Timeless

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Huuge Hefner, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    Worthless.

    Surprising there is no thread for this show.

    Or maybe not.

    Probably the best thing is the cast, or at least the female lead, who is pretty good, and the fact that the supporting cast is populated by underutilized really good actors. Actors who can get and deserve much better gigs, and so are probably running in place here, phoning it in, and waiting for their agent to call with something, anything, better.

    Her scooby gang, however, consists of a haircut, and a cliche of 'I'm the token black guy'. She loves history. Well, of course she does. Even a hack can figure out that she should love history. Kudos to you, Shakespeare, you're a veritable James Patterson.

    Nothing else really clicks. It's like a show written by computer. Siri, Alexa, and Cortana got together and pitched a show.

    Probably the most glaring fault is (and I have only seen the pilot) once they have set things up, in a very confusing manner, no less, the concept is "OK, we got a time machine. Let's go fix this".

    But it feels more like 'OK, we got greenlighted, let's go type something'.

    And the similarity is that once they have a time machine and decide to 'go fix' something, they have no idea how, no idea what the actual thing to be fixed might be, and no coordinated focus of any kind. Similarly, the writers have no idea how to write, no idea what they are writing about, and no focus of any kind. It's pretty much just a muddled mess. The motivations are not clearly defined.

    And one writer tool is to keep the audience guessing about certain things, and nonchalantly satisfy their curiosity as to 'what the heck is even going on here', by dropping in little breadcrumbs once in a while. Yes, that is a legitimate approach. But it doesn't work well when the motivations are not defined and there is no way for the viewer to invest themselves in the passion of the protagonist, because those passions are unknown, so that 'technique' just serves to make everything more muddled and confusing. Which makes Timeless an epic fail.

    Oh and the cliches. The worst is an oily overseer with a hidden agenda, who looks like he should be smoking cigarillos through a holder and petting a white persian cat and saying 'No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" And of course he has the token black guy under his thumb as a spy (oops! spoiler alert. Sorry, I...oh, what the heck, it doesn't really matter). There is more manufactured melodrama here than you will find in any ten other shows, and the amount of contrived dramatic conflicts will make your eyes glaze over.

    There is one very good question, which is if you could change history to save someone, yet you had no idea what the butterfly effect consequences of that would be, would you? And would you do it because you were convinced it was the right thing to do, or because you had emotional ties to the person to be saved. That's a great, if horribly difficult 'Sophie's Choice' question, but too bad they fumble it so badly.

    If you would like to see that question handled expertly, just watch the OST episode 'City On The Edge Of Forever'. Now Harlan Ellison, THAT was a writer.

    Remember those old cowboy movies where the banditos ride into town and terrorize the shopkeeper by shooting at his feet? "Dance, pardner! Dance!" And the poor shopkeeper jumps up and down so his tootsies won't get shot off? That is what this feels like. The shopkeeper is a terrible dancer, because he is doing that under complete duress.

    Imagine the network honchos as the banditos and the writers as the shopkeeper. They are typing their little butts off, to desperately stay employed in a business they have no business in, because they are also terrible 'dancers'. They are complete hacks. They are neither dancers nor writers, but somebody is jerking their chain,'Write, Monkey! Write!', so they have to type as fast as their little fingers can fly.

    I worked in a lot of professions, but television is a profession where you can easily survive by being far less than mediocre. Kind of sad, isn't it?

    The best moment? 'Denzel Washington'.
     
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I have watched more than the pilot. They are still working on character development. I wish there would be more development on the subthemes (who wrote the book and why). I also expect more changes to the modern day from the butterfly effect of what got changed on their journeys. There is a lot of questions on the morality of "do you save Lincoln" or let history take the course it took leading up to the world you know.

    The most recent episode featured Flemming, Ian Flemming. A reveal that was in the previews so no spoiler there.

    I may not watch the show forever, but it has my attention for now. Different strokes for different folks.
     
  3. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    You just proved my last point.
     
  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    This is one of those shows that i find interesting enough to keep watching for now because of the actors and they have shown there's several bigger underlying ideas going on. The question will be if they can build that at the right pace and pick up the individual episodes at the same time.

    I always say you really can't judge a 1 hour show on its first episode for several reasons. Often you need at least three AFTER the pilot to see if it's really going to be any good.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    I've been kind of interested in how accurate it is, at least until they start changing things. I didn't know a whole lot about the intricacies of the Hindenberg other than the "Oh the humanity reporter". I know a lot more about the Lincoln assassination, and that was pretty close, at least until the point where Robert Lincoln and Booth meet at Fords.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Charter Gold Club Member

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    The...
    Wow, good one! I literally LO'Ld out loud at that one. I told Alexa what you said
    and she asked me to keep it on the DL. Then she told me a knock-knock joke.
    But back to the show, I was about to give it the old heave-ho when I read yours
    and James' comments. I thought the Nazi episode was muddled with a much too
    'Oh, by the way, bang you're dead' gratuitous shooting of the German soldiers.
    Also, I'm all for equal opportunity and affirmative action and all that, but seriously,
    the black dude was like a turd in a punch bowl in a crowd of lily white Aryan jack
    boots, How on earth could the writers expect to float that one in today's world of
    neo-Nazis and other assorted looneys and crazies?

