I almost don’t want to talk about this show. I wasn’t interested in it to begin with (it was the show of all of the presented pilots at PaleyFest Previews that I wanted to watch the least) and it didn’t surprise me or engage me at all. In fact, I stepped out halfway through to get a snack and didn’t miss much.
We’ve done the “immortal white guy knows more than everyone around him” trope so many times and there was nothing new to his immortality–unless you count that fact that he’s NOT a vampire. And I’d had a feeling we’d seen this show before and after the panel I was reminded there was a show called New Amsterdam a few years ago that was this very same trope—he was a detective instead of an ME. I hadn’t wanted to watch that show either. And it got cancelled pretty quickly. His resurrection power seems ridiculous and half unexplained–and not in the mysterious wait until later in the season way. Things were left unexplained (like why he DISAPPEARS from his spot of death and resurrects in water; also: what happens to his clothes? What if someone sees his body disappear?), which distracted me from the story rather than pulling me in. These are things that could have been explain immediately.
It’s the Mentalist (no, not fun Psych, but the Mentalist) meets… a vampire detective show. Maybe a bit of Castle (partners from different fields solving crimes) and Quincy, ME (he’s an ME), but without any of the fun of any of those shows. He didn’t even really present a compelling backstory and his partner’s backstory was mediocre as well. Nothing all that interesting.
The best thing was the ending with a reveal as to how he knew a certain character. That warmed the hearts of several audience members, and it was a nice bit of character interaction, though still no real development on behalf of the main character. And the mystery introduced–someone knows his secret–wasn’t interesting at all. Just a series of phone calls, you don’t even see the face of the main antagonist. I didn’t care.
Why can’t we have an immortal protagonist who is black? Or Latino or Asian? Those stories would be so much more interesting and rich! A black immortal who escaped slavery or at least survived until emancipation, then through Jim Crow and all that which followed? A Latina (yes, why not female) who has travelled through South and Central America for centuries before landing in New York. Characters of other races would add much more flavor to these immortal stories, the things they’ve lived through, that people of color have gone through through the years tells much more harrowing tales. An immortal Japanese man who survived living in America through internment camps or perhaps, even managed to fight in WWII. There are so many stories out there that are the same ones we’re being presented, but add a person of color and it adds so much more to the narrative.
Can’t say I was disappointed in Forever, just that it met my very low expectations.