Forever: Your Parents’ Favorite New Show Won’t Survive Tuesdays

Judd Hirsch points the way (as usual) on Forever.
Forever (Photo: K.C. Bailey / ABC)

Forever continues to have potential, but its current spot closing out Tuesday night may cause a death from which Henry Morgan won’t revive.

Interest in Forever seems to be fading, as the show dropped in the ratings in its third outing. Which is a shame, because the third episode highlighted what the show does well and avoided a number of the elements that don’t quite work.

This week’s case featured a clinic that harvested human brains for materials that help reverse the aging process to sell in milkshakes. Yes, the clients aren’t aware they are participating in cannibalism and yes, the prions that make up a significant portion of the harvested material are slicing and dicing the brains of the consumers, but look at that grandpa’s abs!

Despite all these macabre details, this episode did not spend that much time focusing on Dr. Morgan’s (Ioan Gruffudd) central problem of not being able to die. He did not have any resets1 and no mysterious calls from the guy who knows Morgan’s deep dark secret. Instead, we learn more about Abe (Judd Hirsch) and his desire to be young and that Morgan’s true desire is to grow old. Instead, we get several more flashbacks than in the previous two outings, which is where Morgan draws his knowledge for solving the case.

Which leads me to a couple of questions I have about the character. First, does immortality mean a longer-lasting memory? The flashbacks were not only more frequent, but extended with detailed conversations about a friend dying of tuberculosis. It rehashes the concern I had from the pilot about Morgan always being right, which does not appear to be going away any time soon. My other question has to do with a character detail: how has Morgan’s accent not changed at all in 200 years? Although an accent may never fade, a contemporary British accent would be different from an early-1800s accent. This is more of a nitpick, but linguistic nits are fun.

I’m not sure if Forever is going to make it to the mid-season hiatus. Although it was ABC’s most-watched show Tuesday, that number is mostly older viewers. This is not helped by the fact that most of the victims-of-the-week have also been the elderly (including next week’s case). If Castle were to take an extended break while The Bachelor was on, ABC might want to consider sliding this show into its timeslot and creating a Mystery Monday tag-team. The Tuesday block is a mish-mash mess right now, but I would like to see Forever survive.

  1. Yay! No melty baby face in the vortex!  

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv