It’s perhaps unfair to expect television of newly epic proportions when a series casts Bryan Cranston, because we know he’s seen the apex of creative material with Breaking Bad. Having turned in the performance of the century as anti-hero Walter White, audiences have keenly followed his footsteps, and he’s received far more creative autonomy as an artist. After winning all the Emmys for that iconic feat, his TV appearances have been carefully considered.
Starring in programmes such as Sneaky Pete, Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams and SuperMansion, the common thread of Cranston’s eclectic choices is that he also serves as an executive producer on all of them. Sky Atlantic’s new miniseries Your Honor is no exception. Commanding the lead role in this ten-part drama, created by esteemed British writer Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Village), Cranston is the best part of the show, as compelling as ever as a morally upstanding judge whose character is challenged after his son commits a hit-and-run and tests the limits of how a father is willing to go to protect his kin.
However, even the brilliance of the leading star isn’t enough to redeem this rapidly tiresome adaptation of Israeli series Kvodo. When the acclaimed actor isn’t commanding the frame, Your Honor is a totally uninspiring watch that suffers from a lack of vision and only fleetingly recalls Moffat’s much better contributions to the genre. The narrative here is extremely ordinary and the crime drama clichés roll in by the dozen as soon as its established that the victim of the hit-and-run is the child of a mobster, played by Michael Stuhlbarg (the second best part of the show), who will stop at nothing to find out who was responsible.
Over the first two episodes, the story slowly unfolds as both the judge and the gangster attempt to put the pieces of the puzzle together and figure out what must be done to protect themselves and pursue action. The judge’s son, however, complicates the ordeal when he develops a guilty conscience, as his father tries to wipe away evidence using his powerful connections (specifically a local mayoral candidate played by Isiah Whitlock Jr, who is the third best part of the show). Fine – Your Honor is recommended for hardcore fans of these three thespians, but only them.
Your Honor is released digitally on demand via Sky on 2nd March 2021.
Watch the trailer for Your Honor here: