NJATVS Spotlight

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Not all soldiers contain the qualities to become Generals. In fact the skill sets of an exemplary soldier and an effective General likely couldn’t be more at odds with each other. A good soldier never questions orders and does what ever it takes to fulfill the mission even if it means sacrificing their life in the process. An effective General or leader of any kind needs to be able to react to changing conditions and adapt their plans accordingly. There’s too much knowledge and experience within a leader to sacrifice easily. Soldiers are easily replaceable, however wise veteran leaders aren’t.

If you’re a fan of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” you’ve seen this dynamic in place throughout the show’s third season. FBI Agent Donald Ressler got pressed into running the FBI Task Force, formerly lead by Harold Cooper and Ressler’s first mission’s been attempting to capture his former partner, former agent Elizabeth Keen. Before the series took it’s winter hiatus in November, Ressler took Lizzie into custody and likely put her life in great jeopardy.

Ressler believes that his former partner’s innocent and has gotten set-up by the Cabal, a shadow government that secretly pulls all the strings that have caused the greatest catastrophes of our lifetimes. The group’s made up of leaders of governments and industries across the planet and lead by the CIA Director Peter Kotsiopolus whose usually referred to as The Director. The Cabal’s infested the halls of power in the United States Government, with the President’s NSA Director Laurel Hitchin’s among their ranks. She executed Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright, after Wright revealed she knew some potentially incriminating information.

Meanwhile Ressler naïvely sits back thinking he’s winning Hitchin’s confidence and she’ll soon start taking his side over that of The Director’s. Donald Ressler’s a good man who truly wants to the right thing, however he’s way over his head right now in shark-infested waters. Because he’s been trained his entire career to think within certain parameters, he lacks the skills he needs to think outside-the-box and being able to adjust strategy as the situation changes. Those skills are absolutely essential to being a good leader, we shall see if Ressler takes advice either from Raymond Reddington or Harold Cooper once the series returns on January 7.

That failure to adapt to the situation and to realize that sometimes you have to deal with the lesser of two evils to salvage a situation, has led Donald to feel betrayed by his former boss Harold Cooper. Both share a severe dislike of the man they know as Tom Keen, however only Cooper was smart enough not to turn an asset away in time of need. After Tom approached Ressler in his apartment building about helping clearing Lizzie’s name and Ressler told him to leave immediately, Cooper sought Keen out. Tom’s completed his mission capturing the Russian spy Karakurt and forcing him to admit that he’s responsible for all the crimes Lizzie’s being charged with.

Meanwhile Cooper’s got to be feeling pretty betrayed himself right about now, as his wife Charlene decided that in the midst of trying to get Karakurt to the proper authorities that it was the perfect time to reveal to her husband that she had an affair a couple of years before. Was this her way of getting back at her husband for involving her in the dangerous situation they’re attempting to complete? Or did Charlene simply have a nervous breakdown due to the stress of the situation and that just tumbled out of her mouth?

When the series does return to TV on January 7, reports have surfaced that the first two episode will revolve around The Director Peter Kotsiopolus. David Strathairn who portrays The Director’s a first-rate actor that came to my attention in the late seventies and he’s added several amazing performances to his resume since then. Having Strathairn just appearing along the sidelines for about the last year’s like having a Porsche up on blocks in the garage. I can’t wait to see what he does with all the time allotted to him.

The Director decided to take a gamble in season two that backfired badly. He decided to chance that Raymond Reddington was bluffing when he claimed to have access to The Fulcrum, a blackmail file that if released would put many members of the Cabal in certain danger. Red obtained the file last season and flew in the planet’s most renowned Investigative-Journalists and gave them each a copy.

Kotsiopolus and other Cabal members have attempted to discredit the information revealed in those documents ever since and the Cabal’s not happy that The Director’s gamble failed so badly. Enter one Matias Solomon, the hitman/enforcer/messenger for the Cabal, Solomon just enjoys killing it doesn’t really matter to him who the victim is. He’d just as soon slit The Director’s throat as he would Raymond Reddington, just depends on which way the wind’s blowing.

Elizabeth Keen will get imprisoned in that same glass cell that Ressler and Red got locked in during the first season, until Raymond agreed to surrender to save Lizzie’s life. Ressler’s promised his former partner he’d protect her while in his custody. How much help will he need from this bizarre lineup that now comprises Team-Reddington?

