I just saw the season 1 finale of Forever — SO GOOD! I couldn’t find any discussions on io9 about it, so I thought I would start a place to discuss the episode, the season, and my dreams for a second season. Spoilers ahead!
Here are the 10 things I LOVED about this series:
1. Top-form quirky cop drama procedural
This show is everything I love about TV — an amazing location, a great cast of side characters (see: Lucas, Hanson, Iona Payne), and a solid group of core characters. The relationships between Jo, Henry, and Abe are so much fun to watch — it’s clear that the actors enjoy working on this show. Forever uses a lot of familiar TV tropes, but the writers clearly know what they’re doing — the episodes feel fresh and are a blast to watch.
2. Ioan Gruffudd as ME Henry Morgan
Ioan Gruffudd plays Henry excellently — a bit naive, curmudgeonly, humorous, and obsessive. He has great facial responses to other actors on screen. I could watch him all day — and he clearly loves acting on the show, too.
3. Competent TV cops
One of my biggest pet peeves is TV cops who don’t call back-up, who can’t follow protocol, who don’t pick up on basic clues, etc. The cops in Forever are blessedly competent. Jo and Hanson (Donnie Keshawarz) are both smart, witty, and professional. Lt. Joanne Reece (Lorraine Toussaint) plays a tough but empathetic lieutenant. My favorite part is how Jo never lets Henry enter rooms first or chase down bad guys because he hasn’t been trained as a cop.
4. JUDD HIRCH (and the antique business!)
Judd Hirsch is amazing as Abe, Henry’s son. He definitely treats Henry like a dad, which is fun to see. And the antique business is one catty industry — I love his relationships with the other dealers. His relationship with his mother, father, and ex-loves are a joy to watch.
5. DAVID JOEL MOORE
I have always been a fan of David Joel Moore and I love his character Lucas. He’s earnest and dorky and an amazing side-kick to Henry. And best of all, he’s 100% supportive of Henry — remember the rat catching? Dagger stealing? OMG and I love his film side projects and comic collections.
6. Flashbacks are the best
Admittedly, I am a sucker for flashbacks. I love seeing where people come from, what they’ve learned, and what they’ve forgotten. Additionally, I find that the flashbacks make the city itself into a character — this show is as much about the history of New York City and crime solving as it is about Henry.
7. Excellent women characters!
I’m getting a terrific Benson-vibe from Jo (Alana De La Garza) — she’s tough, competent, and a bit of a tomboy. I also enjoy watching Lt. Joanne Reece — how many black women are lieutenants in NYC? Even the episode guests are fun — Gloria Carlyle was one of my favorites — she was an unapologetic and glamorous. Even Abigail, Henry’s fiancé, is a pretty cool lady — she rescues a baby, tells off Henry for making her decisions for her, party crashes, defeats Adam at his own game — she’s rad!
8. Life lessons in every episode
As Katharine often recaps, every episode has a lesson — about living life, learning from the past, living in the moment, making new friends.... The more you know! I secretly love that Henry doesn’t always learn from his mistakes — it makes him more real (it takes me multiple mistakes to learn anything).
9. An excellent season (series?) villain
A season or series villain walks a thin line between tiresome and intriguing. Adam was a big part of the first episode, but he took a welcome back seat for the next few weeks (I appreciate a villain who knows when to take a break) and then came back in a big way towards the end of the season (Abagail! The dagger!). He’s also perfectly mysterious and sinister — a nice arc over every episode by not the main plot point each week.
10. I’m so excited for what’s next
I found myself looking forward to this show every week — it has a great structure and uses its tropes intelligently. I am so bummed that it’s over!! It’s a testament to the writers and showrunners that I want to know more about almost every character I meet: Lucas spinoff! More Lt. Joanne Reece! More Abe! What does Jo think about Henry now that his secret is out?? This show has been one pleasant surprise after another — MAKE SEASON 2 HAPPEN!