Your Honor: Bryan Cranston returns to TV for the first time in eight years
How far would you go to protect your child? That’s the question Judge Michael Desiato (Oscar nominee and multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad) is faced with in the thriller Your Honor, now streaming on Showmax.
Hunter Doohan (Truth Be Told) plays Michael’s teenaged son Adam, who’s involved in a hit-and-run that catapults both his own life and his father’s into a high-stakes game of impossible choices after it emerges that the victim is the son of ruthless crime boss Tommy Baxter (Screen Actors Guild Award winner Michael Stuhlbarg from Call Me By Your Name) and his dangerous wife Gina (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Hope Davis from For the People).
“The show, the themes of it, felt so relevant to me,” says Davis. “People who are privileged gaming the system to their advantage, to get what they want, what they need.”
Cranston, who also executive produced the series and directed the finale, was nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Limited Series for the role, as well as at the 2021 Satellite Awards, where Davis was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Your Honor is also nominated for Best Limited Series, with Cranston once again up for Best Actor, at the 2021 Hollywood Critics Association Awards, being held on 22 August 2021.
Your Honor is the story of a good man, a man who makes good choices, cornered into a terrible situation, where there are no good choices, and every one of them could mean life or death for those he loves. In other words, exactly what Cranston – best known for his iconic role as Walter White in Breaking Bad – does best.
Playing this kind of character is where Cranston lives
As New Statesman’s Rachel Cooke puts it, Cranston’s performance “is a thing to behold. One minute, he’s just this bloke: dogged, decent, a bit dull. The next, he’s been overtaken by something I can only describe as vulpine. It’s amazing, the way he’s able to convey a brain that is working feverishly, even as he pretends to all around that everything is absolutely as normal: an actor playing a man who is acting.”
“Dealing with involved, rich characters – that’s where I live, where I want to be all the time,” Cranston says, explaining that the relatability of the narrative was what drew him in. “If my son or daughter were in that same predicament, I cannot say in all honesty that I wouldn’t do the same thing, and that’s the dilemma that we present to the audience.”
Executive produced by Robert and Michelle King, the multiple-Emmy-nominated powerhouse behind The Good Wife and its spin-off, The Good Fight, the 10-episode limited series is adapted by BAFTA-winning British screenwriter Peter Moffat (The Night Of) from the Israeli drama series Kvodo.
The cast is packed with big names
The powerful cast also includes Black Reel Award winner Carmen Ejogo (Selma, True Detective, The Girlfriend Experience), and nominee Isiah Whitlock Jr. (BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods); Critics Choice Award winner Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black); triple Emmy winner Margo Martindale (Mrs. America, The Americans); Emmy nominee Maura Tierney (The Affair, ER); Saturn Award nominee Benjamin Wadsworth (Deadly Class); and Sofia Black-D’Elia (The Night Of, Gossip Girl). Also look out for a cameo by Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood (Love Life, Dear White People, L.A. Law).
“It is hard to look away from this intense, brooding drama with a social conscience,” says London Evening Standard, “and it lingers long after the credits roll.”
Since Breaking Bad, Cranston has picked up a slew of awards
Your Honor is Cranston’s first lead role in a TV series after a post-Breaking Bad hiatus of almost eight years. “Breaking Bad was such a monumental period in my life,” Cranston told James Corden on The Late Late Show. “I thought, ‘I need to give it at least three years before I go back and do TV.’ And I did. I went and did Broadway and worked at The National [Theatre] and had great experiences…”
During this time, he picked up two Tony Awards and the Laurence Olivier Award for his stage work, an Annie for his voice work in Wes Anderson’s animated film Isle of Dogs, and nominations at the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes for his lead role in the biographical film Trumbo.
“It was time to come back because of this story,” Cranston told Corden of Your Honor. “It’s an amazing, compelling story to tell.”
And with Cranston’s track record, that’s all the recommendation we need.