We’re well aware that Raymond would without hesitation trade his life for Lizzie’s, we’re also well aware that The Blacklist recently inked a contract for a fourth season. Without Lizzie and or Raymond there’s no longer a series, so we know going in that they’ll both survive. However this show’s already displayed they’ll sacrifice a regular cast member if they consider it necessary. They ended the first season with the death of series regular Meera Malik, killed by Reddington’s foe Berlin.

Could Ressler, Samar Navabi, Aram or Harold Cooper be sacrificed this season? Or what about Ryan Eggold who portrays good-looking bad-buy Tom Keen? The happy ending that Liz told Red about earlier this season, about her accompanied by her husband and child walking serenely through some small town square will never happen if she stays with Tom/Jacob. Which means more to her, those dreams or her former husband? We’ll start getting answers to those and other questions in just over two-weeks.

The Story Continues January 7, at 9:00 pm on NBC.

Photo: Courtesy Of FOX

Photo: Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

“Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away.”

For What It’s Worth-Stephen Stills

Utopia: The perfect society; a place devoid of all the troubles that plague humanity; a land of contentment, free from  want and hardship and filled with friendship and love for each other. People have strived to reach or create such a society since the dawn of creation, but they never last for long. Are imperfect creatures capable of building a perfect society?

With just two episodes remaining in the FOX miniseries “Wayward Pines,” we’ve become aware that a sizable segment of the town, don’t truly feel they reside in “The Friendliest Place On Earth.” During episode eight, viewers found out that characters such as Ruby from the coffee-shop and Tim Bell the manager of the Wayward Pines Hotel, aren’t the compliant and passive people we assumed they were. Both were actively involved in the plan designed by Kate Hewson, to disable the electric fence surrounding the town and escape.

Dr. David Pilcher, the architect of  the ark that contains the only remaining humans in the year 4028, now finds himself fighting twin battles. The first being a growing segment of the residents of Wayward Pines that want answers. However the more pressing problem’s the one he’s not aware of yet, the fence has been breached and it’s just a matter of time until the Abbies cross that divide.

Pilcher realized that humanity would cease to exist within the next few hundred-years, back in the nineties and he set a plan in motion to repopulate the planet in Wayward Pines, Idaho. He then spent the next 15-years kidnapping people  and then putting them into a state of suspended animation, so they woke up over 2000 years later without physically aging a day. The new residents thought they’d been unconscious for hours, or perhaps as much as a day and most of them believe they still live in the 21st century.

When the residents awoke they found themselves with new lives and a fresh start, a needed second chance for many of them. They got new homes, new careers and even in some cases new significant others. In many ways it was a paradise, as long as the resident followed the rules, prominently displayed throughout the town:

Do Not Try To Leave.

Do Not Talk About The Past.

Do Not Discuss Your Life Before.

Always Answer The Phone If It Rings.

Work Hard And Be Happy

And Enjoy Your Life In Wayward Pines.

Those rules were not part of David Pilcher’s original vision for Wayward Pines. The current residents of the community, are referred to as “Group B,” because the people from the first group that got revived, couldn’t accept their new realities. The knowledge that they were the last survivors of humanity and the world they knew, ceased to exist two-thousand years earlier, created mass-panic. Residents either fled in panic and quickly became meals for the Abbies, or took their own lives. Determined that the second control-group not suffer the same fate, Pilcher established his wall of secrecy and eliminated anyone who threatened to peek behind the curtain.

There’s a different set of rules in effect for the children of the community, known as the First Generation Of Wayward Pines. They’re informed about their new realities by the Director of the Wayward Pines Academy, Dr. Megan Fisher. A hypnotherapist in our era, Fisher’s masterful in her ability to connect with disaffected teens such as Ben Burke. A young man that spent his lifetime on the outside looking in, he now feels loved and popular. There were no smiles for Theresa or Ethan Burke from their son, when they visited him in the hospital, however he met Megan’s arrival with an ear-to-ear grin.

Ben’s not only accepted his new life, he’s embraced it joyously. He’s got an adorable girlfriend named Amy and Fisher told him in the last episode, that he’s a hero having survived a terrorist attack and people are going to want to hear his opinions.

It’s further reinforcement of the bond she’s creating between the children and the state, further alienation of the child from the people who raise them. Your parents can’t handle the truth, we have your best interests at heart, the state in effect becomes the parent. It’s the same principles used in totalitarian societies throughout history, the Nazis, Stalin’s Soviet Union and the Cultural Revolution in China utilized the same tactics. If the people raising you are enemy’s of the state, then turn them in.

