Annnnnnd I’m back once again. As you know, Fall is in FULL swing and with it comes an ARRAY of new TV shows. I know what you’re thinking:
“Lex, how can I possibly watch them all?”
The answer is easy: you don’t.
Let’s be real: between all of the current shows you are tracking and the new shows that might not even survive the mid-season axe, it can be hard to keep up. It can also be hard to determine what show is actually worth investing in.
Which brings me to now.
So, I previously wanted to crank out a bunch of pilot/first episode reviews for the following TV shows: Forever, How to Get Away With Murder, Blackish, Selfie, and Gotham. However, you guys know that I tend to be very detailed with my “reviews” and being that detailed takes a LONG time (give or take at LEAST three days).
Therefore, I have found my happy medium: a list (which will be crafted as a mini-review/discussion of sorts. I’ll still be rating the shows at the end of it, though their rating will have a little less to do with their overall quality and more to do with how likely I am to tune into the next episode. I will also do my very best to avoid huge spoilers.
So, without further ado: here are eight things that I love and hate about Forever:
What I Love
1. Ioan Gruffudd as the titular Dr. Henry Morgan
I must admit that besides seeing him in the previous Fantastic Four movies, I have not really followed any of his other work (besides some select voice work—i.e. Justice League and etc). That being said, I am very impressed with Gruffudd and more so impressed with the character that is Dr. Henry Morgan (who is also a medical examiner). While he definitely does come off as a Sherlock-like character (I’ll explain later), I find his overall demeanor and quirkiness very fun and interesting. He’s not the typical “antihero” that TV audiences have become used to in recent history (Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Dexter, etc). In fact, I wouldn’t really call him an “antihero”, but some might.
On top of that, he’s also managed accumulate a lot of knowledge—which is usually random, but I digress—in his 200+ years of life, which keeps him approximately 320482093890248 steps ahead of everyone else, including the police. And you know, I think that that is very cool and that it is also a nice way to explain why Henry is so intelligent (and simultaneously strange as f*ck). Plus, it prevents him from coming off as the dreaded “brilliant with no background” character or the “Hey, I’m a super genius for no reason” character.
2. A competent police force and Detective Jo Martinez
As you guys probably have read in the past, me and AJ have major beef with incompetent police forces in fiction (read: Gotham). That being said, you’ll be semi-pleasantly surprised with the police force in this show.
Most of that surprise comes in the form of NYPD Detective Jo Martinez (who is portrayed by Alana de la Garza). If I am to continue drawing Sherlock comparisons, I would definitely call her the Watson to Henry’s Sherlock. Detective Martinez is smart, aware, and usually asks all the right questions, which is fair, seeing as she has to work with the weirdo that is Henry. In addition to that, her penchant for being super inquisitive, while simultaneously trusting her gut (and/or Henry) makes me think that she could be seen as some sort of proxy for the audience.
Either way, I am looking forward to learning more about her.
At first glance, Abe comes off simply as an old (literally and otherwise. Dude is old) friend of Henry’s. However, open futher examination, there is definitely shocking, yet compelling duality about the relationship that he shares with Henry. At the end of the show’s pilot, this relationship is cleverly and beautifully established, but seeing as I am trying to avoid spoiling things, I’m going to avoid revealing it myself.
Moving on, Abe serves as close and trusted companion of Henry’s and never fails at being voice of reason in the show. He also exceedingly funny and witty and such things are only augmented by the fact that Abe is portrayed by veteran actor Judd Hirsch. Overall, any exchange or scene that he is involved in is wholly enjoyable; so I hope the show keeps him around for a while.
4. Henry’s old flame/lover didn’t let his immortality descend into some weird Twilight/Nicholas Sparks’ produced story.
No, but seriously.
Think about it.
What the hell would happen if Stephanie Meyer and Nicholas Sparks joined forces and wrote some sappy, God-forsaken story?
