Religious themed shows can be hit and miss, it’s a hard topic, with more and more people living in what would be considered the secular world. Doing a series like this is really a bold choice for any studio to make, being that it’s a show with heavy religious themes right from the get go. Hand of God follows the story of Pernell Harris (Ron Pearlman) a morally corrupt judge who has been dealt a bad hand after his son was forced to watch the love of his life (played by the very underrated Alona Tal from Supernatural and Cult) be a victim of a sexual assault by a faceless thug and ends up shooting himself in the head out of shame forcing himself into a coma.
After months of depression judge Harris has what some may consider a break down others a break through. He goes missing for a few days and is found standing naked in a fountain speaking in tongues. We eventually learn that he had visited a young Reverend Curtis (played by the charismatic Julia Morris from The New Girl and Pretty little Liars) and has been baptised. It’s not long after this that our good judge begins having visions, visions that may be true, now whether or not they are true or just his keen mind being pushed to its brink is for the audience to decide. Judge Curtis begins to see himself as a modern day King Solomon. He believes that God is good and just but his justice must be dealt out by him and his partner,an ex-con KD (played by the excellent Garret Dillahunt from Raising Hope and Sarah Connor: The Terminator Chronicles).
The pilot is very dark but it has hope which I guess is the theme of the series. A broken man who seeks redemption and wants to make the world a better place, who wouldn’t want to watch that? The pilot is blunt and won’t hold back. It deals with powerful material including; shame, responsibility, fear, belief and sanity, a dark show shot in such a beautiful sunny location, it’s quite the contrast. As for the cast my hats really off to Pearlman, someone who has been around for years but has only gotten the recognition he deserved in the past decade. It’s great seeing him in another leading role. Alona Tal was superb as well in the series, she usually plays pretty strong women in shows, this show is no exception, but it’s a different kind of strength, one full of resolve, she shows a certain vulnerability too, it could n’t be an easy role for anyone but she makes it very believable.
Rounding out the cast are Dana Delany (Body of Proof), Elizabeth McLaughlin (The Clique and Dexter) plus the very talented Andre Royo, who you all will know as Reginald ‘Bubbles’ Cousins from the Wire (it took me the whole episode to figure out who he was). A great cast and an unusual take on the classic revenge and redemption tale. For those who hate religion and also those who are hyper religious remember this is a fictional story, it’s serious but don’t take it too seriously just sit back, relax and enjoy, the show might surprise as it did me.
The pilot is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime