The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – Pure Genius (CBS)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

Pure Genius (Thursdays on CBS)

pure-genius

One of my problems with the vast majority of CBS programs is that they’re all overly simplified, seemingly in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s not that their programs are that bad, it’s just that they’re bland retreads of ideas that have been done to death. Look at great dramas like Lost or Breaking Bad (yeah, that’s right, I’m putting them on the same level – fight me), or great comedies like Arrested Development or Community. They stretch the bounds of their genre and format. They actively strive to break new ground and to tell stories in creative and interesting ways. CBS programs do the opposite. It’s like they actively strive to be as unoriginal as possible. Which brings me to Pure Genius.

The brilliant author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke had three adages that were known as “Clarke’s three laws”. The third, and most renowned, of these laws is that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Procedural dramas too often take this idea to heart. One of the most common complaints about television procedurals is that the technology used may as well be magical. Watch any episode of CSI, Bones, or Scorpion and you’ll see what I mean. Procedural technology is capable of literally anything. How many episodes of television have you seen where someone tells a guy at a computer to “enhance” an image. Now there are actual ways to enhance an image, but these programs always take it to the most ridiculous extremes. “Do you see that? It’s his reflection. See if you can zoom in on it. Ah, what’s that in his eye? It’s the reflection of his killer. See if you can enhance the reflection of the reflection. We’ve found our man”. There’s actually a name for this phenomenon – the CSI effect. In an academic journal analyzing the effects of this phenomenon on actual juries, authors N.J. Schweitzer and Michael J. Saks state the following:

In recent years, the television program CSI and its spin-offs have portrayed forensic science as high-tech magic, solving crimes quickly and unerringly. Of course, CSI is only fiction. One forensic scientist estimates that 40% of the “science” on CSI does not exist, and most of the rest is performed in ways that crime lab personnel can only dream about.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this. Television is, after all, an entertainment medium and it’s used by many as a means of escapism. What’s the problem with a little magic technology? There is no problem with magic technology… in science fiction. But that’s not what Pure Genius is. It’s billed as a medical procedural, and in an attempt to distinguish itself, it incorporates “sufficiently advanced technology”. It is the television embodiment of Clarke’s third law.

There’s a scene in the episode in which the team, led by brilliant Silicon Valley billionaire James Bell (Augustus Prew), try to bring a young girl out of a coma. They’ve grown tired of waiting for her to come to them, so they decided to go to her. With the vast resources that he has used to fund the cutting-edge Bunker Hill Hospital, Bell purchases an experimental piece of equipment that allows for brain-to-brain communication – mind-reading. They throw the helmets on the patient and her mother, and sure enough, as the father speaks to his daughter, the mother utters the words “hi daddy” through tears. Now, if this were an episode of Fringe, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Fringe was a sci-fi procedural that dealt with fringe science. Pure Genius is not. In fact, showrunner Jason Katims actually told his writers’ room that he didn’t want to make a science fiction show. That means that apparently, the writers have done some amount of research into real experimental medical practices that they believe could be utilized some day. If this episode is anything to judge by, however, those practices are still a long ways off. Everything important in this show takes place on a high-tech computer screen or holographic tablet. Every impossible problem is solved through magical technology that’s too advanced to fail.  This is House without the ingenuity – or the characters.

Every character in Pure Genius falls flat. There are no distinct personalities. The only character less interesting than Bell himself is Dr. Walter Wallace (Dermot Mulroney), who is at first reluctant to join the hospital before being wowed by the miraculous power of all the expensive tech. There’s a whole team of medical experts that frankly aren’t worth elaborating on here – trust me, this show isn’t doing anything you haven’t seen a hundred times before. If you’re going to have boring characters, then you at least need to have an interesting plot. If you’re going to have a boring plot, then you at least have to have interesting characters. Pure Genius lacks both. ER, House, and Grey’s Anatomy were compelling because you were watching interesting characters push themselves to solve problems and save lives. In Pure Genius, the technology does most of the heavy lifting.

It’s unfortunate, because Jason Katims is the insanely talented individual who brought us Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, two shows which were known for their loveable characters and authentic emotional beats. Those shows elevated the family drama, but there’s nothing that sets Pure Genius apart from other shows of its ilk. Maybe one day Katims will have his show explore the complexities that surround sufficiently advanced technologies, but until then, I can’t recommend Pure Genius.

It kind of sucks to end The Pilot Project on such a low note, but… what can you do? I didn’t ask CBS to premiere half of its new fall schedule later than everyone else. Go forth, skip all CBS shows, and be blessed.

Recommendation: Skip it

The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – The Great Indoors (CBS)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

The Great Indoors (Thursdays on CBS)

the great indoors.jpg

One of my problems with the vast majority of CBS programs is that they’re all overly simplified, seemingly in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s not that their programs are that bad, it’s just that they’re bland retreads of ideas that have been done to death. Look at great dramas like Lost or Breaking Bad (yeah, that’s right, I’m putting them on the same level – fight me), or great comedies like Arrested Development or Community. They stretch the bounds of their genre and the format. They actively strive to break new ground and to tell stories in creative and interesting ways. CBS programs do the opposite. It’s like they actively strive to be as unoriginal as possible. Which brings me to The Great Indoors.

The Great Indoors, like most CBS comedies, can be boiled down to a simple, singular premise, which in this case is “millennials are funny”. Like Two and a Half Men (“men are funny”), The Big Bang Theory (“nerds are funny”), and Mike & Molly (“fat people are funny”) before it, The Great Indoors places all of its bets on this one joke.

Joel McHale plays Jack Gordon, the “aging” adventure journalist at the now-defunct magazine, “Outdoor Limits”. Due to the fact that print is dead, “Outdoor Limits” is shuttering its print division in favour of going fully digital. Jack is horrified, because now that “Outdoor Limits” is just a website, it apparently means he can’t go explore the world outside anymore. In fact, when you switch from being a magazine to being a website, you also have to switch from posting articles to posting memes. Like I said, everything has been overly simplified in order to beat you over the head with a singular joke. You see, Jack can’t do his previous job anymore because he’s now in charge of supervising the millennials that make up the magazine’s online team. There’s Clark (Christopher Mint-Plasse), Emma (Christine Ko), and Mason (Shaun Brown). All three are so VERY millennial. They post content such as “Best Outdoor Gear for the Zombie Apocalypse”, because while they work at an outdoor magazine, they actually know nothing about the outdoors. Because they’re millennials. And iPhones. And such. Clark hosts a podcast where he interviews Mason about his podcast. Emma is upset that she’s been working 8 weeks without a promotion. Mason keeps accidentally (?) sending people dick picks. Do you get it yet? There are frequent jokes about participation trophies. I’m not making this up. At one point Jack is referred to as “the human version of dial-up”. I haven’t cringed this much since I watched the only episode of The Big Bang Theory that I ever watched (bazinga!). Will Jack and these crazy kids ever be able to work together to create something meaningful or are they doomed to continually fall into the same old clichés? Both, probably.

I suppose if you’re old enough to find millennials perplexing (although aren’t we all?), maybe you’d get something out of the jokes involving Instagram accounts and podcasts, but if you are that sort of person then surely you’ve heard it all by now, right? In fact, you’ve probably already MADE the same jokes that these writers are being paid to think up. Doesn’t that just infuriate you? Writing isn’t even a real job though is it? Maybe they should get out of their parent’s basement and make an honest day’s living for once. You know, back in my day, we weren’t special. Siiiigggghhhhh… I just can’t even right now. :$

Recommendation: No

The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – Man with a Plan (CBS)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

Man With a Plan (Mondays on CBS)

man-with-a-plan

Oh man. This is it. The one we’ve all been waiting for!

I don’t know that I necessarily dreaded watching any of this year’s pilots (even Kevin Can Wait was fun to mock), but if there was one that I cared about the least, it was probably Man with a Plan. Now, I wasn’t really basing this feeling on anything. I hadn’t seen a trailer or heard anything in particular about the show. I think that maybe my preconceived notions stemmed solely from the title. Nothing about a show called Man with a Plan sounds particularly appealing, because that’s about as broad and clichéd a title as you could possibly come up with. Unfortunately, the show lives up to its name.

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but Man with a Plan is fine. It’s fine! It’s not particularly funny or original, but I’m sure there are people out there who would enjoy it. Matt LeBlanc stars as Adam Burns, a (wait for it) man with a plan! He’s got a wife, Andi (Liza Snyder), and three kids: Kate (Grace Kaufman), Emme (Hala Finley), and Teddy (Matthew McCann). The Burns’ are a middle-class family living in the suburban Pittsburgh, and the series looks to follow Adam’s struggle to become a stay-at-home dad while his wife goes back to work. It’s a winning formula, because that’s just it – a formula. Down-to-earth wife, goofy husband, and oddball children. I just described Man with a Plan, as well as The Middle, Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, Modern Family, and Speechless (and those are just the network family sitcoms that are airing this fall). I would have listed The Goldbergs as well, only the husband/wife roles have been reversed (sorry, I can’t speak to The Real O’Neals because I haven’t started it).

Listen, you’ve probably noticed by now that it’s very hard for me to hate a show. Unless the show is actively offensive or boring, I’ll probably find some redeemable qualities in it (or at least I’ll recognize that it’s competently made). Should I be so easy on unremarkable entertainment? Maybe not. That’s why I’m not a very good critic. Having seen first-hand the work that goes into creating a show, I don’t feel right being overly dismissive. Man with a Plan wasn’t very funny, but I also wasn’t overly offended by it. So…

Man with a Plan is a serviceable slice of American family sitcom, and if you think it’s something you’d like, then go ahead and watch it, but you’d be better served by watching Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Speechless, The Middle, or The Real O’Neals (probably). There might have been a time in which Man with a Plan would have felt fresh and original, but in this age of “Peak TV”, who has the time?

I mean… if they didn’t bother to put in any effort, then why should I?

Recommendation: Skip it

The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – American Housewife (ABC)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

American Housewife (Tuesdays on ABC)

american-housewife

Oh man. This is it. The one we’ve all been waiting for!

I don’t know that I necessarily dreaded watching any of this year’s pilots (even Kevin Can Wait was fun to mock), but if there was one that I cared about the least, it was probably American Housewife. Now, I wasn’t really basing this feeling on anything. I hadn’t seen a trailer or heard anything in particular about the show. I think that maybe my preconceived notions stemmed solely from the title. Nothing about a show called American Housewife sounds particularly appealing, because that’s about as broad and clichéd a title as you could possibly come up with. Unfortunately, the show lives up to its name.

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but American Housewife is fine. It’s fine! It’s not particularly funny or original, but I’m sure there are people out there who would enjoy it. Katy Mixon stars as Katie Otto, an (wait for it) American housewife! She’s got a husband, Greg (Diedrich Bader), and three kids: Taylor (Meg Donnelly), Oliver (Daniel DiMaggio), and Anna-Kat (Julia Butters). The Otto’s are a middle-class family living in the incredibly wealth town of Westport, Conneticut, and the series looks to follow Katie’s struggle to keep her family grounded amidst the wealth and privilege they’re surrounded by every day. She’s got two kids (Taylor and Oliver) who are fitting in too well and becoming the privileged elite that she can’t stand, and she’s got little Anna-Kat, an outsider who seems to be suffering from a mild case of OCD. It’s a winning formula, because that’s just it – a formula. Down-to-earth wife, goofy husband, and oddball children. I just described American Housewife, as well as The Middle, Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, Modern Family, and Speechless (and those are just the network family sitcoms that are airing this fall). I would have listed The Goldbergs as well, only the husband/wife roles have been reversed (sorry, I can’t speak to The Real O’Neals because I haven’t started it).

Listen, you’ve probably noticed by now that it’s very hard for me to hate a show. Unless the show is actively offensive or boring, I’ll probably find some redeemable qualities in it (or at least I’ll recognize that it’s competently made). Should I be so easy on unremarkable entertainment? Maybe not. That’s why I’m not a very good critic. Having seen first-hand the work that goes into creating a show, I don’t feel right being overly dismissive. American Housewife wasn’t very funny, but I also wasn’t overly offended by it. So…

American Housewife is a serviceable slice of American family sitcom, and if you think it’s something you’d like, then go ahead and watch it, but you’d be better served by watching Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Speechless, The Middle, or The Real O’Neals (probably). There might have been a time in which American Housewife would have felt fresh and original, but in this age of “Peak TV”, who has the time?

Recommendation: Skip it

 

The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – Frequency (CW)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

Frequency (Wednesday on CW)

frequency

If No Tomorrow represents the new CW, Frequency is more indicative of its past. On the surface, it’s a somewhat goofy, mostly derivative procedural wrapped up in genre trappings. In look and feel, it couldn’t be more generic. The one thing it has going for it is the sheer audacity of the premise.

In Frequency, Peyton List plays Raimy Sullivan, a cop with a chip on her shoulder because of her dad Frank (Riley Smith), another cop who died while undercover 20 years ago. She’s got her father’s old ham radio in her garage. One day, lightning strikes the house and the radio powers on for the first time in years. Raimy begins to have a conversation with the stranger whose broadcast she picks up. As it turns out, that stranger is Frank Sullivan, communicating with his daughter from 20 years in the past, using the same radio she’s using. Yes, the premise of this show is “girl talks to her younger father on a magic time radio”. The thing is, he’s supposed to die the next day.

Now, I should probably warn you – I’m basically going to spoil this entire episode, so if this sounds appealing to you, stop reading and go watch the episode (it’s streaming on Canadian Netflix).

So, if you could communicate into the past with your dad, who is on the verge of death, what would you do? You would, of course, warn him, even though every single piece of time travel related media ever created has warned you against doing so. And so she does. And he lives. Woohoo! Daddy’s saved, and the future is changed, and now it turns out that he lived a long(er) and happy life with his daughter before dying in 2011 (hey, 15 extra years ain’t bad). It’s all good, right? Except it’s not, because Raimy’s fiancé Daniel no longer has any memory of her. Her mother (who was Daniel’s nurse after he was in a car accident) was supposed to introduce the two of them, only she didn’t, because her mother’s now dead, a victim of the “Nightingale” serial killer who preyed on nurses in 1996. Does any of this… sound familiar? It should, because this exact narrative device was used the day before on the 3rd season premiere of The Flash. And the day before that on the series premiere of Timeless. And it was used two weeks later on the 2nd episode of Legends of Tomorrow’s 3rd season. As I said in my Timeless review, I love time travel, but this is just ridiculous. Now, there’s no way that the writers of all 4 shows could have known that this would happen (although they are all filmed in Vancouver and 3 of them are specifically about time travel), but this “twist” stops being shocking after the first couple of times (and let’s be real, time travel stories have been telling variations of this concept since they were first conceived). I know that for the characters, it must be particularly jarring and horrifying to have people in their life just… erased, but it’s not much fun watching the characters react this way. What did you think was going to happen? YOU CHANGED THE PAST! If I had the chance to time travel and I did, I would do it knowing full well that I was basically destroying the present. I can’t empathize with these stupid characters when they’re aghast that MENDLING WITH THE TIME STREAM screwed things up. Anyway, maybe that’s just me.

This show is fine. It’s not aggressively bad, it’s just a little bland and uninspired (except for that dumb radio thing). Want to see Riley work with her dad to hunt down the Nightingale killer in order to save her mother’s life? Check out the show, but make it quick. If Peyton List’s other starring roles are anything to go by – Windfall (13 episodes), Big Shots (11 episodes), FlashForward (22 episodes), and The Tomorrow People (22 episodes) – Frequency’s days are numbered. Peyton better start looking for another show to destroy, for she has become List, the destroyer of shows.

Recommendation: Try it (I guess)

The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – No Tomorrow (CW)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

No Tomorrow (Tuesdays on CW)

no-tomorrow

The CW has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last few seasons. Five years ago, The CW is where you would have gone to watch Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, Hellcats, Nikita, One Tree Hill, The Ringer, Smallville, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries. It was a network that programmed specifically for teenage girls. Now, that’s not to say that these shows were without their merits (I’ve succumbed to many a guilty pleasure in my time), but The CW wasn’t the haven for progressive, critically acclaimed dramas that it is today.

These days, The CW is the place for highly-entertaining, well produced genre fair like The 100, iZombie, and the Arrowverse family of shows – Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. These shows aren’t for everybody, but it’s impossible to deny that they’re of a higher quality than the programming The CW was serving five years ago (Supergirl is 10x the show Smallville ever was). That being said, The CW is still the place to go for romantic dramedies – they’ve just classed them up a little. The critically-acclaimed Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend delivered the networks first two Golden Globe awards (both for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy). The CW has grown into the little network that could, with one of the most consistently entertaining lineups of any broadcast network, so it’s always interesting to see what new shows they’re willing to introduce into their overcrowded schedule (they only have room for 10 hours of programming a week, compared to the 18 hours that other networks are working with).

