Monday, October 10, 2016

Pilot Review: Frequency

Frequency (CW)
Premiered October 5 at 9pm

I don’t remember all that much about the specific plot of the film “Frequency,” which I saw around the time of its release sixteen years ago, but I do remember that I really liked it. I’m very particular about how time travel is supposed to work in film and on television, and this concept doesn’t actually fit that since it has two different timelines proceeding along at the same rate two decades apart. The fact that it’s justified as such, however, does improve it in my mind, and I’m definitely willing to accept it as plausible given the film’s premise. Turning into a TV show is an interesting idea, one that seems especially popular in this season of remakes and reboots, and I am genuinely curious to see how it will work. What this episode did is created a universe of people with lives based on certain events from their pasts and then completely retool that when Raimy’s actions served to warn her father Frank of his fate and cause him to change what he did, sparing his life but leading to her mother being killed and her fiancé never meeting her. Those consequences make this harmless ham radio seem incredibly dangerous, and this being a weekly show rather than a movie might mean that Raimy’s present can change regularly, since she’ll likely be in contact with her father on an episodic basis. I’m not sure exactly how that will work, or how strong these characters are, but I’m a sucker for alternate realities so I’m willing to give this show a chance to see how it works. Peyton List is a decent choice to headline this show, and I think that Riley Smith will help Frank become more sympathetic as it goes on. Let’s see how episode two is.

How will it work as a series? Now that Raimy has completely disrupted and overridden her reality, is each episode going to find her modifying a single event in history so that she can change or save one thing? That could become tiring and hard to follow, but I’d assume that this first season was mapped out and probably better planned than that, so I’m intrigued enough to see what’s immediately next.
How long will it last? Reviews were pretty good, but this show opened pretty poorly even by the CW’s standards, which is troubling. If enough people come back for episode two, then it could do okay, but at this point, things aren’t looking promising for this show to continue too long.

Pilot grade: B

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