It is well known from previous blogs (see here and here) I am a fan of time travelling and series that portray social relations, and I will watch everything that offers those types of story line. Clearly, this preference has led to a strong attachment to Netflix as they indeed offer a lot to time travelling lovers like me.
The new series that involves time travelling is ‘Frequency’. Only first two episodes are available at the moment, and I watched them both last night. Needless to say, I am eager to see the next episode scheduled to run tonight as well as other episodes in the forthcoming weeks.
In this series, we see a different way of time travelling. In the first episode, detective Raimy discovers she is able to speak with her father who died 20 years ago. Therefore, in 2016 she speaks with her father in 1996, i.e. the past and the present merge and we are introduced to the string theory that enables time travelling. The time travel conversation happens via her father’s old radio she kept in her garage. Accidentally, she discovers the ability to speak with him a few days before he dies and after some convincing she manages to persuade him it is really his daughter from the future. She tells him what happens and manages to save his life. As this happens, she gets flashes of memories that happened due to the change of circumstances, but surprisingly she also has memories of a previous reality in which her father died just after her birthday in 1996.
Shockingly, she realizes that because she saved her father’s life a chain of events changed and in the new version of 2016 her father is still dead because he died in a car accident five years ago (i.e. he died in 2011 and not 1996) but her mom has been missing for 20 years. As she is trying to cope with memories of her mother with whom she normally lived until she changed the past, the police recovers body of her mother after 20 years of officially missing. It turns out that the mass murderer operating in the area in 1996 kidnapped and murdered her mother. What is more, she goes to meet parents of her boyfriend only to realize it is another girl meeting them that night and her boyfriend fails to recognize her. Obviously, as her mom is not alive in the new reality she could have not met her boyfriend because her mom could have not introduced them.
The series runs fast, and it goes from 2016 to 1996 and thus follows lives of both Raimy in 2016 and her father in 1996. As more things are changed in the past, the more Raimy gets confused and stressed out in the present, and the viewer is simply hooked to this series eagerly waiting to see what happens next. What is particularly well portrayed are the flashes of past that she remembers and that no longer happened due to the change of the past, as well as flashes of things that did happen and that are now joining her memory.
The series is currently showing in the US on CW, and Netflix purchased exclusive rights for streaming in the UK (Munn, 2016). In other words, this is not original Netflix series like ‘Orange is the New Black’ but the signature is there because the story line fits into usual Netflix’s offer.
Apart from outstanding story line and fast paced rhythm, this series also has a typical Netflix signature, which I would call ‘say it as it is’. For example in one of my favourite series ever (not just on Netflix but of all times), ‘Orange is the New Black’ we see that racism comes from all sides, i.e. in the prison white women are racist towards blacks and Hispanics, but Hispanics show lots of racism towards white women too. The series vividly portrays everyday lives and encounters of prisoners with different backgrounds who group with people of similar origin and form new families to be able to cope with prison reality. They also interact with other groups, but very often confidence and trust remains within own group often based on racial background.
In the same vein, when Raimy investigates cases she asks questions bluntly and openly, and does not refrain from asking difficult questions and describing things exactly as they are. For example, when she is still trying to save her father’s life in the past she is investigating his death and a set up that got him killed while working as an undercover detective. She goes to one of the witnesses and breaks them to admit it was a set up by asking a series of difficult questions on potential benefits they received for remaining silent.
While eagerly waiting for fifth season of outstanding ‘Orange is the New Black’ (as well as second season of the ‘Stranger things’) nothing better could have happened but this outstanding, dynamic and imaginative series on time travelling.
Thank you for reading.
Munn, P. (2016). Netflix UK Snaps Up The CW’s ‘Frequency’ Reboot. Available at: http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2016/10/netflix-uk-snaps-cws-frequency-reboot/ (Accessed 20 October 2016)