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MCN Review: 'Hand of God'

RELATED:MCN Original Video: One Question for ... 'Hand of God' Star Ron Perlman

Amazon Studios delves into the seemingly alternate worlds of religion and revenge in its new drama Hand of God.

The series stars Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) as powerful Judge Pernell Harris, a major political figure in a fictional California town who’s not afraid to wield his power and influence over the entire community, from Mayor Robert Boston (Andre Royo) all the way down to the town’s police department.

Harris’s world is rocked when his son PJ (Johnny Ferro) shoots himself after an unknown assailant repeatedly assaults his wife, Jocelyn (Alona Tal), in front of him. The pilot opens with the elder Harris in the midst of a mental breakdown, naked in a public fountain and speaking in tongues. Later it would be revealed that Harris had recently been converted into a born-again Christian by a con man preacher, Paul Curtis (Julian Morris).

Unwilling to come to grips with his comatose son, who has been declared brain dead by doctors, Harris refuses to pull the plug despite Jocelyn’s pleas to move on. His stubbornness is steeled when he begins to hear PJ talk to him from his bed, which Harris interprets as the voice of God asking him to avenge the wrongs done to PJ and his wife.

Unable to convince his own wife, Crystal (Dana Delany), or his friend Boston of his divine messages, he turns to Curtis for spiritual direction and to a born-again convict, KD (Garret Dillahunt), to help him dole out vigilante justice against those he believes are guilty of hurting his family.

Perlman is terrific as the complex and strongwilled, yet conflicted and complex Judge Harris, and Delany turns in a solid performance as his supportive but not-so-innocent wife.

The series suffers through numerous subplots that tend to take away from the strength and appeal of Judge Harris’ s plight. Overall, though, Hand of God should ultimately receive the blessing of Amazon Prime subscribers.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.