Enter No Tomorrow, a charming, quirky romantic comedy that I’m sure The CW hoped would be their next Jane the Virgin or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The high-level concept is that bored warehouse manager Evie (played by the lovely Tori Anderson) encounters the attractive, adventurous Xavier (Joshua Sasse, of Galavant), who believes that the world is going to end in 8 months and 12 days after being struck by an asteroid. This has led him to leave his job and pursue the completion of his “apocalyst” – a list of things that he’d like to do before the end. Evie is taken in by this idea and makes her own apocalyst to complete. Effectively, this show is about a girl trying to cross items off her bucket list in an attempt to live life to the fullest. Not a wholly original concept, by any means, but Tori Anderson’s so adorable that it’s hard to care. Anderson and Sasse are probably the two most charismatic leads of any new fall show, so it’s easy to forgive this pilot its flaws (one of which is the extended cast, which I’m not sure I’m sold on yet).

The one thing that could set this show apart from other “bucket list” stories is the “end of the world” aspect. It will be interesting to see how much the show ends up dwelling on that idea, since there’s no proof that the world is actually ending. If it is, then it certainly puts a bit of a time-limit on the show’s life span, doesn’t it? Without the “end of days” conceit, I’m not sure how sustainable the bucket-list idea will be, although I suppose I’ve seen better shows do more with less.

I’m choosing to remain optimistic about No Tomorrow. It’s an endearing show with endearing leads and I genuinely hope that it improves. That being said, it looks like The CW’s probably going to end it at 13 episodes, so… you’ll be able to binge it on Netflix (where new episodes are airing in Canada) quite easily!

Recommendation: Try it

The Pilot Project ’16 (Pt. 2) – Timeless (NBC)

The time has come once again (again). The summer sun set long ago. The days have grown colder and the nights have grown longer and we’ve filled those nights with fretting about the election new fall TV. As happens every autumn, the five major networks unleashed a flurry of new programs meant to entertain us into these dark, frigid winter months (and beyond). So many choices. So much risk! How will you know what to watch? That’s where I come in. I watch every new fall pilot episode so that you don’t have to (even if it takes me months to do so). I take one for the team, so you can watch the… screen(m). It’s time for more of…

THE PILOT PROJECT (2016 Edition Pt. 2)

Timeless (Mondays on NBC)

timeless.jpg

Listen… when it comes to genre TV, I’m your guy. Sci-fi? I love sci-fi. Superheroes? Sign me up. Fantasy? Uh huh. There are so many procedural dramas on TV that I live for every new genre show. So yeah, I really, really want to like Timeless! I want to like it so bad! A time travel drama from Shawn Ryan (creator of The Shield, Terriers, and Last Resort) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural and Revolution)? SIGN ME UP! Right?! Right?

Well, yes. And no.

Timeless is a perfectly fine TV show. It’s not GREAT, but it’s not bad either. It’s just… unremarkable. Basically, this tech company has been secretly working for years on a time machine. A group of terrorists break in and steal the time machine, and it’s up to history professor Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer), Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter), and time machine programmer Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) to hunt them down and stop them from changing history. It’s a solid premise, if a little unoriginal. I mean, here’s the thing – time travel is not a new concept. Everything in this pilot episode has been done many, many, many times before. There are things in this episode that I have seen occur in no fewer than 3 other shows this season (The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Frequency – all from The CW). Time travel? Check. Changing the past? Check. Altering the present? Check. It’s all been done before. It’s all been done RECENTLY. And that’s fine! It just depends on how well they handle these elements. Time travel stories are cool, but difficult to write. Can Timeless create a better show out of these elements than the others? I guess… only… TIME will tell!

I’m going to keep watching Timeless. I’m a sucker for time travel stuff, and even though I’ve seen it all before (and recently), I won’t write off a genre show after a single episode. But should you watch it? Try it out and see for yourself. It’s entirely possible that the standard time travel conventions won’t come off as so rote to someone less steeped in time travel fiction. There is a certain audience that probably finds this MIND-BLOWING. If you’re well-versed in the genre, you’ll see it all coming from a mile away.

Recommendation: Try it