Sunday, September 12, 2004

Best New Show

It's still very early in the new TV season, but Mister P. has already identified the year's Best New Show: Jack & Bobby. Here's the set-up: In the year 2049, White House staff members are being interviewed about former President McCallister. The bulk of the show is made up of flashbacks in the present day, showing the future president in high school. The family consists of a single mother, younger brother Bobby and older brother Jack. I knew the basic premise of the show, but am very glad that I hadn't read anything about it and didn't know which brother was to become president. The pilot episode skillfully makes subtle references back and forth that make you think that either one could be destined for greatness.

What really sets this show apart is that you don't realize you're actually watching a teen drama. It features all the cliches: teenage angst and romance, drug use, struggling single moms... yet by putting in the context of an almost "historical documentary" of a president, the show avoids all the cheesey pitfalls of the teen genre. The primary relationship here is between the two brothers. I also really respect that it doesn't hand everything to you: In one of the future interviews, the vice-president's term is listed on-screen as 2041-2047. Wait a minute.... that's not a full 8 years. Why not? It's a nice subtle clue. They make no other reference to it, but I imagine as the series unfolds we'll slowly learn more about the president's youth as well as the history of the future.

Who woulda thunk the WB could actually pull this off? Well done.

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