    IMDB gives Timeless 7.6/10, but so far I give the show 4.5/10 with the hope that
    the writers find their groove sooner than later. Finally, does anyone else think that
    Abigail Spencer is scorching hot?
     
  7. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    Uhh. Well there is one reason why I made it all the way through.

    This lady is also a pretty talented actress. If the producers were worried that no one in their cast could carry the show on their back and get it over the hump of being just not very good at all, they can stop worrying. She may have a very bright future after being showcased like this. Just her reaction at the end of the pilot 'hello' was done pretty brilliantly. I am instantly a big fan, and sorry I won't see her in this show again.

    With respect to inky's theory, which I used to agree with, name one show that was this bad for three episodes and then actually got good.

    I'll wait right here.

    Or name a single pilot that stumbled out of the gate and lead to brilliance in the next episodes. The new reality is that you can pretty much tell after 20 minutes. I try to give a show a chance, but it has to be better than this to make it to ep 2.

    Sadly, the only reason we watch even three eps of a show of this caliber that we will end up dumping comes down to one irrational idea. Wishful thinking. We want it to be brilliant. But when has that ever worked out? Wasting time watching it will not help it become brilliant.

    True, there are shows that got better, but they probably showed a quiet burst of brilliance at some point early on, and probably didn't make you say 'oh, come on!' a lot. Many were top shows, like Star Trek TNG, Buffy, X Files, They got really brilliant as they found their rhythm, but their were indicators as early as the pilot that they had this potential.

    I'm just not seeing that here.

    And yes, I've been wrong. I was underwhelmed by the pilots of The Sopranos and Northern Exposure, which I somehow accidentally saw further eps of which lead them to become two of my favorite shows ever. Sometimes a genius like a David Chase starts slow. Not sure why, but he's still as good a writer as there ever was.

    But there are tons of shows, tons of new shows, over 400 last year, and the odds of this one ever being brilliant, or worthy, are slim and none. And slim is on the stagecoach leaving town this morning.

    'Keep it on the DL'. That made me laugh almost as much as 'Denzel Washington' did.
     
  8. toobs

    toobs Legend

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    Rotten Tomatoes give the show an 84%. I don't know which episode that they saw, but so far, the show is horrible bad. I haven't watched last night episode yet, but from the first 3 that I've watched, it's just bad. Let's hope that it doesn't get renew. Bad show.
     
  9. toobs

    toobs Legend

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    She is the only one that knows how to play her character. As for the rest, they are just bad. How come Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Showtime can put out good shows and we get this nonsense from the networks?
     
  10. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    Habit. They've put out countless bad shows for years. When you are running full speed, you can't stop on a dime. And because they are no longer the 900-gigabyte gorillas they once were. Goliath was felled by a single stone.

    This show would have never been greenlighted on those services. It's assembly-line schlock, and only the big nets are arrogant enough to still do that.

    We can only be hopeful that at some point they will break the bad habit. I would like to think that the last 75 years of fits and starts in TV drama were just a warm-up. That maybe all of the bad mistakes will soon have been learned from, and that the big nets will either smarten up, or get the heck out of the way.
     
  11. yosoyellobo

    yosoyellobo Icon

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    I been watching Frequency which I some how stubble across and enjoying very much. I find the premise so much more pulsible than Timeless and have not gone back. I would recommend it to anybody watching Timeless.
     
  12. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Can I say Star Wars movies? :)

    The issue is consistency with the writers and the show runner having a full idea of how to build the entire show overall.

    I just watched the third one and well, I get the feeling they need more congruity with the writers from week to week.

    I hold out hope because of the lead. As you and others say she's great.

    I can think of a couple shows but sadly they haven't been on in a while. One was a buddy cop show on USA several years ago.

    Human target may be in that category. Maybe. It's along the same general theme without the sci fi portion.

    Ever see a show called Now and Again Although I think it was good from the start it got even better after the first few episodes. Sadly that show wasn't popular with the right target crowd at all.

    Some of it is letting things come together because often episodes in dramas aren't long enough to give us a proper introduction to characters in one hour so they seem more disjointed in the beginning as well.

    I don't believe the show has been bad myself. Just a bit hectic. And I don't mean the speed of the action on screen.

    They seem to be building this one. I kind of feel like the writers are a bit torn on how to split the time between the overall theme and each weeks particular adventure. I am wondering if they can find that balance the show may settle in better.
     
  13. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Time traveling has always been my sci-fi favorite scenario. I wouldn't care if it was the worst sci-fi show ever made, I would still watch it.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    Says a lot
     
  15. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    Can I say how much I love scifi, yet still really hated all of the Star Wars movies, except the first one?
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Sure! Funny, that's tied for last for me in the entire series so far. To slowly paced for me.
     
  17. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    I normally don't watch new Dramas until they've completed a full season and get a second one but being a Time Travel nut I couldn't hold off any longer. I'm enjoying it.
     
  18. Huuge Hefner

    Huuge Hefner New Member

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    Run, I think it's great that you love scifi and time travel.

    I promise, no bashing. But I wish I could understand why you wait for eps to pile up like this. I'm sure it makes sense to you. I just wish I understood why.
     
  19. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    NY Hudson...
    Tonight's Alamo episode was their weakest to date.
     
  20. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

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    I'm just a sucker for the romance and history part! I loved it!
     

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