Megan quickly turned Ben against his father partially by picking at an old wound, surmising that Ethan may have been less lenient, had the suspect not been married to Kate Hewson. Fisher realized that Ben felt his father chose Hewson over his family when he had his affair with her. Fisher inferred that Ethan’s feelings for Hewson, nearly cost Ben his life.

We’re aware that Pilcher and his associates care deeply about the town’s children, but how much do they care about the adults. Pilcher wants compliance and things to run smoothly, his concerns with adults seem to be less about happiness and more about acceptance. To keep the placidity he’s trying to maintain in his town, he’s shown us that no measures are too extreme.

David’s sister Pamela interviews the staff of 24 volunteers that regulate the surveillance feeds. Although 23 members of the crew have no problems with the concept of eavesdropping, one man named Reggie Hudson admits to erasing comments that he attributed to fear. Then he looked Pamela in the eyes and said.

“These people are scared. I see them sobbing in their rooms, holding each other. They just don’t understand what became of their lives. It’s just human nature to ask questions.”

Surprisingly, the ever loyal Nurse Pam didn’t share that conversation with her brother. While she’s the first to call for a reckoning, she thinks it will send a bad message to the other volunteers if Reggie gets punished. David ignores her advice and buries the man, filling the tube he’s encased in with soil.

Whether Pilcher wants it or not, that wall of secrecy has collapsed now that the fence got disabled by the 30-foot dump-truck. It appears that the residents of Wayward Pines are going to find out the truth about their situation, sooner than later. Can they band together and defeat the Abbies, or is humanity doomed once again?

The Story Continues Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Fans of the FOX network miniseries “Wayward Pines,” witnessed back-to-back mind-blowing episodes in chapters five and six, of this ten-part production. The fifth episode entitled “The Truth,” revealed that the town of Wayward Pines, existed in year 4028 long after humanity had ceased to exist. Episode six explained in detail how Dr. David Pilcher and his sister Pamela, put together his plan to restore humanity in our planet’s distant future.

Pilcher along with a security guard he employed Arnold Pope, turned to kidnapping to populate humanity’s new home, starting with a brilliant physician that lost his medical license for prescribing too much Oxycontin. Pilcher tells Pope that he’s giving second chances to people who deserve them, including Pope himself.

The kidnappings seemed to have gone on for 15-years, as we know Beverly got kidnapped in 1999 and they were still occurring in 2014. That was also the year that Pamela, Pope, Megan Fisher and Pilcher put themselves into suspended animation through the cryonics process. They were the first revived and then decided who would become members of their first control-group to populate Wayward Pines.

After watching the fifth episode, I was convinced that there had to be a bridge that connected Wayward Pines to our era. How else could Pilcher have had two conversations with Ethan Burke’s boss Adam Hassler in 2014? How could Sheriff Arnold Pope have gotten Burke’s wife Theresa and his son Ben into Wayward Pines. When Pilcher tells Ethan that he underwent the cryonics process in 2014, my first thought was perhaps those events took place before Pilcher took his 2000-year nap.

However about 24-hours after watching the telecast Thursday night, I realized that the David Pilcher that had those two conversations with Adam Hassler, wasn’t the shaggy-haired younger version of Pilcher that went to sleep in 2014. In both those conversations, Pilcher appeared as he does in 4028 losing his hair and with far more lines on his face. Which leads me to the conclusion that a bridge from Wayward Pines to our era, does indeed exist and possibly hiding out in plain-sight.

A new element to the story got introduced in “Choices,” the existence of “Lot 33.” To the naked-eye “Lot-33” looks like a plot of undeveloped land with a chain-link fence around it. However the plot’s right in the middle of town and we find out the victim of the last reckoning Peter McCall thought there was more to the lot than met the eye. Could “Lot 33” be where that bridge to our era exists and if so, how does one utilize it?

To be certain, a bridge from 4028 is a far-fetched notion, but this is a series that’s based on far-fetched notions, that humanity will start it’s fall in just 80-years and that our species has been supplanted by the mutant Abbies. So accepting all that, would a bridge between eras be that much more of a stretch?

We’ve seen the older version of David Pilcher in 2014, the question remains how did he get there. I’ve not read any of the novels in the series and have steered clear of any spoiler-articles, so this is pure conjecture on my part. However until given a better explanation, I’m thinking this is indeed a credible theory.

