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One of my biggest surprises this season on TV was the show Forever. It's not looking good for renewal but I'm hoping, and you might want to check it out.

The synopsis is that there's an immortal doctor working as a medical examiner for the New York Police Department who gets involved in solving crimes. When he is killed, he is reborn, naked, in the nearest body of water. Dr. Morgan is also trying to find a cure for his "curse". "This has possibilities" I thought before the season started. But it's turned into one of my favorite TV shows this season, possibly my favorite (other contenders were The Librarians and The Flash).

The main character is Dr. Henry Morgan, who was shot and thrown overboard from a slaver ship after he refused to let the captain just toss a slave overboard from fears of chollera. That was 200 years ago and he remains eternally youthful. Abe, played by Judd Hirsch, is his confident and friend, helps him out in various ways including bringing him clothes after a rebirth.

This relationship is the best part of the show. Abe, it turns out, is Henry's adopted son. Henry was an army doctor in World War II when he met a pretty nurse named Abigail and they adopted a baby saved from the death camps in Germany. While they often function as friends and sometimes Abe even is Henry's mentor, they shift easily and naturally into father/son. Handled poorly it would be embarassingly silly, but they make it work very well.

There's a pretty widowed police detective that Henry works with, there are hints of blooming romance and it is only a matter of time when Henry shares his secret with her and they get involved. But they're approaching that slowly. And it might not go there.

Another aspect is the way they've told Henry's backstory, in flashbacks. It usually impinges on the mystery of the week (when a bitter matron of the arts is killed, turns out Henry had met her decades ago while struggling with the question of whether to marry Abigail), but I like the story they're telling. One of the best parts was Henry's first wife, who he had married before his fateful trip. His attempt to tell her about his changed life went disastrously wrong, and had repercutions many years later in an unexpected way.

Finally, there's been a villain, Adam, who knows Henry's secret. It turns out that, like Henry, he is immortal, but has been around for 2000 years. Turns out he's a bit more complex than he first appears, and shares something with Abe - he too was in the concentration camps, the doctors discovered his secret and experimented to find out why. Adam is interesting and I'm looking forward to Tuesday's show which involves him. He's not the focus of the show, only appears irregularly and if the show was just Henry vs. Adam it would be weaker. But it's a nice addition.

The show may not be for everyone. But I've found it fascinating. It's worth checking out before its gone. And here's hoping it gets a shot at a second season.

Posted on March 23, 2015, 4:26 am

Donald Brown

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