Thursday, October 6, 2016

Frequency (TV) 1.1: Closely Spun Gem

We live in an age in which time-travel is on all kinds of television in all kinds of ways - 11.23.63 from the Stephen King novel on Hulu, 12 Monkeys from the 1995 movie on the Syfy Channel, Outlander from the best-selling book series now a Starz television series,  a brand new time travel series Timeless on NBC, and now another TV series, Frequency, made from the 2000 movie, on the CW.

Can all of these series be good?  Well, you're asking the wrong person.  I'm inclined to really like anything with time travel - short story, novel, movie, TV series.  Hey, over half the stories and novels I've written are time-travel tales.

Still, I have some standards.   Frequency was a gem of a movie.  The simplest kind of time travel - information, in the form of a ham radio connection, bridging the past and the future, or the future and the past, depending on which way you looked at it, set in a gritty NYC cop story, and featuring the love between father and son.  But nothing is ever even remotely simple when time travel is afoot, and Frequency did a great job of navigating the paradoxes of changing the past and building them - or expertly juggling them - into an memorable story.   In fact, the movie is so good that I rank it among the top 10 or even 5 best time-travel movies ever made.

This is what the new television series is up against.  And, you know what?  I just watched the first episode and think it succeeds admirably.  Like the movie, the TV series is a closely spun gem.   A family is a stake - this time a father and daughter - not the world, and their struggle to change the past to avoid personal calamity without triggering new calamity promises to be ever bit as riveting and tender and just plain appealing as the movie.

I'll be here with reviews every week.

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