Monday, May 9, 2011

Now and Again, why did it fail?

Now and Again is a Science Fiction television series that ran for one season in 1999. The big question for me is, why did it fail? It had some witty writing and good characters...what was the problem?

The series won multiple awards but obviously didn't attract enough viewers.The premise is: a heavy middle aged man dies in a subway accident and is given a new superhuman body and life by a secret government agency. Cliche you say? Yes, but it still could have worked. The writing and characters are good, but fatally flawed. Some examples:

Most of the show revolves around the scientist who developed the tech to transfer the mind of Micheal Wiseman into his new body and Wiseman, and Wiseman and his we have a small character set. Perhaps it would be more believable if the scientist handled the science stuff and we had a military character handle the operational stuff and those guys would be at odds. The constant arguments between Wiseman and the scientist (Dr Morris) got old quickly.

In episode six a woman is going crazy and climbing a high tower while her husband is hysterical and rushing the police line around the incident. It would have been more realistic if he had gotten with the police and been escorted to the senior officer handling the incident. These types of weak scene setting were in almost every episode.

Wiseman is a semi-prisoner of the government program, but there is no team involved in the program. If there were a team to back him up and handle the technology behind his new body, now we could have other characters and other lives and more subplots. The lack of characters in the series makes it too one dimensional.

Wiseman is not involved enough with the missions he's sent on. A more hands on approach with character narratives like Michael Weston in Burn Notice does would have added realism and tension to the show.

I would really like to see somebody redo the show, and do it right because it could have been great.

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