The Story Continues Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There are times when a Television series suddenly takes that leap from being a good show and evolves into greatness. For this writer that leap took place, during episode five of the FOX Network’s ten-part miniseries “Wayward Pines,” as the true scope of the story got revealed. After picking my jaw up from the floor, I started trying to make sense of what got revealed and the numerous questions that were flooding my mind.

If you have yet to watch the first five episodes of this show, I strongly suggest you stop reading right now and head to FOX.com to catch up. If you’re still with me, lets discuss what’s rapidly evolving into a brilliant Science Fiction series. We found out from two different sources, that the Burke family and their fellow residents of Wayward Pines, are certainly a long way from Kansas and from life as we know it.

While fans of the show were aware from the series premiere, that time was an important factor in the story, I highly doubt that viewers who haven’t read the series of Wayward Pine novels, had any idea that the characters now lived in the 41st Century and that humanity had long been wiped off the earth. That the dominant species on the planet, were known as “Abies” short for aberrations and the species were in fact our descendants. A species that evolved due to a hostile environment, while lacking our knowledge they are our physical superiors, able to kill a fully armed soldier in seconds.

A scientist from our era Dr. David Pilcher, not only correctly predicted the future, he built a bridge to it and set-up the walled in community known as Wayward Pines. He also acquired residents for his town by kidnapping them and then putting them into a state of suspended animation, so they woke up over 2000 years later without physically aging a day. The new residents thought they’d been unconscious for hours, or perhaps as much as a day and most of them believe they still live in the 21st century.

The only residents that get to learn the truth, are the students of Wayward Pines Academy. Megan Fisher who seems to be in charge of the school, puts new students through an orientation program and reveals to them where and when they truly are, in stages. The first part of the program, introduces the students to the concept of the Abies, then they get sent to lunch.

When the students return, they’re informed of the other part of the equation by Megan in the form of an ancient coin. After scraping the residue off the coins, the students realize that they’re United States quarters, minted in the year 2095. Then they’re informed that those quarters are from the last year, before society fell apart and that they live in the year 4028.  Fisher then tells them they’re part of the first generation of Wayward Pines and they mustn’t tell their parents, as they’re too old and set in their ways, to deal with their new realities.

While Ben Burke and two other new students went through orientation, Ben’s father Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke got an up-close look at exactly what Megan described to her students. He reached the summit of the mountains, surrounding the town and quickly deduced he was in a strange new world. Ethan’s arm got sliced by one of the Abies and he later witnessed a group of them tear apart the carcass of a dead dear.

He then found an old mangled highway sign, for an exit in Boise, Idaho, but the landscape he saw were the ruins of an ancient civilization. As he attempted to make sense of what he was seeing, a helicopter arrived carrying an armed soldier and the man Burke knew as the Wayward Pines hospital psychiatrist Dr. Jenkins. After telling Burke how he never ceased to amaze him, he revealed his true identity as Dr. David Pilcher. He convinced Burke to return to the town with him and he would explain things fully to him.

As I wrote earlier, with all the revelations we received fans of the show now have just as many unanswered questions, starting with how did David Pilcher receive the information about humanity’s future and how did he build or acquire the technology to build a bridge from our era to the 41st Century? Also who has access to that bridge, we know that at least Pilcher, Nurse Pam and the late Sheriff Pope crossed back to our era. Now that Burke’s the town’s new sheriff, will he have access to that bridge and would he try to bring his wife Theresa and son Ben back to 2014?

Another question revolves around why Pilcher didn’t build his bridge to a time, when he could have stopped the aberrations from occurring? There wouldn’t be a need for the first generation of Wayward Pines, if humanity still existed in the future. Also what factors came into determining whom Pilcher and his crew chose to populate this ark, as Megan Fisher refers to their town?

Narrowing it down to the Burke’s, did Pilcher choose Ethan knowing his wife and son would come looking for him, or are they just making the best of the situation now that it’s occurred? Pilcher now has two Secret Service Agents in his town, does he believe that Kate Hewson and Ethan Burke, have qualities due to their training that make them assets for his community? Does Pilcher have any desire to take on the Abies and reclaim the earth for humanity? If he doesn’t then what motivated him to introduce this community 2000 years in the future?

Director M. Night Shyamalan, burst upon the American Cinema Scene in 1999, with the release of his first movie, “A Sixth Sense.” Although his first movie turned into an instant classic, his last few movies have failed to impress the critics or the public. He turned to the small screen in an attempt to win back fans and his presentation through the first five episodes, should have accomplished that feat. Or perhaps the director will decide that this new venue’s more to his liking and a better vehicle for his talents.

