This is a personal appeal from me to you about something we've all had happen in our day. How many times have you liked a show only to see it cancelled? If you are a geek, the answer is several. Firefly, Veronica Mars, Jericho, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, SGU, Terra Nova, Star Trek Enterprise, Heroes ... I'm sure you loved one of those shows. It was a show you loved, and everyone who watched it loved it, but every time you brought it up to someone not in the know, they were like, "Oh yeah, I'll check it out." They never did, and one day you read the news that the ax had fallen on your favorite show. It's a disappointing moment, to say the least. I wish to keep that from happening with The Tomorrow People.
The Tomorrow People is one of my sleeper hits of 2013. When trailers for this show came out, I had absolutely zero interest in the show. To me it looked like a cheesy rip off of the X-Men with the typical dose of CW angst we are subjected to with any show with a teen lead. Despite my doubts, and largely due to the pestering of my buddy, I sat down and watched the pilot episode. Of course the angst was still there. But the visual effects were solid, and the characters engaged me more than say, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Plus there was a decent plot twist, so I told myself I would stick around until the next week.
The second episode for me is key in most new series I watch. Pilots are usually a poor representation of a show's potential as they mostly trade in character introductions and are typically much lower budget to minimize the risk to the studio (see first episodes of Spartacus). Second episode in I was hooked. The visuals were crisp, the action was solid, and for once I cared about the entire cast.
As riveting as it must be to read about me watching a show with absolutely no description of the series, I feel like I do have to give a basic plot of the show. Basically, there is a new species of humans in the world unbeknownst to mainstream society. These "tomorrow people" exhibit 3 powers: telekinesis, telepathy, and teleportation. It's like someone blended the skill sets from Jumper and Push which is much more awesome than it sounds, so don't judge that.
The story starts out with Stephen Jameson, who is believed to be a schizophrenic, just beginning to grasp his powers and that the voice in his head is actually a real person. He then goes on to meet Cara, John, and the rest of the tomorrow people who have abilities exactly like him. Why do they want Stephen? The group and others discovering their powers are hunted unmercifully by a shadow organization of the government. This organization either strips them of their powers or kills them outright.
Once again, why do they want this kid who thought he was crazy until 5 minutes prior to meeting them? It turns out his good for nothing, run out father was a tomorrow person thus conflicting Stephen's feelings and also giving you that dose of angst CW has to throw down, so just accept it because it tapers off significantly in later episodes. There's one other crazy twist that comes near the end of the pilot involving the head of the shadow corporation Vincent Price, but I don't want to spoil much as it's highly relevant in future episodes.
Lots and lots and lots of geek sites have called out this show on the level of cheese that it spews. One site says "OMG THEY CALL THEMSELVES THE TOMORROW PEOPLE?!"...uh yeah they do. I'm sorry it's not as clever as Superman, Batman, Antman, Aquaman, Spider-man, or even "the X-Men" but you have to roll with the cards you're dealt. Is the plot completely original?! Hell no, but tell me a current running series that doesn't feel like a mash-up of two other shows you liked.
Geek hatred for this show stems from the fact it was originally inspired in the 70's by "X-Men", and a weird fetish to keep a microscope under Greg Berlanti and ensure he can only have a couple successful shows in his career. Okay so it's not that big of a conspiracy, but most of these horrific reviews you read came from the initial pilot and most, if not all, of these sites have since stopped following it.
The level of cheese in this show is the first Spider-Man movie at its worst. The reason that's not okay? Lack of name recognition. The action is solid, and the skill set is limited to a point that I don't see things spiraling out of control like in Heroes. The cast is all very likable and interesting enough that you want to know more about them. Perhaps the best casting is Mark Pellegrino as the head of the shadow corporation ULTRA. You've seen him in apathetic evil roles before, but he really shines as the villain in this show.
About the only character I had a problem with in this show starting out was Cara (played by Peyton List). In the first two episodes, they kind of work her out to be some emotional hussy but the recent episode remedied my thoughts on that 100% and now I'm completely on board with her character. I don't know how this relates to the original series from back then but from what little I know it's definitely not as family friendly.
What more can I say? You need to watch the show. The action, effects, and acting are great. If I could sum it up in 7 words, I'd say... "It's what I wanted Heroes to be."
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