Back to the subject at hand, as I mentioned earlier, Henry has been around for awhile; so it is should come as no surprise that he would have been involved with someone at one point. This “someone” is Henry’s wife, Abigail.
Henry met Abigail many years ago (right around WWII. I won’t go into too much detail here as that would also spoil things as it pertains to Henry’s story and Abe’s) and it was not long until she found out about his immortality. When she did, Henry eventually hit her with that Twilight sh*t (you know, what do live for when you can life forever, etc, etc), except he figured that he was only immortal or that he had only received this “gift” to meet/live for Abigail.
Needless to say, Abigail wasn’t having it and set Henry straight about the matter, stating that his “gift” is so much bigger than her. And you know, I appreciate that. It also let me know that she was very much aware of the fact that Henry was eventually going to outlive her and that she was okay with that. I haven’t even seen that much of her character yet, and she already is better characterized and developed than most women on TV or in movies and etc. I hope to see her again
5. The comical ways in which Henry dies.
Part of Henry’s whole immortality shtick is that he obviously can’t die. At all. And instead of turning that into a super solemn point on the show, the writers/producers/brains behind the show instead opted to turn it into quite the hilarious gag.
As of now, I’ve seen Henry die a number of times (He’s been shot, poisoned, hit by a car, thrown of a building, you name it) and I do in fact laugh every single time. It’s another reason that I (and many others) keep coming back for more.
What I Hate
1. This show definitely has a Sherlock vibe.
So technically, this isn’t totally a bad thing and could in fact go either way. Then again, I feel like the show could easily fall into some Sherlock tropes that may or may not help its cause. This could become a problem, especially if the show is trying to stand strong on its’ own and distinguish itself from the rest (Sherlock included).
The good news, however, is that the powers that be behind this show are already aware of the fact that the show definitely has some Sherlock undertones (so much so that Sherlock is blatantly referenced in the episode following the pilot). So, hopefully if they recognize such connections, they can either utilize or subvert them accordingly.
2. The ongoing mystery that is “Adam”.
The downside of various dramas nowadays is the fact that a lot of them have to come out of the gate with some sort of “ongoing mystery”. Some shows in turn sacrifice their overall quality by pouring ALL of their arcs, characters, and resources into this “ongoing mystery” and it pisses me off every time it happens.
In the case of Forever, the show’s “ongoing mystery” takes the form of some unknown dude who refers to himself as “Adam”. Without disclosing too much, “Adam” is presumed to be immortal like Henry and thus spends his time closely watching the good doctor/medical examiner.
When he was introduced in the pilot via some creepy conversation, I ended up rolling my eyes at the entire exchange because of my cynicism as it pertains to “ongoing mysteries”. Honestly, I have no idea where they are going with this and right now, it is one of the weakest parts of the show.
On the other hand, I am hoping that the writers behind the show find some way to make this more compelling so that I’m not rolling my eyes every time it is brought up.
3. Flashbacks when not done well.
Let it be known that I hate flashbacks. In fact, the only thing that I hate more than flashbacks are flashforwards and unwarranted sequels. Why do I hate them, you ask? Well, it is very simple:
They are abused in almost every medium you can think of. A lot.
Most of the time, it also serves as a lazy way to bring the audience up to speed or provide some sort of necessary (or often times, unnecessary) backstory.
As it pertains to Forever, this show relies heavily on flashbacks because of its’ titular characters ridiculously long lifespan and past. Granted, that is a good enough reason to have to resort to flashbacks sometimes. My beef with that, however, is that sometimes these flashbacks aren’t executed well and can rip me out of the episode entirely.
Hopefully, as the show goes on, the flashbacks will be incorporated better. Maybe then it won’t be so jarring when they occur.
Got any questions or comments about Forever? Do you agree or disagree with some of my observations about the show? Let me know in the comments below!
Images From: Gifsoup.com, ABC, Forever.wikia.com, Seat42f.com, Imgur.com, Giphy.com, BBC.com, Gawker Media, Giveuptheinternet.com,