TV Show Review – Timeless

TV Show Review – Timeless

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Rating:  3 (out of 5).  In NBC’s Timeless Homeland Security convinces Lucy Preston, played by Abigail Spencer, to jump into a time machine with a widowed soldier, played by Matt Lanter, and a coder played by Malcolm Barrett so that they can go back in time to keep a mysterious figure who stole another time machine from changing the past, and save the present (or future) as we know it. The critics are giving this one the benefit of the doubt or as The New York Times  says, it’s a “good-natured science-fiction adventure series” that’s “dumb fun.”

The Hollywood Reporter thinks “If Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan’s NBC drama is supposed to be somewhat silly, old-fashioned time travel fun, it often succeeds.” They say “Timeless is a mixture of reasonably well-executed period thrills, thin characters, historical facts the writers gleaned from Googling, and time travel paradoxes that you probably don’t want to try to pick at.”

TV Guide calls this a “silly adventure series that sometimes equates to Science Fiction for Dummies.” They write “That isn’t to say it’s dumb (though it definitely kind of is) but rather that viewers won’t need elaborate diagrams to keep timelines straight and they won’t go cross-eyed trying to figure out the cause and effect of any given situation. To put it another way, it’s sci-fi for people who don’t like sci-fi.”

USA Today says “In the early going, though, the most interesting character (and performance) comes from Barrett’s Rufus, who runs the machine while providing comic relief in some scenes and context in others. “ They think “At times, this all makes for an entertaining adventure, especially when Rufus is in full rant. It can also, however, be a rather sluggish one.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette just calls it a ‘fun lark.”

The San Francisco Chronicle thinks NBC has found the right fit for the Monday night prime time slot with “Timeless.” They call it “an action fantasy about warring time machines, but with all kinds of mysterious loose ends to ensure a healthy launch.”

The Chicago Daily Herald calls it “an efficient entertainment machine.” They write “In 46 minutes, this time-traveling mashup of “Quantum Leap,” “Doctor Who” and “Stargate” fleshes out its three lead characters, establishes a science-fiction premise with its own set of clearly defined rules, introduces a villain who might actually be on the good guys’ side and good guys who might actually be villains, and leaves us wanting more.”

The Washington Post thinks this has a “tight, action-packed pilot episode that is casually fun and intriguingly executed.” The say this is also has a “thought-provoking science-fiction premise that doesn’t clumsily reach for the profoundly metaphorical.”

Variety thinks this is the type of show that “is so ridiculous — so expansively silly — that it goes around the bend from meaningless to meaningful, from a blank canvas to one whose emptiness signifies something profound.” They wonder it if is “either unintentionally brilliant or unintentionally just very funny.”

The Boston Globe calls this an “amateurish effort to summon the ghosts of Quantum Leap and Time Tunnel.” They say “The rules of time travel and changing history are doomed. The efforts to point out the racism of earlier times are flat.”

The Los Angeles Times describes this as “corny B-movie fun.” They say “Timeless is “a mostly straight-faced, frequently corny, occasionally high-minded adventure thriller — pulp that stops every once in a while to reflect on the dark marks of American history or consider its characters’ deeper feelings and predicaments.” It works best though “when it remembers that there’s something inherently nutty in the whole business, when it does not deny its inner Back to the Future.”

The New York Times thinks “Timeless” is a “good-natured science-fiction adventure series” that “manages the not inconsequential trick of being educational dumb fun.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer thinks this has “Dreary dialogue and colorless characters.”

 

1 Comment

  • Finally caught up on my TV viewing after a two-week vacation and was looking forward to this new show. And wow…(I was a Quantum Leap fan), it’s amazing and is fulfilling its promise of keeping me glued to my seat every episode. What lifts it above the fray of good writing is that you don’t really know each week’s outcome even if you think you do. Some little glitch changes history enough to affect the character’s lives in the present. Especially Lucy. At least for now. It’s great fun, so keep the episodes coming. I give it five stars. Love it! Just wondering how the characters will reverse all the subtle changes in history by the end of its reign. Will stay tuned. Thanks NBC.

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