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New sheriff in town

(Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)

Television

New sheriff in town

Vindication is a well-acted crime drama

Amateurish acting and syrupy spirituality so hamper some faith films it can be hard to take their messages seriously. For Christian entertainment company Redeem TV to venture into crime dramas, then, seems foolhardy—and to claim the characters on its show Vindication “far exceed [those] of the network crime dramas” (Law & Order, The Rockford Files) surely epitomizes hubris, right?

Yes and no.

Vindication’s Detective Gary Travis (Todd Terry) doesn’t have the charisma of cynical Detective John Munch or of mellow gumshoe Jim Rockford. But convincing acting and authentic characters who turn to Scripture for insight make compelling viewing. Neither flashy nor preachy, Vindication tells relatable stories about regular folks.

So far, the half-hour shows have focused little on police work. Instead, an apparent crime serves as a backdrop for a family in chaos. In Episode 1, a married man on the brink of an affair with a co-worker is accused of murder. In Episode 2, a teen girl suffers the fallout of sharing a nude photo with her boyfriend. In Episode 3, a father of two, hounded by business troubles and a critical wife, disappears. As Travis questions family members, their answers flash back to scenes of domestic turmoil. He seems more shrink than sleuth. 

The show’s themes make it unsuitable for young children, and the high volume of low-cut dresses should give other viewers pause. In all, though, it’s a well-acted, refreshing take on the genre that could prove to be a measure of vindication for the faith-film industry.