Forever

Forever – Season 1 Complete

image I just finished watching the Season Finale of Forever and I have to say that overall I’m pretty impressed with the show. For those that aren’t familiar with the series, it goes a little something like this:

Henry Morgan is a NY Medical Examiner with a vast knowledge on multiple subjects. On the surface, this is a well written crime drama that uses actual thinking rather than relying on ridiculous computer hacks, like converting a blurry image, shot at night, from a traffic camera a mile away which all of sudden looks crystal clear, to solve crimes. It has many elements from the Sherlock Holmes novels such as identifying poisons from their smell, a painting being moved, footprints in the carpet, the subtle remnants of perfume in the room and other minor clues that are left behind.

But apart from that, Henry Morgan is apparently immortal. During an altercation where he puts another’s life above his own, he is struck down by a bullet, but lives to tell the tale. From that point, he has died hundreds of times, always coming back in one piece. So the reason he’s in the medical field, he knows a little something about death.

We also have Henry living with his son, a boy he rescued during the war who is old enough to be his grandfather. So besides the interesting crime stories, we have observations on what it’s like to live and love and what it means to die.

Henry struggles with the "curse" of outliving all the people he loves. His great loves have passed away while he has stayed young. And at some point, he will have to deal with the death of his son. How can he make the most of his life when those around him will pass away?

But if there is one, there is surely another. And on the other end we have Adam, a man who has lived even longer than Henry, but the ravages of time and man have taken a different toll on him.

It’s an interesting dilemma. What would it mean to live forever or at least for a thousand years? Immortality has been presented in Frankenstein and Dracula, but those always come with a terrible price. But what if the price was simply outliving everyone? You could walk in the daylight and live a normal life, it just wouldn’t end.

Of course, it would have been much easier to mask such a condition hundreds of years ago. Back in the 1800s all had you had to do was walk 50 miles down the road and you were in another world. There were no records to follow you, no picture IDs to confirm your identity. It would be relatively easy to start over. But not so much today. Even if you were in the know and could get the birth certificate, what about all the digital records people have access to now? People get suspicious if you don’t have something on Facebook or Twitter or elsewhere. And what about a hundred years from now? What would it take to hid the inability to age and then sneak off to another place where you could start anew?

The idea of living for a hundred of thousand years sounds fascinating. All the things you would see and experience. All the places you could go and all the knowledge you could take in. But what of the downside we see in Forever. Does endless life lead to madness? Would outliving everyone you know push you away from love and companionship? Would you be able to trust someone with that secret? As we see in the show, when Henry reveals his secret he is put into a mental institution. And would you be able to survive in a digital world where everything you do is tracked?

I think we all say we wish we had more time, but what if that’s all you had? Where would you end up? What would you do? And then once you’ve travelled and read, what next? And what jobs would you have? I suppose you would have to keep switching so people didn’t discover you. I suppose there is always the life of Robinson Crusoe, but that’s not really living is it?

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Forever – Interesting stories and an interesting look at life

image There are several things I like about Forever, the first being it’s actually got a British actor using what I assume is his natural speaking voice and it has interesting mysteries to solve. I have to say, I think it’s a shame that US shows hire foreign actors and then change their voices. You can hear this in the Mentalist, Rush, House and others. Considering most people enjoy hearing a different style of accent, why does this keep happening?

Anyway, Forever actually has a nice sound to it and I like how there is a narration where we get to hear more about a character and what they’re thinking. I liked how Dexter used this and it was also something we heard (although not very often) on the show Silk Stalkings way back in the 90s. I think this is a neat device and I think a show like Forever uses it to their advantage. There is a whole lot of backstory for Henry Morgan so it’s nice to get a little bit of that insight.

I wouldn’t say it’s subtle, nor would I say it’s blatant, but there is the undertone of what goes into a life. Henry has lived for 200 years and he sees it as a curse. Would the rest of us feel that way? What we do if he had nearly unlimited time? Henry speaks of relationships and growing old and what it’s like to love and lose that love. While none of us can live forever, there is the message that we should make the most of the time we have. What does tomorrow bring? As we see from the opening minutes of the first episode, life can change in an instant. We never know what we’ll get to finish tomorrow.

I like the stories so far and I like the message. Perhaps we do need to take a step back from the computers and Twitter and Facebook and phones and focus on the people around us. Perhaps we should take that time to read a book (to our kids) rather than sitting in front of the TV. Or perhaps I’m getting a little sappy.

Another thing I like is that the CGI is a minimum so far. I grow tired of shows that zoom in on a totally pixelated and grainy picture that magically becomes crystal clear, or they run through millions of photos in seconds and find the person their looking for through facial recognition. I know what computers can and can’t do so it’s nice to see someone using their brain and going with their instincts for a change.

So far, a pretty neat show with characters I like and stories that are actually interesting. Hopefully this one will stick around for a few seasons.

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What lies in store if you live Forever?

imageSo ABC presents us with a new show called Forever, a slight twist on the old idea of living forever. No, character at the center of our story, Henry Morgan, isn’t a vampire (thank goodness), or werewolf (not that we know of), or highlander (at least for now there is more than one), but rather a man who isn’t quite sure how he turned out the way he did. He’s been around for 200 years and for the most part seems to be at ease with the world around him. He’s used his time to learn, study and try to do some good in the world. He’s even managed to create his own little family.  But now on the horizon something is brewing and Henry comes to realize he’s not the only one.

While the opening story feels a little reminiscent of Unbreakable, there are plenty of hooks that will have me back for another episode. There are some tinges of Sherlock Holmes as well, but that is in no way a bad thing for me. He certainly should be a keen observer after 200 years of watching people. So it looks like Henry will use those powers and the vast knowledge he’s stored up to help people in modern day New York. The Big Apple isn’t too bad a place to pick if you want to be anonymous and working with the police will give him plenty to work on. I wonder if he’ll bump into Sherlock on his adventures?

Anyway, I think this can be an interesting series with plenty of room for some intriguing stories and a look at what it means to be alive. What defines us? What makes us who we are? What will we be known for with the time we have on earth? Perhaps that’s reading a little too much into it at these early stages, but Forever was pretty good. I’ll definitely stick around for another episode of this one. Hopefully, he won’t be a vampire or genetic experiment, that will just ruin the whole mystique of the show. And besides you have to admire a guy who walks around with a 300 year old pocket watch.

Yes, yes, there were tinges of Highlander as well. The first movie in that series was pretty damn good you have to admit.

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