Hand of God follows Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman ), a corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice.
This has to be one of the most unintentionally hilarious shows I’ve ever seen. And it really isn’t funny, but in its attempts at seriousness, it just fails on every level. The first scene literally shows this naked judge standing in a fountain, speaking in tongues. Fast forward a few scenes and we learn that that is all a reaction to his son shooting himself. And that before that, his son was forced to watch as some thug raped his wife.
The judge comes across a young preacher and somehow leaves that interaction believing that he is Solomon. He starts to hear messages from his comatose son that supposedly lead him towards the rapist. He believes that God is using his son to help him find the culprit. Somehow, by the end of the first episode, he’s basically figured out that a cop is the rapist. He goes as far as having the cop strip down so that his son’s wife can identify his nether regions. Yes, that actually happened.
What happens next gave me an indication of what this show would be like. The cop basically gets to go home scot free. Mostly because the judge has hired a violent – but God fearing – criminal to be his hired thug. Said thug beats a confession out of the cop as well as an admission that someone else told him to do it. Are you with me? No? Don’t worry, the show became even more of a mess. Eventually ‘God’ leads the judge to the culprit. Although by that point I don’t think anyone knew what the fuck was going on – writers included.
After nine episodes of nonsense and the judge and his goon killing innocent people, we then find out that yes, someone did basically set up the rape. It was a botched home invasion and the judge realises that a book is missing. He hunts down clues, casually sets up the murder of his son’s innocent business partner – who informs him that his son was having an affair. A fact that seemed to be shoehorned in just to tell us that the comatose guy is ~flawed too.
The book turns up in the the-person-who-set-up-the-home-invasion-‘s house, and she (oh but of course) has it in open view, along with a picture of her with the comatose son (who she earlier claimed that she’d never met). Turns out that SHE IS THE PERSON THAT THE COMATOSE SON HAD AN AFFAIR WITH! Oh, and what’s that? She’s crazy. Somehow she has no problem confessing this to the comatose son’s mother. Naturally, Mommy stabs her to death with a wine glass.
Other highlights include:
- The judge falls in love with his mistress and marries her. While still married to his wife. And in the eyes of the Lord and the continued $ into the offering basket. - Scenes of the wife and Erykah Badu pretending to smoke weed and holding up plot progression - The words 'concrete pour' said about five hundred fucking times. - Some white Jewish dude retaliating against Anti-Semitic comment by...repeatedly calling a black man the 'N' word in front of his son - The reverend who appears to be an actual reverend and not just in it for $? He's also a former soap actor and recovering crystal meth addict but...YAY!! PRAISE GOD! Oh and, throughout the entire season, his main goal is to be on TV. I feel like the writers were slapping us all in the face with a heavy handed metaphor there but it didn't quite work out. - The reverend is played by a British actor with the worst American accent ever. I actually like the actor (Julian Norris) but it was awful. He went from Dallas Cowboy to Brooklyn to Queen's English at any given time. Oh and the mean writers literally wrote in a scene where he's sort of high and jumping on a table doing Tom Cruise impressions. There's no coming back from that. Ever. - The judge believing that finding the rapist - and later, the truth - would magically reverse his son's coma. During the finale, and after a long legal battle between the wife and judge about turning the ventilator off, the doctors remove the son's life support. There's a beat, and...HE WAKES UP!! And then the screen cuts to black and we hear a flatline. I laughed harder than I should have done but it was just hilarious!
The critics all hated the show but I’d give it a 7/10 just for the entertainment value. It does suffer from the original series curse of unnecessary nudity though. I’m going to miss Amazon’s 10 second fast forward feature.