Sometimes television shows are vastly more important than just being “entertainment”. Some shows have the power to change people; change the way you look at the world, history and the sacrifices people have made to get us to this point in history. The sacrifices that people are making now to insure that a better future is possible for the next generation. Timeless is a show that reminds us of our history and what an ordinary person is capable of.
I’ve covered a lot of shows for Gone Too Soon, 17 in fact. A few have been personal favorites of mine (Galavant, No Tomorrow and Stitchers). Some only lasted a season and had tons of potential (The Baker and the Beauty and Deadly Class). Others were just fun procedurals (Take Two, Deception and Whiskey Cavalier). All genres are valid, whether you find the predictability of procedurals comforting, want to laugh at a sitcom, or be swept away by a prestige drama. To my mind, Timeless combines all of these genres, and adds in a history lesson, to a wonderful, time traveling, sci-fi package.
What little time we got to spend with Timeless, 28 episodes, over the course of two seasons and a movie, was a gift. After its initial run, it was canceled, then brought back for a second season. After the second season, NBC canceled the show again, where it was met with fan outrage and given a wrap up movie. One thing I will say about NBC, despite having two shows in Gone Too Soon, Hannibal and Lincoln Rhyme, they are a little more willing to give things more time. With Hannibal, critics loved it and it had a fervent fan base. The Timeless fanbase is almost unmatched, it counts Sony and Smithsonian Magazine among its members.
I have a lot to say about this show so let’s get into it!
Time travel is real and someone has just stolen one of two time machines that currently exist. Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer, Suits), a historian, and Wyatt Logan (Matt Latner, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), a soldier, are recruited to go through time with their pilot, Rufus (Malcolm Barrett, Preacher), to save history and keep Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic, ER) from changing things. Along with inventor Conner Mason (Paterson Joseph, The Leftovers), Homeland Security Agent Denise Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey, Defending Jacob), and engineer Jiya (Claudia Doumit, The Boys). The series also features Annie Wersching (Runaways) as former time travel pilot Emma and Susanna Thompson (Arrow) as Carol Preston, Lucy’s mother.
That’s just how the story starts, but before too long ripples through time are introduced. As well as a cult/secret society determined to change history to give themselves a more favorable present.
It should be said that I hate time travel. Time travel is the precise reason I stopped watching The Flash. I hate it. My family has been privy to one too many rants about my hatred of time travel, and I still love this show.
Too often shows get wrapped up in their own mythology. Either by being so precise that you can point out the plot holes or by being so flippant it leaves too many questions. Timeless straddles that line perfectly. It gives you just enough science to provide explanations for the ways things change, but it doesn’t get so lost in its mythology that you start to think too much about the potential applications.
Timeless takes a nuanced approach to history, it doesn’t sugarcoat things. In the first episode Rufus says, “I don’t know how it works across the pond, but I am black. There is literally no place in American history that’ll be awesome for me.” The show acknowledges the history of the United States and wherever else they may go in time. It also teaches you about history and historical figures you may have never heard of. It tells the stories, important stories of people that history has forgotten or neglected to teach. I have learned more about history from this show than I did in school. (I am from Texas and I never took a normal history class. Now if you need to to recite sports movies word for word then I’ve got you covered. I do know the Alamo though).
Should You Watch It
If you ask the writers at Fangirlish, if you should watch Timeless, the answer is unequivocally, yes. Our love of the show is well documented. If you are wondering if Timeless is a show worth spending time, I believe that it is. At its best, it reminds you that it does get better and that people fighting for what’s right have the power to change things. Just look at the episode at the Alamo, the suffragettes or Harriet Tubman. People changed history. They stood up for what they believed in and it made all the difference. These instances showed ordinary people changing history and what the effects would be if just one person had accepted the status quo. If you are searching for a little hope, then Timeless may be the show for you.
Stand Out Moment
This is the hardest decision I have had to make. Do I pick my favorite shipper moment? (Bonnie & Clyde) My favorite episode? (It’s Hollywoodland) My favorite bit of history? (World’s Fair) Some of my favorite costumes? (Watergate Tapes) The choices are endless and isn’t that wonderful. Timeless is such a solid show that I can’t choose only one moment.
Each episode is just important as the last. Just like all of history is important. Just as the people in history are important. That’s what I love about the show, it’s solid and I mean that in the best way possible. If you want one part to watch, well then you should watch the clip below
If I were to rank my top ten ships, then Lucy and Wyatt from Timeless are definitely on the list and Rufus and Jiya barely miss the boat. There are some great ships on this show. The writers and actors know exactly what they need to do to build tension with the couples. Let’s start with Lucy and Wyatt.
Lucy and Wyatt, or Lyatt, have been covered pretty thoroughly already, here, here, here, and here, but I’ve never gotten to write about them. I could honestly write an entire essay about their development, but I’ll keep it brief. Lucy and Wyatt are partners, they trust each other and work out their problems together. They are such a great couple. They have the longing glances, the will they, won’t they, and they truly care about each other. When it comes to shipping, they have the stuff great ships are made of in spades.
When it comes to Lucy I would be remiss not to mention Flynn. Garcy is a pretty popular ship, one that I could have gotten onboard with. Not as an endgame, but as a viable option. We get to see moments that hint at what a good couple the two of them could be together. I even found myself shipping them for the few episodes where they were spending more time together than Lucy and Wyatt. Part of me wishes that we would have really seen the two of them together, for curiosity’s sake.
The final ship is Rufus and Jiya. The nerd ship of your dreams. The two of them are so sweet together and have literally gone across time to save one another. They care about each other so much and I really love that they sort of speak their own language. Riya is the steady ship counter to Lucy and Wyatt, but that doesn’t mean everything is smooth sailing for them. Whatever your shipper preference is, there is a ship here for you.
Timeless could have easily been another Eye Candy situation, twice, but it was given a second life each time. There’s no cliffhanger here, the movie finale wraps everything up. I think too many shows miss the mark when ending. They either blow up the premise for no reason or think that a happy ending is wrapping things up too neatly. There’s nothing wrong with a happy ending. In fact I prefer them. I want the characters that I love to get to live happily ever after, and if they don’t get a happy ending I want for it to at least be an optimistic one. Timeless nails this.
In Timeless the characters journeys payoff. Everything that happens feels true to the story that they were telling over the course of two seasons. It may not involve every character getting what they wanted, but they get catharsis. They come to terms with their new lives. They get endings that the characters deserved and the fans needed. Why wouldn’t you want to watch this show?
Where to Watch it
All the episodes of Timeless are on Hulu so what are you waiting for? This is one of the best shows from the last few years and it’s a shame that it didn’t get more hype when it was airing. Who knows, if more people catch it on Hulu we may get another movie someday.
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