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Television shows are in abundance these days, from cable and network TV to streaming services and other digital providers. But how many of those show pull you in to another world, grasp at your heart, captivate your attention so much that you just can't change the channel, and educate you all at the same time?
Timeless is that show for me.
When NBC cancelled Timeless last May, I was devastated. I had fallen in love with an intriguing, smart, entertaining, and educational show and it's characters, and was anticipating answers after the season one cliff-hanger. It was heartbreaking to know that all I'd have of the show was 16 episodes without so much as a conclusion to the storyline. Days later, NBC surprised us all when they reversed course and renewed Timeless for a second season.
What makes this show so special? Here are 5 reasons why I love Timeless (Warning: Season one spoilers follow):
1. Lucy Preston
Played by Abigail Spencer (Rectify, Suits), Lucy is by far one of my favorite characters on the show. As the team's historian, she's not only a wealth of historical knowledge and facts, but is quick to make connections between people and events and knows exactly what historical figure can help the team in the predicaments Flynn puts them in. Lucy is strong willed, determined, and passionate, yet open and vulnerable, allowing her team and viewers to see just how much saving history (and her sister) means to her.
Of all the characters, Lucy's has been the most impacted by the changes in history, yet despite the strange changes to her life, Lucy remains strong and puts her team and the job first. Lucy's an incredible lead in this captivating story, and you can't help but love her and want everything to be put back in its right place.
2. The Time Team
What started out as a team of three strangers, each with their own specialties vastly differing from each other — a soldier, a historian, and a scientist — lead to a coherent team working side-by-side, trusting and caring for each other. What made the time team even more real for me was to see them exhibit the stages of team formation (forming, storming, norming, and performing — I know, I'm a nerd) as season one progressed, creating an incredible international terrorist and evil organization fighting team as a result.
Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus rely on each other's strengths to pull them out of difficult situations, learn each others' fears and weaknesses to compensate for them, and support each other through the craziness of time travel. They are, after all, the only people who know what each other goes through each and every time they jump to the past.
3. History Lessons
I've always been somewhat of a history and dystopian world nerd with an entire collection of George Orwell's works, The Man in the High Castle marked as a favorite on my Amazon account, and college coursework in Marxism and communist theories. Needless to say, I was on my couch at 10 PM on Monday, October 3, 2016, and I was hooked.
What captivated me from the start was the points in history that were brought into the plot line. The team doesn't just travel to World War II, they travel to Castle Varlar in Nazi Germany and interact with historical figures not well known to most, such as Wernher von Braun and Ian Fleming (yes, that Ian Fleming). The team doesn't just go to the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 Chicago, they get caught up in the murderous world of H.H. Holmes and the World's Fair Hotel. Each episode awakens the history nerd in me, and I frequently find myself researching the people, places, and events from the episode long after it's over (inspired by episode 11, "The World's Columbian Exposition," I'm currently in the middle of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson).
I'm intrigued to see what times and places season two holds for our Time Team, and exactly how those times and places will be woven into a storyline that took an interesting turn at the end of season one.
Speaking of storylines, this is another reason why I love Timeless.
The story starts off simple: three people are chosen for a team to travel through time and apprehend a wanted international terrorist, Garcia Flynn. As the story progresses and episodes pass, we start to see that maybe the Time Team is fighting on the wrong side. Wyatt still wants to take out Flynn, but this organization (Rittenhouse) that Flynn is fighting against begins to take focus. Rittenhouse is woven into the storyline, from episode one, when Flynn tells Lucy to "ask them what Rittenhouse is," to Lucy's family legacy, and the eventual Rittenhouse takeover of the mothership.
The integration of Rittenhouse into not only the Time Team's present day San Francisco, but each and every place and event throughout history, is executed with incredible thought and accuracy. Historical figures become Rittenhouse members, as Lucy tries to dissuade Charles Lindbergh from taking his place in Rittenhouse, Wyatt instantly recognizes Senator Joe McCarthy as a Rittenhouse member, and the team learns that our own President Nixon was a member.
After learning at the end of season one that not only is Lucy's dad a member, but her mom too, Rittenhouse will become a focal point in season two. If the trailers are any indication of how much Rittenhouse is involved in history, this season is going to be explosive.
5. Second Chances
The little show that could.
As season one came to a close last February, fans fought hard to convince NBC to renew Timeless for a season two. A #renewTimeless campaign popped up during the airings of the last several episodes, and fans started social media based rewatch parties that dominated the hashtag through May. There was even a screening and Q&A with the cast and producers in Los Angeles at the end of April (probably one of the most interesting events I've been to), which increased enthusiasm for a season two from all in attendance. But despite the fervor and winning USA Today's 'Save Our Shows 2017' poll, NBC decided to pull the plug.
The devastation was palpable. So much so that #timeless trended on Twitter for hours after the announcement. Fans took to social media in droves to protest the cancellation of a show that wasn't just entertainment that captivated audiences, but educated us each and every Monday night.
Just days later, NBC shocked the television world in a surprise, and rarley seen, move when they reversed their decision and renewed Timeless for a season two. NBC heard the fans, heard the outrage and heartbreak, and did something about it. Timeless was given a second chance. We were given a second chance.
I encourage each and every one of you to watch (or rewatch) season one in its entirely (currently streaming on NBC.com and Hulu) and to sit down at 10 pm on Sunday, March 11 to watch season two. Trust me, you won't regret it.