We are only halfway through this miniseries, however if it stays on its current trajectory, perhaps we will get to see further installments, of this so far fascinating tale. In an era of cookie-cutter TV shows, Wayward Pines has started to blaze its own trail, with perhaps the best Science Fiction series since the Rod Serling anthology “The Twilight Zone.”

The Story Continues Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Courtesy of History.com

Courtesy of History.com

Here at NJATVS, we were pleasantly surprised with both the enjoyment of and the response from The History Channel’s mini-series event, Sons of Liberty. While there were some significant stretching of the factual truth, the series was extremely entertaining. In order to maximize viewership and to make a series about historical events appealing for all demographics, some exaggerations were acceptable. Sam Adams as the rebellious one overshadowing John Adams was one of those stretches found acceptable considering what they were trying to do. The role of General George Washington was almost riveting when you consider the man we all believe him to factually be. The show was a resounding success in my eyes. The question was, will this be lightning in a bottle? Or will the History Channel continue producing works like this in an effort to build their audience. Texas Rising I think answers that question.

I have no intention of belittling any previous series’ that The History Channel has put out in a similar fashion. The elephant in the room being “The Hatfields and McCoys”. No one can take anything away from that contribution. The story of the country’s longest feud that might make the Montagues and Capulets seem tame by almost any standard was another big success, registering north of 10 million viewers. By no means something to shake a stick at. But the Hatfields and McCoys was the type of series one has come to expect from the predictable History Channel. Good. Accurate. And for the newer audience of the DVR era, lacking something to draw them in. By any measure, Costner, Paxton, and Berenger should have been enough, but this television landscape is ever-changing. And it is clear that The History Channel (unlike many networks still playing by the old rules) has embraced such a concept.  And let us not forget Vikings.  Vikings (which I am waiting to conclude so I can binge watch) seemed to come riding in on Game of Thrones’ coat tails.  One could argue that Vikings is a staunch departure from the predictable History Channel.  A show that has a significant fandom and whose historical accuracy matters very little in the scheme of its success.

In the sense of full disclosure, I must admit that I am not even caught up on Texas Rising. However, with the beauty of DVRs and On Demand, that really is not an issue. The issue at hand is, where does Texas Rising fit? For my experience, I absolutely place it above the Hatfields and McCoys while at the same time have it significantly below Sons of Liberty. For now. And here’s the basic truth. It does not fall on the actors, directors, or even showrunners of the respective series’. The American Revolution is just sexier than the events that followed the fall of the Alamo or a deep rural family feud that seems to have lasted as long as the country itself. It just is. The big ‘however’ is that somehow, The History Channel is capitalizing on some of the nuances and successes of Sons of Liberty and found a way to fit that square peg into a different but still square hole.

Texas Rising has an impressive cast. Now that sentiment has to be taken in context. Remember, this is still a mini-series event aired on a cable network probably best known for its biographical or documentary style accuracy. Until I hit my mid-late 20’s I don’t think I watched 10 seconds of History Channel programming on purpose. And I think, that is my point. This is not your father’s History Channel. Texas Rising’s cast goes 20 deep of big names down to names you might not know but whose faces you would. Names like Bill Paxton, Rob Morrow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Thomas Jane, Crispin Glover, Jeremy Davies, and some former heavy hitters like Kris Kristofferson, Brendan Fraser and Ray Liotta. Now the cast of The West Wing or The Avengers it is not, but considering what this is in a literal sense, it is very impressive.

The bigger ‘win’ here may be that The History Channel is finding engaging ways to tell stories that up until now (with the exception of true history buffs) were skipped over. As the product of public and private American education, I have a rudimentary understanding of the facts and dates concerning Sam Houston, Santa Ana and what followed the battle at the Alamo. But it was never a subject in our history’s timeline that I ever found all that compelling. But as with Sons of Liberty, The History Channel is finding ways to make it interested without deviating too far from the actual truth.

The big question on my mind naturally, is where does it end? The answer, I hope is that it doesn’t. One has to assume that these are significant undertakings to produce. The limited run, ‘mini-series event’ nature, the cost, and the cast does not permit such productions to come along every month. This works to the advantage of a long-term sustained run. The Revolutionary War, The Alamo, hopefully are just the beginning. This country is rich with a wealthy of history, most of which are recalled by its citizens as a series of names and dates. All of which. ALL OF WHICH, could find a place on The History Channel. It’s not just about the story, it’s about how the story is conveyed. Side note. To be fair, each time The History Channel has taken some ‘liberties’ with the truth, they have intentionally directed us to a History.com website pointing out the difference between the show and the truth.

