When you think gripping scripted television, VH1 is probably not a network that you’d think would air it. But yes, much like BRAVO, VH1 is now taking a chance at producing scripted drama, as opposed to another reality show.
HINDSIGHT is about a woman who wishes she could do her life over. She’s about to marry for the second time, her best friend hasn’t spoken to her in years and her mother is extremely critical of her choices. After a brief conversation about “accepting life for what it is” with a stranger, she wakes up twenty years ago, in 1995.
The concept is genius. While time travel is a common fixture in media, we really haven’t seen this kind of thing before. You had 13 going on 30, which went forward— and you did have Back to the Future. But what HINDSIGHT aims to explore is the ability to correct past mistakes. It’s probably something many of us have thought about. I know I have. I know the moment in my life where I said “yes” instead of “no”, and that changed my life forever. And not in a good way.
But Rebecca, our main character, mysteriously finds herself in 1995 after an elevator ride gone awry. She wakes up in bed and wanders into the kitchen, unable to find the coffee maker. When she opens the double doors to the living room, there’s a lot of people rushing— and she realizes, it’s the wedding day of her FIRST marriage, and she now has the chance to do things differently.
HINDSIGHT has a lot of promise. The main actress, Laura Ramsey, who I kept thinking was Amy Adams, is very radiant and likable. You do care about her and her choices. She’s one of those. And the concept, as I said, can speak to a lot of people. And, there is something about a “period drama.” Yes, the 1990s are now considered a “period.”
Where Hindsight goes wrong, and could possibly be its downfall, is its lack of sincerity. What I mean is, the show often plays like a silly comedy, right down to a music score you’d find on The Mentalist. The ending scene of the pilot has this great set up where Rebecca and her friend Lolly are running away from a tense situation. But, the moment virtually pauses, so we can “get a laugh” with Rebecca’s boss, who is humorously on the phone when he shouldn’t be.
The show works best when it tries to ground itself and be serious. For example, there’s a scene where Rebecca’s mother gives her a bracelet to wear for the wedding. Rebecca is shocked, because, when her wedding day happened the first time, her mother never gave her this bracelet. Then, there’s the mysterious stranger who Rebecca talks with in present day, who she then meets in 1995. He’s sort of got a “guardian angel” vibe going on.
In 1995, there are two supporting characters that seem to be prevalent. Lolly, Rebecca’s best friend (played by Sarah Goldberg) and Sean, Rebecca’s first husband. (Played by Craig Horner.) Lolly’s story deals with a mysterious fight she and Rebecca will have in the future that will end their friendship. Rebecca aims to never let that fight occur, saving the friendship. Where Sean is concerned, Rebecca married him simply because he was good in bed. But, she wonders if she can change him into a likable person knowing what she knows.
Seeing the promo for the second episode, we know Rebecca will meet Andy in 1995. He’s the man who she was going to marry in the present day. Before Rebecca time travels, she tells us that Andy does everything right, but she does not feel any fire.
When you think about the two men in her life, one might be confused. She feels no chemistry with the gentleman, yet she wants to be with the guy who might be good in bed and seems to be controlling? But, this could be a set up for the audience. The situation is confusing, because Rebecca herself is confused. Will she come to find out Andy is the best choice for her after all?
Overall, I really like this show. Ultimately, if the narrative loses some of the silly, I think this show could become the next best thing. I will be watching the second episode to see where this goes.