By Treva Flores
Imagine if going back in time was as easy as walking through your closet door.
“11.22.63” does just that and more offering exciting new concepts of time travel than even “Back to the Future” could.
The show, starring James Franco, began airing Feb. 15 on Hulu as an eight part event series. A new episode airs each Monday and the series is currently six episodes in.
Based on the 2011 Stephen King novel “11/22/63” the show revolves around a time traveler named Jake Epping (Franco) who is attempting to figure out the truth of who assassinated former President John F. Kennedy, as well as prevent the assassination from happening in the first place.
The only catch is that every time Epping travels to the past it starts over in the same place and every time he tries to change something the past “pushes back” in catastrophic and terrifying ways.
Along the way Epping makes a living as a high school teacher and develops a crush on his fellow faculty member, Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon). He struggles to balance romance and spying on Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber), who Epping suspects to be the person who assassinated Kennedy, while simultaneously keeping his true identity a secret throughout the show.
So far the most enjoyable aspect of the series is Franco. A sentence I never before thought I could write after his failed attempts at being comedic in movies such as “This is the End” or “The Interview.”
Franco takes on a new, more serious role where he cares about the people around him and develops into a likable character that wants to change things for the greater good of the community around him.
The writing of the show is phenomenal for an adaptation. In many instances of books being translated to screen there are important yet minor details that become lost in the process. This could leave viewers who are familiar with a story feeling disappointed, while viewers who are unfamiliar with a story lose a piece of the bigger picture.
Although, I have never read “11/22/63” the show has left me on the edge of my seat since episode one. There’s no surprise as King’s novels usually become iconic films such as “Carrie,” “The Shining” and “Cujo.”
This series is no different due to an exceptional story that explores the past and possibilities about what really happened the day Kennedy was assassinated.
The combination of Franco’s talent and a well-written script is what makes this show unlike any other.
“11.22.63” contains suspense, action and romance that aren’t too overwhelming or competing for attention, but compliment each other as the story progresses, striking a perfect balance between conflict and development.
This is the best role Franco has portrayed since “Freaks and Geeks” and makes “11.22.63” a must see show for 2016.