No offense to anyone, but I honestly didn’t have much hope that this would be a good show. The premise is a bunch of bad guys from the future go back in time to change the present into a future more in line with what they want, but a lone hero(ine) gets sent back to stop them… where have we heard that before? I can name four shows without even trying. It sounded like a bad combo of The Sarah Connor Chronicles (awesome show) and Timecop to me.
Last weekend I was home and had nothing to do and saw it on netflix and thought, “Sure. Why not?” So I watched the pilot and thought, “Oh God, I know that actress… where do I know her from?” She was the awful Mary Sue (for those who don’t know, a ‘Mary Sue’ is a character who knows everything and is Practically Perfect In Every Way and drives me personally up the f*ckin wall) character from a couple of years ago on Criminal Minds! Now, I try not to blame an actress for the character they play but wow. The blonde, perfect, know-it-all Ashley on Criminal Minds left such a bad taste in my mouth that I stopped watching the show. Not even Garcia’s awesomeness counteracted her Mary Sue-ness.
I was all set not to bother with watching any more when I saw Tony Amendola… and then Victor Webster… and then Lexa Doig… and then Erik Knudsen… and Roger Cross… and I groaned and thought, “Okay. Keep watching.” Because they’re all awesome. (Not that the Criminals Minds cast isn’t, because they are, but I’d already seen, what, 7 seasons of CMs by then?)
So I watched and Kiera (played by Rachel Nichols) went from blond and annoyingly Mary Sue to darker brown and quasi-Mary Sue-ish. Still perfect and a know-it-all, but mostly because of her tech, which is a ‘flaw’ I can embrace. Funny thing? As her hair got darker, her character slowly came out more. I don’t know if they had to ‘fix’ her hair after the fact when focus groups went, “really?” or if they realized it wasn’t working in situ, but the whole hair thing pretty well amuses me now.
In any case, I watched the whole pilot and went, “Eh. It wasn’t horrible. I like the cast. Let’s try the second episode.” And then the third, and then the fourth. It wasn’t until the fifth episode that I admitted to myself that yeah, okay, I do kinda like the damn thing. hehehehe.
And that’s the awesome thing about television. If you give a show like Continuum a chance instead of axing it after the first two episodes (which happens way too often on every network), you can end up with a really good show. It can take five or six episodes to get into a groove where the writing and cast and directing all come together and things grow organically.
One of the things I like best about this show is how they aren’t even trying to force chemistry where there is none. Rachel and Victor (two of the leads) are police partners but, unlike most shows where there’s a male/female partnership, the writers and producers aren’t forcing them into a romantic situation that just doesn’t work. Thankfully. (Honestly, I was kinda hoping they would make Victor’s character gay just to blow the stereotype out of the water, but we see him sleep with a woman in one of the eps. Oh well. Maybe he’s bi, instead.)
I have to say that my favorite character is Alec, played by Erik Knudsen. He’s the ray of sarcastic sunshine to Rachel’s angsty lead and the tech-hacker support to her out-of-time cop. Best line ever? “That’s me crying inside to let someone else take credit for my work.” Perfect timing and delivery. I actually laughed out loud. He’s just wonderful.
(What’s a little annoying to me personally is their future tech FX. Because it’s awesome and almost exactly like what I picture happening in my book Fluctuations. I only hope I describe it nearly as well in my book as they visualize on this show.)
Lastly, Time Travel! Oh what fun it is to ride even without a Time Lord at the helm. lol! The headaches one can get from trying to work out timelines and alternate futures from a changed past are (forgive me) infinite. hehehehe. I like that no one knows the answers on this show, not even the wise man Kagame, as played by Tony Amendola, or the future Alec who’s supposedly had sixty-five years to figure it all out. Though neither are above messing around with things they don’t really understand in the name of their own causes.
I know this doesn’t sound like a gushing “OMFG I love it!” review, but that’s because it isn’t. It took time for me to get into the show, for me to connect with the characters and believe the universe in which it’s set, but it was definitely worth it in the end. (thank you, netflix!) Most telling, this show is interesting and twisty enough (thank you time travel conundrums and a darker view of human nature) that I’d like to write for them.
So yeah. Take a watch and give this one a chance. I really think you’ll like it.