Thursday, December 20, 2007

Journeyman: Worth the Watch!

I often wonder, after declaring to myself that a particular program is good, whether I am simply being swept up in the emotional aftermath of the experience. The fact that there is emotional aftermath is proof enough that the story IS good and worthy of further scrutiny and discussion. There is something to be said for the guilty pleasure of mindless yet entertaining television. Entourage is not deep, nor riveting. But it is a truly great watch after the pressures and requirements of daily life. Journeyman, however is good, Emmy-worthy viewing with complex plot lines, relationships and, the true test, emotional provocation.

Before I reluctantly viewed the first episode of Journeyman, I figured I'd likely seen the whole thing before. Wasn't it circa 1989 that Sam took us on a ride through time by possessing different subjects to fix their time-sensitive dilemmas? OK, same base scenario, but where the acting was mediocre at best and the plots were true bubble gum, Journeyman's writers are based in realism in framing the whole time travel thing (no talking to calculators for instant answers...OK, I did watch a few episodes of Quantum Leap). And the writers are very good indeed. So much that after viewing this season, one might even begin to believe that time travel is remotely possible. (Yes I was forced to pick up a book on quantum physics and did the required reading on tachyons. A report is due on my desk in one week people!)

Kevin McKidd does a stellar job as Dan Vassar, our reluctant hero. This is the type of role we are used to seeing him play after watching the HBO series Rome. McKidd plays a news reporter with a San Francisco paper who was just starting to enjoy normal family life when suddenly he begins to "travel." The situations are rife with conflict, the acting is outstanding and the dialogue, though not necessarily award winning, is at least supportive of the action and most importantly the emotion. And then there is the music. An unexpected treat is that whenever McKidd "travels" we get to play Name That Tune as the soundtrack indicates the year of "travel". He usually meets up with his side kick and ex-fiancee Livia Beale (the truly riveting Moon Bloodgood). Bloodgood is always worth watching. Ahem.

I meant for this to be a short post to simply recommend the Journeyman as good TV. I don't watch much TV, but when I do, it's HBO (OK, Entourage...yes and The Wire) maybe some Heroes, but definitely Journeyman. And I usually feel like blogging afterwards.

That's a good sign.