I think it is critically important that The History Channel gain viewers, gain support and continue to make these series’ that shine a contemporary light on stories most of us have long since passed with little to no interest in revisiting. Blacklist, Daredevil, Game of Thrones they are not. However, they do deserve our attention. At least to gauge our interest. Real stories sometimes make the best stories. These are real characters derived from real men and women. These stories can be so much more than “Turn your textbooks to page 173 and read the chapter on General Patton”. While I’m on that point, as long as the teachers teaching our children are versed in the difference between fact and artistic license, these could become a great learning tool as well.

Is Texas Rising as good as Sons of Liberty? That is still yet to be seen. Whether it is or not is really beside the point. Two and a half hours into the series and I can assure you with absolute certainty that these are good, high quality, stories of our past presented in a cinematic fashion that makes them more than names and dates. And for that reason alone, you should give them a chance. Check your local listings and on demand services. You just might find out that you are a History Channel person (as it pertains to these mini-series events) after all.

Courtesy of The History Channel

Courtesy of The History Channel

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alerts

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings.”

With apologies to the Bard: I come to praise “Forever,” not to bury it. Although the ABC network declined to renew the Warner Bros. TV series for a second season, the show’s rabid fan-base have yet to give up the fight for this magical show. Some folks just don’t know when to quit and thankfully the incredibly loyal fans of Forever, fall into that category.

Rather than accept the fate handed down by ABC, they have circled their wagons and banded together, to send a message to the studio, that the show must go on. They have taken to Twitter, Facebook and other social-media sites, to spread the word and to recruit others for their fight.

Television viewers get disappointed constantly, by shows that look great on paper but fail to live up to expectations. However, when a series hits the airwaves, firing on all eight-cylinders and leaving viewers with a smile on their faces as the episodes concludes, it needs to be recognized as something special and given time to find an audience. ABC had such a show in Forever, but they lacked the foresight or the patience to allow the show to blossom and fulfill its destiny, to join the ranks of the best shows in the history of the medium.

There’s a laundry list of reasons that Forever never acquired a huge audience, but those problems lie at the feet of the network. ABC scheduled the show in a time-slot they’d gotten walloped in, during the previous three seasons. Rather than concentrate on the fact that the series brought far more viewers to the network than any of its predecessors in the three previous campaigns, they expected a freshman series to defeat a Top-Twenty show, like Person Of Interest?

The network also failed to market the show properly. After trotting the series out on the internet a few weeks before it aired and promoting the series strongly, ABC nearly abandoned the show after weak numbers in its third outing. They packed up the circus and moved it down the road, even taking Forever off the network’s website’s landing page. Although the show brought in some big-name actors, among them Billy Baldwin, Jane Alexander and Academy Award winning actor Cuba Gooding, ABC failed to promote the show.

In this cookie-cutter age of Television, ABC had a unique series that they didn’t know how to market.  Is it a procedural, a love story, a sci-fi/fantasy story, yes it’s all those but doesn’t really fit into any pre-designated slot. Series creator Matt Miller gave life to a universe centered around Dr. Henry Morgan, a NYCPD Medical Examiner with a bit of a secret. He’s lived for over 235-years and regenerates every time he’s killed. Brilliantly portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd, we witnessed life through Morgan’s eyes for 22-episodes, taking us on a trip through time as well as exploring the life he’s built, in the present.

The secret for entertaining television, is quite simple in concept, yet so hard to achieve in reality: Great writing and acting. They assembled a cast of very talented actors, who had incredible chemistry together. Anchored by veteran actor Judd Hirsch, playing Morgan’s adopted son Abraham and Alana De La Garza, as Henry’s partner Detective Jo Martinez, the supporting cast’s consists of flesh and blood, three-dimensional characters. They refused to settle for stereotypical characters, on most shows, Detective Mike Hanson, (Donnie Keshawarz) would constantly be busting Morgan’s assistant Lucas Wahl’s (Joel David Moore) chops, as a comic-relief device. However the characters developed a mutual respect and affection for each other.

