the top in its presentation leading to an overwhelming sense of dread that made viewing incredibly difficult. Once again, reiterating the cinematography is stunning, but in context things feel gratuitously complicated.
Watch the trailer for Hand of God season one below: