Wednesday, 1 October 2014
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - FOREVER
A little bit of Castle, a splash or Sherlock Holmes and a spoonful of Supernatural!
Forever joined the 2014-2015 lineup of shows I became interested in watching. As a fan of police procedurals that feature quirky and/or eccentric protagonists, Forever immediately caught my eye. Dr. Henry Morgan is a medical examiner in New York who is obsessed with death - mostly because he is incapable of dying himself.
It feels a bit like New Amsterdam with a touch of Jack Harkness from Torchwood thrown into the mix, but Forever proved to me that it could stand on it's own feet. I'd be lying though if I said it didn't accomplish all this by mixing together elements from other shows though. Henry Morgan is two hundred years old and looking to die (Torchwood), he has keen powers of observation (Sherlock Holmes) and he works with a female detective who doesn't always enjoy his company/methodology and tags along on her cases despite not being law enforcement (Castle). However, once you get past these familiarities, you'll see all the original elements Forever has.
Unlike Castle, Henry's female detective friend has lost a loved one, but it's just a regular death. No murder. It is too soon to count the eggs in the basket though, but my respect for it would take a dive if they made it like Castle. The keen powers of observation can be chalked up to being alive for 200 years. Again, at times this feels forced by the writers to make Henry the smartest person in the room.
However, the hook to Forever is the mysterious illness that Henry has preventing him from dying. He is stalked by someone who knows his secret and seems to suffer from the same condition. There's nothing like having a crazy stalker who can't die watching your every move, is there? This aspect of Forever is one of the more interesting parts about it.
Onto the supporting cast, Henry's detective friend - Jo Martinez (Alana De Le Garza) - I like. I admire the fact that instead of turning her into a workaholic like Kate Beckett from Castle, they chose to go with out-of-control widow. She drinks, she sleeps around - in a nutshell - she's a mess! This is refreshing to see. Henry's associate Abe is just as enjoyable to watch. The two of them share a close bond and by the end of the pilot, your opinion of both just increases dramatically.
Unfortunately the other supporting cast are really boring to watch. Unlike Castle - sorry I keep comparing the two, but the same network makes both and the similarities are obvious between the two. Since a lot of one's elements influenced the other, I might as well do a comparison. Unlike Castle where every character is fantastic (Alexis, Martha, Ryan and Havie), Forever features a couple of less than entertaining people. Henry's friend at the medical examiner's office is very two dimensional, not really adding much apart from some...actually, he doesn't do much. Martinez's partner at the precinct is the cliched 'I don't believe in your quirky habits' character. He's basically just a really boring knock-off of Carlton Lassiter from Psych.
Another interesting Forever element are the various flashbacks to past time periods Henry lived through and seeing how he coped. Since he became immortal in the 19th century, he had to live through a couple of world wars.
Rating this pilot: 7.5/10. A good start to a series that has the potential to become one of the most watched on television.