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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

PILOT REVIEW: Frequency

FREQUENCY











Starring: Peyton List, Riley Smith, Devin Kelley, Lenny Jacobson, Daniel Bonjour, Anthony Ruivivar, and Mekhi Phifer

Based on the Motion Picture "Frequency" written by Toby Emmerich
Teleplay by Jeremy Carver, Story by Toby Emmerich, Directed by Brad Anderson

Tonight on "time travel shows of the 2016-17 season," it's Frequency! The CW's effort in the hottest trend of the year is based on the 2000 film starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel but done with some narrative changes from the film (which I did not see). Considering the film was only a modest success, it seems like an odd property to reboot but the premise is pretty gripping: Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List) is a cop in 2016 who is suddenly able to communicate with her dead father, Frank (Riley Smith) in 1996 through radio transmissions.

This is one of those shows that I thought had a fantastic pilot but I truly wonder where it's going to go from here. As I said, I never saw the film so I was totally engrossed by this pilot, especially the scenes where Raimy in 2016 and Frank in 1996 were communicating over the radio. The moody and dark feel (and the many storms! Were we in the Pacific Northwest?) added to the overall eeriness and mood of the show. The supporting cast was solid but this was really all about Raimy and Frank. When they were puttering around doing other things, even if they were loosely related to the main plot, it just didn't land for me. But I was glued to the TV during those radio scenes.

This is a show that really captured me with its trailer back in May (truthfully, it's one of the reasons I decided to start including CW shows in my reviews). So I was a bit disappointed with the opening scene and I was even more disappointed with it upon thinking of the pilot as a whole. This was a show with several great moments in the pilot so why did they choose a rather uninteresting moment: Raimy telling boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Bonjour) about communicating with her dad, as the flash-forward? It wasn't a "draw people in" moment and that scene ultimately wasn't all that important to the plot so I didn't understand at all why that was the scene they decided to start with.

However, it made up for it with the rest of the pilot. The reveal of 1996, while not a surprise like This is Us, was very well done. And I am completely engrossed by the parallel time stuff, which is unusual for me because I'm not really into sci-fi stuff. In addition to the radio scenes I mentioned, I also found the race against the clock and Frank's impending death to be really thought provoking. The whole butterfly effect feel of everything is a concept that I have now really been captivated by in both Timeless and Frequency. Maybe I need to watch more time traveling stuff. Good thing the networks are giving me so many chances this year!

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Yes. Just like it's time traveling buddy Timeless though, I'm not convinced it is set-up for a multi-season run but I'll enjoy it for the time being.

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