Forever is a new show currently on the air, and has fast become one of my favorites. Forever is a blend of drama, mystery, comedy, and a touch of fantasy; all themes which, I think, find a way to be well balanced.
Forever follows Doctor Henry Morgan, an ME (Medical Examiner) for the NYCPD. Henry also happens to be immortal. He can die, but always comes back – in a rather unique and, at times, comedic way – by waking up, naked, in a body of water.
For almost 200 years Henry has been trying to solve his ‘problem’ and discover why he is immortal. But the show isn’t only about Henry’s immortality, but about him finding a place in the world, building relationships (which he fears losing as time passes), and solving murders of course. With his almost Sherlock-style attention to detail, Forever does not fail to keep your attention on multiple levels.
Ioan Gruffudd is wonderful to watch as Dr. Henry Morgan, and constantly steals the scene. I could not imagine anyone playing the part better. I have been a fan of Ioan Gruffudd for a while (Horatio Hornblower, Forsyte Saga, Amazing Grace, and King Arthur to name a few), and I love seeing him in this role. Although the character of Henry Morgan seems young, Ioan Gruffudd managed to play a 200 year old character believably. Henry may be living in the modern world, but he is very much stuck in the past. He is charming, naïve, and endearing, but at the same time intelligent, confident, and trustworthy.
Each of the other characters play important roles in Henry’s life, and the actors portray them well.
One of the most important characters for Henry is Abraham (Abe). Henry and Abe have become one of my favorite on-screen family relationships because of how different, yet how familiar, their relationship seems. The father/son relationship is seen often, but this time the ‘younger’ man is the father to the ‘older’. The dynamic between Judd Hirsch (Taxi) and Ioan Gruffudd as they play this reversal of roles is wonderful and natural. Abe’s character is frequently a bridge for Henry from the past into the modern world.
Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) is the other important person in Henry’s life. Jo trusts Henry’s judgment at crime scenes, and has expanded his role beyond a simple ME. Unlike many stereotyped stories that continue to prevail, Forever does not follow the typical ‘damsel in distress’ situations we’ve seen before when faced with a male/female duo. Jo does not need rescuing, and Henry doesn’t try to save her at every turn. In fact, Henry tends to be the one who needs rescuing more often than not. He knows she is more capable in rough situations because of her police training, and willingly lets her lead the way. It is wonderful to see a show portray this role reversal.
Forever is full of well written characters. Henry’s assistant, Lucas (Joel David Moore) adds a comedic element to all the grisly murders. And, last but not lease, Adam. Adam seems to have the same ‘condition’ as Henry, but has been alive since Roman times. His age has changed the way he sees the world, and is shaping up to be a complex villain for Henry. Adam is the perfect villain for Henry.
A small, but interesting, aspect of the show is it’s use of history and it’s comparison to the present. The show has just enough history to be enjoyable without becoming a lecture. I love seeing Henry throughout his life, as events in his life shape him into the man he is now. Subtle changes, like Henry’s hairstyles through the centuries, are a key detail to help the audience imagine him living in each time. Ioan Gruffudd plays each time period perfectly, and I can imagine him in each era. Forever has managed to tackle some very serious subjects, but managed to keep it’s hopeful attitude, frequently through the use of the show’s beginning and ending monologues. I always leave each episode feeling enriched and wanting more.
Forever has the potential for far more development and deeper stories. The characters are well written, and I would love to learn more about each of them. As with many creative shows (shout out to Almost Human from last year), I’m sure Forever is under threat of cancellation. I hope it gets the renewal it so rightly deserves. As an avid viewer of the show via Hulu, I hope to be able to keep watching Forever next year.
Forever currently airs on ABC, Tuesday at 10pm.
RENEW! Watch on ABC’s website, Hulu, or Tuesdays at 10! #renewforever
Written by Katy Kazala, 18 February 2015.
I’ve been watching House MD recently, and I’m getting close to the end. I realize the shows been over for a while now, but I’ve only recently started watching it (it’s hard to watch all shows when they are current).
It’s a great show primarily because of the characters, not necessarily the medical mysteries (as I was told by friends who watched it before I did). I have decided that my favorite part is House and Wilson; their friendship.
(Photos from TV Guide)
“This is just a dream, but very clever people can hear dreams. So please, just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is alright. Because didn’t anybody ever tell you? Fear is a superpower. Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger. And one day you’re gonna come back to this barn and on that day you’re going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s okay, because if you’re very wise and very strong fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark so long as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it. So listen. If you listen to anything else, listen to this. You’re always gonna be afraid even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But that’s okay because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. I’m gonna leave you something just so you’ll always remember. Fear makes companions of us all.”
-Clara Oswald, Doctor Who
Film still © 2014 – BBC
“All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.”
– Robert Frobisher, Cloud Atlas
Film still © 2012 – Cloud Atlas Productions, X-Filme Creative Pool, Anarchos Pictures
Getting back into writing when you haven’t done it in a while is actually quite hard. I promised myself a while ago that I would keep up with this blog when things in my life calmed down a bit, only to discover that things don’t calm down. That is life. There is not calm. So, I will try and accept that and do my best to do the things I enjoy and not get bogged down with the ‘important’ things that I can’t stand to do (but have to). So, thinking of life, and what you want from it, my first film in ages that I have thought about writing about is “A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman”.
A few months ago I watched “Graham Chapman: Anatomy of a Liar”. I didn’t know anything about it, but being indecisive about what to what while perusing Netflix I saw both “A Liar’s Autobiography” and “Anatomy”. I decided to watch the “Anatomy”. I have always loved Monty Python, so a behind the scenes look interested me. I found it fascinating, and decide at some point I would need to watch the actual “Autobiography”. There were distractions, but I finally watched the “Autobiography”.
“A Liar’s Autobiography” is an animated interpretation of Graham Chapman’s autobiography. Before he died, Chapman had recorded an audio version of his book. The film uses this recording as narration, with additional voices by the rest of Monty Python (minus Eric Idle). Chapman is able to represent himself in his autobiography.
It’s hard to describe this film without actually watching it (as so many are). Although Chapman didn’t stick to the ‘facts’, I believe it was one of the most truthful autobiographies I have seen. The idea of this film is what makes a person isn’t necessarily the events that happen in their life, but instead the emotions and experiences of their life.
Graham Chapman is able to portray this, and the animators who did the film managed to interpret his story wonderfully. Each theme in the story is done in a different style of animation. I cannot imagine doing this any differently, now that I have seen it.
This is an autobiography that entertains and sticks with you. I plan on reading the book as soon as I can (and as soon as I remember).
Additional: I’m not sure there is a book…
Film Stills © 2012 – Brainstorm Media, EPIX, Trinity Film Production
So it’s apparent that I don’t seem to write here anymore. I plan on that changing – I will write here again (although I know my track record is bad because of large gaps).
Due to wedding planning, which takes up all my free time, I will officially (continue) to put this on hold until after.
I will be back in April. Maybe I’ll do the occasional pic post – but no guarantees.
I have officially bought tickets to see this on May 15th! Can’t. Fracking. Wait.
Film stills © 2013 – Paramount Pictures