During Forever’s first season we followed Morgan back through history starting in the early 19th Century, when Henry got shot in the heart, trying to save the life of a slave. When his body got thrown off the ship he was killed on, he miraculously returned to life, a situation he’s since gone through countless times over the past 200-years.

We watched Morgan get betrayed by his first wife Nora, whose fear caused her to get him committed to an asylum, then we saw Henry give his heart to another woman in 1945. She would turn into the love of his life, Henry’s English Rose, Abigail. Stationed in Germany as World War II concluded, they found a healthy infant boy in Auschwitz and raised him as their own. Seventy years later that boy, now resembles Henry’s father, more than Morgan’s son.

The show resolved what happened to Abigail, who left Morgan in 1985 and at least temporarily have subdued Henry’s fellow immortal Adam. Although we perceive Adam as a psychopath, he explains himself as the results of a decent guy living for two thousand years. Unlike Morgan, Adam looks at his prolonged stay on Earth as a curse and he has no regard for the value of human life. In the season-finale, Morgan injected Adam with some chemical concoction, that made the immortal a prisoner in his own body. He has no control of his body, yet he’s fully aware of all that goes on about him.

Morgan’s partner Jo Martinez, called Morgan out in the closing moments of the finale, asking him to explain his recent behavior as well as a photo from the forties, as he stands next to Abigail, whose got Abraham in her arms. Season one concludes with Henry saying to Jo “It’s a long story…”

Matt Miller and his writing team, did a nice job of wrapping things up in the series final couple of episodes. If a season two for Forever is not on the horizon, then the crew has a wonderful season that can be preserved in amber, with each fan creating their own version of the upcoming conversation between Jo and Henry.

However fans of this wonderful series, including this fan, are not ready to give up the fight for Forever quite yet. Three Facebook/Twitter pages, dedicated to the series have banded together, trying to find a new home for the series. They have set up a petition that you can sign, asking Warner Bros. TV to keep Forever alive. You can also visit and join all three pages on Facebook: Forever Fan Page, Foreverists Group for Forever Fans and The Official Ioan Gruffudd Group.

Show runner Matt Miller is aware of and supports these efforts. They are concentrating on talks with Netflix, Hulu and TNT, among others at present. Forever deserves a better fate than for it to get discovered as a “Lost Classic,” in ten or twenty years. The cast and crew of Forever, have just skimmed the surface in this first season, hopefully Warner Bros. TV will keep Forever alive.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This year the date of February 3, might rival or surpass Valentine’s Day On February 14, in anticipation, as the ABC freshman series “Forever,” returns to the airwaves, coming back from the show’s hiatus. That alone would excite its zealous fan-base, however expectations are stoked, as the episode features the return of Dr. Henry Morgan’s stalker “Adam,” returning to New York City and Henry’s life. The man who lives under the guise of Dr. Louis Garber, a psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital in New York, shares Morgan’s gift/curse of regenerating after getting killed, however he’s stated that he’s walked the planet for 2,000-years.

Reports state that “Adam’s,” story will get featured more prominently in the second half of the season, as he attempts to become a mentor of sorts to Henry and we’ll gain greater knowledge of the character via his flashbacks of his 2,000-year journey. One question that I’m looking forward to learning the answer for, is how long has “Adam,” known that Henry was like him and exactly how he made his discovery.

The odds of two British ex-pats meeting in New York City’s likely very high for most of us, however logic tells us that the odds have decreased for these two men. If the lifespan of an average man of our era’s 70-years, then Morgan whose lived for 236-years, has lived three times as many years as an average person. “Adam,” living 2,000-years has lived nearly 30 times, the life expectancy of an average man. Factoring in all the traveling both men have done, the odds are far greater that “Adam” and Henry made contact during their lives. The questions that remain are when and how. It’s possible that “Adam’s” had Morgan in his sights for a century or more and just decided that the series pilot was the time to finally reach out to him.

Another question that I’m looking forward to having answered, is exactly why in the year 2015, Henry Morgan’s got such a dreaded fear about his secret getting discovered. We’re aware of the pain and punishment he went through after revealing his secret to his first wife in 1815. She committed him to an insane asylum and subsequently got transferred to a London prison. He also had valid reasons to keep his secret under wraps during the forties and throughout the next few decades, as not to disturb his family life with his wife Abigail and son Abraham.

