“Seven Seconds” tackles important issues and explores dark themes


Netflix’s latest crime drama, “Seven Seconds,” is by far one of the darkest shows released by the streaming service. Available for streaming since February 23, the show tackles important issues and stays true to its gritty theme throughout the series.

The show wastes no time jumping into its dark and emotional themes. “Seven Seconds” follows the story of Brenton Butler, an African-American teenager who is accidently run over by Peter Jablonski, a white police officer. Before Jablonski could call the accident in, several other cops tell him to leave and cover up the evidence in order to stop backlash. After the accident, the show begins to branch off and follow multiple different subplots.

The audience is given a heart wrenching perspective as the story follows Butler’s family as they deal with what has happened to their son. “Seven Seconds” also chronical how Jablonski grapples with what he has done to Butler. Viewers watch him slowly deteriorate, adding an extra layer of complexity to his character. As Jablonski deals with what he has done, the police officers who covered up the accident continue to try and sabotage the investigation. The officers try and sabotage the investigation at every step, working closely with criminals. Perhaps one of the most interesting plot lines follows Attorney KJ Harper and Joe Rinaldi, who are in charge of solving the Butler’s case.

One of the greatest things about this show that sets it apart from other crime dramas is the wonderfully constructed dramatic irony. Within the first ten minutes, the viewer knows who and what put Brenton into the hospital. Despite this, it is still enthralling to watch Harper and Rinaldi uncover evidence, slowly putting together the pieces of what the audience already knows to be fact. The show also artfully builds suspense by introducing new themes and characters.

Another well done feature of “Seven Seconds” is the humanity of the show. This show is extremely emotional and is not afraid to be dark, showing all of the sides of the story. The characters are all exceptionally well fleshed out and interesting, and the audience can’t help but feel empathy for them.

The final thing that this show does well is the way that “Seven Seconds” addresses the important issues of racism and police brutality in the United States. The police officers cover up the accident because he was black, and they are worried about the backlash of a white cop killing a black teenager. The show also highlights the micro aggressions and racial stereotyping that happen on a day to day bases. The show handles these themes well, clearly and affectively commentating on some of the issues that are prevalent in the United States.  

My main issue with the show is that, while the multiple plotlines are incredibly interesting, there is a lot going on in this show. “Seven Seconds” can be difficult to follow at times, and sometimes the story occasionally feels slow.

Despite its faults, Netflix’s “Seven Seconds” is definitely worth streaming for anyone who is looking for a new and gritty crime drama to binge watch.

Rating: 4/5

Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.

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