My Take on TV: Flashing Our Favourite Shows Forward

So first Marc Schwahn is vocal about how he wants One Tree Hill to shoot five years into the future. Skip college all together, to avoid the Saved By The Bell: The College Years syndrome. That way, the characters can all go their separate ways and meet back up when that’s all done.

Then, we hear about this new plan Rob Thomas cooked up to track Veronica Mars as a full-fledged FBI agent, again, skipping college altogether.

Sure, it could mean that we lose some of the characters we love, and it means that we lose the high school and college angst, and instead we get grown up “soap operas” like all those other shows that fade into the background.

There are pros and there are cons –

Pro? Battlestar Galactica kicked serious creative rear when they introduced the “One Year Later.” That kind of cliffhanger left me on the edge of my seat on the hiatus. They did not fail to deliver a kick ass beginning to season 3, did they?

Also? My Kiefer and his gang on 24 do the big time jump every season! That seems to work out for them.

Con? Alias tried it, too, but the results weren’t quite as positive, in my book. Syd fought Evil!Francie in a battle to the death (or so it seemed) and she woke up, in Hong Kong, forgetting, we learned, the last two years of her life. She finds Vaughn, he suddenly has a wife, and the show was never the same again.

So it gets me really thinking – what other shows could use a shot of creativity in a jump forward a few years or so, which, if done well, could extend their lives on the air?

Prison Break
Think about it – the entire show has been like 8 weeks in the lives of these people. Imagine if the show jumped ahead a few years – Michael has gotten himself captured and Linc has to come to his rescue. It opens the way for Sarah’s portrayer, Sarah Wayne Callies, to go off and have her baby. It allows new characters to be legitimately introduced without convoluted back-stories. We can check in with C-Note and DeeDee, see if the whole Witness Protection Program works out. It just opens a new path for the writers to take; getting us out of the holes they’ve begun digging for these characters.

Gilmore Girls
Sure, we’re looking at what might be the end of this show – Season 7 is scheduled to end in May and it could very well be the last one. If they do decide to move forward with a Season 8, send the story ahead 3-5 years. Skip the whole “getting back together” storyline with Luke and Lorelai. Just jump right into their relationship, show it working for them. Have Rory working instead of going to school. Paris and Doyle married with kids? Emily and Richard retired and wreaking havoc on everyone’s lives. April old enough to be recast by a less moppet-ish type girl. Kirk being, well, Kirk. It opens a whole new can of worms!

Desperate Housewives
First and foremost, imagine the fun times Lynette and Tom could have in 5 years on Desperate Housewives? Their kids will be old enough to stay home by themselves. They’ll be less “I get into everything but get away with it because I’m a Scavo”. It could be good. Julie Mayer could be played by a different actress. See how Danielle’s kid is – did she keep it? Did Austin find out? The mystery of the 5 missing years, and filling in the blanks as a story telling piece, it’s definitely something worth pursuing.

How I Met Your Mother
I don’t see anything wrong with this show. I love it. But if they tacked 5 years onto the story, they can explore Lily and Marshall with kids, Barney still being Barney, and we can see what happens to Robin and Ted. By that point, Ted will have met the mother, don’t you think? It’s just something that could be good to explore.

How do you solve a problem like a core fan base for the Abby and Luka relationship worried about Goran Visjnic hightailing it out of County General? Skip 5 years into the future. Explain away his absence by saying that Abby and Luka are taking a break from their up-to-this-point-working-well relationship.

Sure, I’m just throwing out some basic ideas, but there are plenty of shows that could easily afford a time warp, so to speak. What shows do you think can handle the future?

In Other News
Don’t miss an all new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday night – it was originally supposed to be a rerun, but, because October Road put up more-than-modest numbers after a brand new episode last week, ABC wants to capitalize on that. The episode from 3/29 will air this week instead. No word on what’s happening next week, but we’ll keep you posted!

I have started watching Showtime’s The Tudors. Aside from ridiculous amounts of sex and nudity, I think it’s an intriguing show, and the premise is something I’m not used to on TV. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is captivating and smoldering. Gabrielle Anwar is great as the older, wiser, bored sister Margaret. I’ll have a detailed review soon – it’s worth watching!

What did you think of The Riches? Was a second viewing worth it? I thought so – Eddie Izzard just screams “tailor-made for this role” and Minnie Driver is begging for that drama Emmy with the performances she’s giving out. I’ll keep watching; see what else FX can do to wow me.

I need Battlestar Galactica to produce some shock value. Yeah, it’s been exciting; guessing the final five Cylons, wondering what is going to happen. I just hope that the season finale doesn’t disappoint.

Does anyone else miss It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Because I do. New episodes start airing in June and I’m giddy with anticipation.

Did you watch Andy Barker, P.I.? I thought it was great. Tony Hale is a breath of fresh air. He and Andy Richter are pitch-perfect; I’m thrilled to see what comes next.

And lastly, I beg of you the following:
Keep watching 30 Rock, Jericho, and Friday Night Lights. Please continue avoiding The Pussycat Dolls craptacular. I’m not watching American Idol (it’s been a glorious few months without the horrible Paula/Simon affair) but even I know that those of you who are watching need to stop voting for Sanjaya. Dude needs to go. Hardcore needs to go. I appreciate your help in advance. Thank you.

Feedback is always welcome!
Amrie ?

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  • the-good-shepherd

    I think Lost could use a time warp… of course on Lost it wouldn’t be 5 Years, but perhaps 5 weeks would do well, imangine how cool it would be to have a completely different situation on the island like everybody has joined the others and having really interesting flashbacks of what happend on the island explaining how things developed that way, instead of having the 13th Jack-Flashback that explains why Jack changed his haircut after meeting Sarah……….

  • Thelma

    TV Addict, I agree with you regarding the Alias time jump. It seemed like a good idea and really did get people talking. However, we lost half of Sydney Bristow’s life. We lost the part of her life that hung out with Will and Francie. I think that is one of the main reasons that it didn’t work.

    As for Veronica Mars, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, if it gets the show renewed for another season then go ahead and do the time jump. On the other hand, I also like the characters of Logan, Keith, Wallace, Weevil, Mac, and Dick. I would miss them if they weren’t a part of the VM universe, even a future universe.

    I don’t know how realistic this idea would be, but what about having Veronica try to run Mars Investigations. She could have Mac do her computer thing and Weevil could come back to help her out. I don’t know how the others would fit in yet. Veronica could be trying to run her PI office and go to college at the same time.

    Whatever happens, I hope that it helps the show get renewed. That most of the cast will come back and the show will be well written.

  • idigress

    Question – Is The Tudors a mini-series or is it a full-fledged series a la Rome, or Deadwood?

  • Great Column this week Amrie….

    Question though…. Do you think that flash forwarding is almost an easy way out? Sort of… we have no idea what to do so let’s just flash forward and re-invent the show?

  • Linda B.

    Thelma, i agree w/ you about Alias. I think it jumped the shark when she wasn’t a double agent anymore and they got rid of Credit Dauphine. I missed her ‘normal life’ w/ Will and Francie too.

  • Ya know what, TV addict, you bring up a good point – it does feel like an easy out. Get all characters involved in some sort of entanglement out of which they can’t easily get themselves, and then just move the storyline ahead, to avoid having to show the problems being solved on screen. The whole “we’re out of options, moving the storyline ahead is our only out” is not good writing – it’s a fine line between creativity and complete confusion or a feeling of being unsure about the next step for the show!

  • turkelton

    i can’t wait for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia to come back!! i LOVE that show!!!!

  • …and that’s what made the first two seasons of ALIAS great.. her double spy life and her normal life with Francie and
    Will… as for VM and OTH jumping forward.. I’m not for it.