Those reasons aren’t valid any longer for Morgan, we live in a far more enlightened society, than our ancestors lived during the early years of the 19th century. His wife Abigail’s gone and Abe’s now an elderly man in his seventies, looking for more like Henry’s father than his adopted son. Are his fears just paranoia, or do they have any validity? As the series resumes next Tuesday, my guess is a little of both.

No matter how long one lives, the traumas that Morgan went through after sharing his secret with his first wife would be tough to overcome. To feel his wife’s betrayal, to see the fear in the eyes of the woman who once loved him with all her being, along with his subsequent incarceration makes his fears universally understandable. However Henry, relies too much on logic in his existence, for him to believe in baseless fears.

He could easily prove that he’s telling the truth, by dying and then regenerating, so his fear isn’t of people believing he’s gone insane. However, there are some in our government and other governments through out the world, that would choose to imprison Henry, to poke and prod, try to come up with the thing that gives him immortality, then replicate it for their own use. There are also a miles long list of corporations, public and private that would love the chance to do the same things.

Does “Adam,” possess the same fears of being discovered? It’s tough to say at this point, while life’s still fun for Henry Morgan and his ego feeds on the compliments he receives and the looks of amazement he generates, I know that I’d feel the same way under those circumstances. However “Adam’s” jaded and bored with life being around ten times longer that Morgan’s existed, so perhaps he’d be amused with being a lab rat. However I don’t believe that “Adam’s,” going to threaten to blow both their covers.

Life at this point means little to “Adam,” it must have been a gas at first;  getting eaten by a lion in the Roman Coliseum, coming back the next day to the Roman Emperor and saying Hi Pal. He likely would attain God status and live like a king until the Empire collapsed. He could have gotten some kicks during the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem witch trials, freaking some of those folks out. Maybe he even pulled a trick or two on Adolph Hitler. However as B.B. King sings, “The Thrill Is Gone.”

Life however has little meaning for Henry’s stalker, so he felt no remorse with his killing spree to gain Morgan’s attention, causing Henry to take the first life of a fellow human during his time on the planet. The incident’s caused agonized feelings of remorse, as well as anger and hatred towards “Adam,” for manipulating Henry so well, a fact that Morgan’s deeply embarrassed about.

At least some of these questions should get answered in the upcoming episode, an important episode for two different reasons. The first reason pertains to the series’ storyline and how the rest of season one starts to play out. The second reason’s equally important, to send a message to the ABC network to #RENEWFOREVER for a second season. Despite the shows zealous, rabid, fan-base, the network’s yet to decide the fate of the series for a second season, a move the network should have finalized months ago. The only problem with the show is its time-slot, being stuck on Tuesday nights at 10:00 pm, a night owned by CBS. That fault lies on the network itself, run it at 10:00 pm on Sunday nights, as they did with the dreadful series Resurrected and they’d have a Quality Top-Ten Nielsen-rated show.

I’ve written previously that Forever’s the best new series of this season, no small statement given the competitions quality, many that we Recap at Not Just Another TV Site. The acting’s among the best on the medium, starting with the wonderful regular cast, radiating down to the smallest guest role. It’s not exploited the character’s ability to regenerate after death, using it tastefully and when needed. Instead it’s relied on a far superior component of the story, the flashbacks as we witness what Henry Morgan’s seen in the last 200-years. The show’s creator Matt Miller’s taken a clever concept, presented as a Quality story, gaining a very dedicated, intelligent, audience in the process. He’s also a truly nice guy, as he sent me a Facebook message, following a previous story, a gesture that shows he appreciates those who support his show and personally meant a lot to me.

Our Mission Statement’s to bring our readers Quality Programming and Forever’s near the top of that list. There are some excellent shows on Television currently, a point in time that we may look back at someday and compare it to the great era under NBC in the eighties, or the groundbreaking era for CBS in the seventies. The Television pie’s far more sliced up in 2015, than it was in those earlier eras, many of the mediums best shows are telecast on Cable Outlets. However the Original Three Networks can still provide great TV, as NBC proves with “The Blacklist,” CBS shows with “Person Of Interest” and ABC does with Forever.

During the eighties, NBC showed patience with “Hill Street Blues,” the series that went on to set the standard for all future shows about the police and dramas in general. In the seventies, CBS took a huge risk in airing a very controversial comedy “All In The Family,” then had patience until it found its audience and it went onto rule the Nielsen Charts for a long stretch. ABC can do the same thing by renewing their first year series, this show has far too many stories to tell to cut its wings this early.

Forever Returns Tuesday February 3, at 10:00 pm on ABC.