The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Monday, October 22, 2007

AICS TV Critic-Journeyman aGood Idea a Good Plot a Bad Script

When I saw the lineup of NBC this year I thought it was pretty good. On top of one of my favorite shows last year, Heroes, they added Chuck, Journeyman, Bionic Woman and Life. Of these, the one that had me most excited was Journeyman. Since I was a kid and read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, time travel has been one of my favorite subjects in a book, movie or show. In addition to getting to see the past or future, the notion of changing either is fascinating. Journeyman began well and I was eager to see the next episode. By the second episode, I was still liking the show but getting pretty irritated with the guy's wife and brother.

The Journeyman is another flawed hero (which I tend to like, 'cause there's nothing worse than a perfect hero). He was addicted to gambling and somehow became married to his brother's ex-wife (yuck). During his gambling spell, they almost divorced but he was able to overcome it and the marriage survived but remains rocky. He had a girlfriend, Olivia, before he married his wife and everybody seems to know Olivia was the love of his life. She died in a plane crash, but her body was never found.

If things were not exciting enough, he suddenly starts uncontrollably leaping through time. Ok, it is nearly a rip-off of Quantum Leap but he leaps to the past and back home. He finds that where he leaps to, he is to help somebody. He sometimes leaps at the worst possible moment: when on an airplane, when he is fixing the plumming and the water is running, before the biggest night of the year for his wife. That is where the bad scripting comes in. The reaction of the wife is completely unrealistic. First, she thought he was just going places (maybe gambling?) until he proves he is leaping. She gets mad at him like he can control it. She is a walking bomb of "issues" and a complete nag. She completely lacks any curiosity about his adventures in time and in general acts like it is "all about her". The viewer is tempted to throw things at the screen and call her the same thing most are tempted to call Hillary Clinton.

At the lowest point, he goes back to the past and sees Olivia. He finds out she did not die and is a time traveler like him. He had a chance to, you know, but he was honorable. Now he keeps seeing her. Bad news, though. The harpy found out when Olivia loaned him her watch - the watch he had given to Olivia. The one inscribed "With Love Forever" or something like that. So basically every time he is home, his wife is a nagging witch and when he is in the past things are so nice with Olivia. Can we predict where this is going? And in spite of the moral side of things, can we guess who the audience is cheering for?

There are some funny scenes. The funniest is when he goes back to the early '80s and meets a guy talking on one of those old and BIG early cellphones. He has a bluetooth in his ear and the guy with the big phone is laughing about it. I am going to keep watching it, but I risk a splitting migraine when the wife is on. My wife "Olive Oyl" would be so into my time traveling. She would be jumping up and down on the bed asking me to tell her what happened this time. She would be begging me to try and pick her up and take her with. She would be giving advice on how to help the person and helping me do research. In short, the show could be written so much better. Maybe he will go back in time and smooth things over with his wife and brother and they will stay together. We can only hope.

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