Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pilot Review: Making History

Making History (FOX)
Premiered March 5 at 8:30pm

Whenever I see that a show is premiering on Sunday nights on FOX, I automatically assume that it will be an animated comedy that I probably won’t like. This show’s title made me think that it was a documentary about some historical developments or innovations, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m all about time travel, though it’s usually something I prefer in dramatic science fiction form. That said, I’m not against the idea of what we have here, which is a goofball protagonist who has found a way to travel back in time to the start of the American Revolution, met a girl who just happens to be Paul Revere’s daughter, and in the process affected things so severely that the revolution isn’t going to happen. I enjoyed seeing Adam Pally, of “Happy Endings” and “The Mindy Project” fame, in the comedy “Band Aid” opposite Zoe Lister-Jones at Sundance, and he’s exactly the right person for this role. I also like Leighton Meester, who shot to fame in “Gossip Girl” but impressed me more in “Country Strong” and “Life Partners.” I’m not familiar with Yassir Lester but it seems like he’s having fun. I’m not sure quite how involving or necessary this show will prove to be, but I’m up for at least another shot to see how its humorous take on history and time travel plays out, allow for plenty of comedy but also some decent exploration of what a well-known time period, looked at through a comic lens.

How will it work as a series? This isn’t playing out like “The Butterfly Effect,” where there’s a simple - or major - reaction for every action. Instead, it’s going to be a bit of a treasure hunt for our protagonists to determine what they’ve done to change things, and I think that seeing how Meester’s Deborah adjusts to modernity should be a lot of fun as the two boys try to right their wrongs and set history back on the right course.
How long will it last? The reviews look pretty good but the ratings aren’t great. FOX has high standards for its comedy block on Sunday nights, and I think this series would probably fare better with its other live-action comedies on Tuesday nights. I think it’s too early to know definitively, but I wouldn’t expect a renewal at this point.

Pilot grade: B

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