Late to the Party: ABC’s Forever
So, lets be honest. The real reason I started watching Forever was because of Ioan Gruffudd, who besides being incredibly handsome and having the best name ever, is a really great actor. I’m a big fan of the 2004 King Arthur and the Horatio Hornblower series, so when I heard that Ioan Gruffudd was in a new series, I was all over that.
In ABC’s Forever Gruffudd plays Henry Morgan, a smooth talking incredibly dressed charmer who happens to be immortal and has a tendency to know everything.
I will admit I barely made it through the first four episodes of the series. While it wasn’t horribly bad, it just wasn’t great either. It seemed like it was just a lot of cliches and predictable character types. But I stuck with it and I have been rewarded because the series seems to have found its stride about halfway through the season.
To give credit where credit due, the show has heart. The writers have really put time into developing Jo and Henry’s characters and you really get to know and care about them in every episode. Also, we see the effects that relationships have had on Jo and Henry, as they have both lost their respective spouses, and that neither of them is ready for a relationship even though they have both tried to date other people throughout the season. And then there’s the part where we watch Jo come face to face with the video records of her late husband from a case file. Can we say massive tear-jerker moment? The feels, yeah they are there.
While the series has its heavy moments, on the whole its light-hearted and fun. Speaking of fun, its great seeing Joel David Moore play Henry’s assistant Lucas. Joel played the gloomy and morose assistant tech Collin Fisher on Bones, and he’s back with another quirky side character in the form of Lucas. Lucas is a character that you can’t help but love with all his awkward moments and silence inducing speeches. Yeah, we can never un-hear half of what Lucas says, but it sure is funny.
Also, the show never seems to get tired of its own inside jokes about characters telling Henry ‘you never really know someone’ and hints that some people have secrets. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get over it already.
Henry is all over modern medicine, its technology and advances, but is selective in accepting technology and progress in just about every other aspect of his life. Curious, right? They make it a point to show him using older forms of household objects like phones, fountain pens, old style journals, and reading newspapers. For some reason the show feels the need to constantly remind the audience ‘look this guy is old.’ I know they need to make him different from everyone else but I don’t think they need to hit us over the head with it.
I only have one real snark about the show, and that would be how they present Henry’s immortal character. Don’t get me wrong, immortal characters are a riot, they’re fun and they get to make historical jokes and references with a nonchalance of been there, done that, got the t-shirt. However, my problem with them is that they can get turned into a know-it-all-character. Yes Henry, I’m talking to you. Just because someone has lived for 200 something years does not mean that they can retain and recall every.single.detail that has happened in that time. That is completely improbable, even for someone with mental faculty’s like Henry. I understand that the show needs it for plot reasons, and it also helps to build Henry’s character, but seriously, would it hurt if he cracked an encyclopedia to look up something that he vaguely remembers, or Googled something that he forgot but used to know about?
Also, the voice over in the opening sequence says that Henry is trying to figure out what curse he has, but only one episode has actually discussed a possible lead in that direction. Really the show is just about Henry in day to day life. I’m sure they will throw more of that in later if the series is renewed for another season. There has been no word on whether or not the series will be renewed. I’m hoping it will. They have done a really good job of setting a lot of groundwork and establishing and building characters during the first season, so it would be a shame to not get to see where the director was going with all of that.