Forever, or at Least Until the End of the Season

Forever is here for the full season, but there are some things to think about.
Forever (Photo: Patrick Harbron / ABC)

Good news! ABC picked up Forever for the full season! Here’s what the show should do now that it has a little more time to work out the kinks. (Pun somewhat intended.)

Good news! ABC picked up Forever for the full season! Here’s what the show should do now that it has a little more time to work out the kinks.

Drop the Explanatory Sequence at the beginning of the show.

I had half of a post written about how Forever and Scorpion needs to drop the one-minute intro sequence explaining the show, especially since we are well beyond the six-episode buy-in threshold. Scorpion still aired their intro this week, but Forever went right into the story on Tuesday’s episode.

Avoid becoming Forever: SVU

So the kink that developed this week was an actual kink. The victim was a client of a dominatrix who then became accused of the murder. As you do. Also, our intrepid hero may have a budding relationship with Miss Ma’am. The problem here is that the show still has that Hallmark Channel movie aesthetic about it, even with grisly murders taking place every week. Adding the heightened sexual antics comes across as a tone issue.

What is the over-arching conflict exactly?

The central dilemma of the show seems to be that Henry does not want his secret immortality to become common knowledge. The show tried to develop this conflict with the mysterious Adam knowing about Henry’s secret, but the show seems to have dropped that thread. Aside from engaging in reckless behavior to get Jo out of jams, the show hasn’t established why Henry’s secret would actually be a problem. I’m all for queer narratives, but unless a consequence can be shown the stakes of the drama will diminish every week.

Stop with the flashbacks, seriously.

This is the most Hallmark-y aspect of the show and an excuse to get Ioan Gruffudd in increasingly ridiculous hairstyles every week. The flashbacks are not presented as memories triggered by modern day events, nor do they move the story forward. The takeaway from most of the journey back to Even Worse Medical Times is that people kind of suck and Henry’s life is basically reading a Choose Your Own Adventure cover-to-cover rather than jumping from page-to-page.

Jane Seymour.

Seymour was cast as the love interest for Abraham (Judd Hirsch). Yes, this makes Forever even more Hallmark-y, but casting Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman on this show is a stroke of genius.

I’ll be curious to see what happens on this show after the winter hiatus in a few weeks. Forever doesn’t seem like a drama with a five-year plan, but I hope the writers pick some threads to pursue or drop all threads and make the show a straight-up procedural. Both paths can work, but you can only choose one.

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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