This TV season seemed to be the season of new time travel shows. I’m not averse to time travel stories in general, but come on, three?
I gave NBC’s dull drama/thriller “Timeless” a shot when it came out last fall, and I quickly lost interest.
ABC’s “Time After Time” had an intriguing premise (Jack the Ripper hops into H.G. Wells’ time machine…), but it was stuffed with super cringe-worthy acting and writing.
That leaves Fox’s “Making History.” A half-hour comedy (or 22 min online), it’s a bit different from the two dramas right off the bat, taking a much more lighthearted and even flippant look at travel to the past.
It starts out with “regular guy” Dan, who works at a university and happens to have his own time-travel machine, needing help from a history professor that he’s barely acquainted with, because things seem to have gone wonky back around the time of the Revolutionary War. Because Dan has been hanging out back then and has even found a girlfriend. The history professor, Chris, is skeptical but intrigued, and things take off from there.
Fun Times Rewriting History
The gang, which quickly comes to include the regular guy’s colonial girlfriend as well, has continual run-ins with past events, messing up history over and over for the sake of comedy and plot.
In a spoofy manner, we see people like John Hancock and Samuel Adams making pop culture references. We see colonial times and other time-periods through the eyes of both this dumb regular guy and a knowledgeable history professor, transposed against our own day and age. And it is hilarious.
Sometimes, the jokes are flat. Occasionally, it’s just not that funny.
But at least once per episode (usually more), there is something so hilarious that if I’m nursing my baby while we watch it, he thoroughly wakes up and gives me the evil eye for moving too much with my laughter.
There are also occasional plot holes involved, like lack of explanation for how things they messed up in the past last episode seem to be fixed in the present again. But the far-fetched premise of the show makes these issues seem pretty unimportant.
So far the show has been fairly clean. It’s rated 14, and it doesn’t seem to be a particularly hard 14. There have been no sex scenes, maybe some mild language, a little violence (they watch what should have been the start of the American Revolution, after all!).
What’s most concerning are the sexual jokes. They’re not terribly frequent, but they’re there occasionally. There was one joke about masturbation, and there have been a few along the lines of, “Are you in some kinky colonial sex cult?” It has been nothing very graphic so far, but it could become an issue in further episodes.
It seems Fox has canceled the show due to low ratings. There is one more episode due to air (this Sunday 5/21), and the whole season is currently available on Hulu. We can only hope it comes to Netflix soon.
Because it may have been brief, but it sure was fun.