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Traveler -- An early look - VIDEO

by Anna Johns, posted May 9th 2007 2:47PM
travelerTraveler was originally on ABC's fall schedule, but it kept getting bumped back. Now it's the end of the regular network television season, and Traveler is finally getting a chance to air. Why is this? After seeing the pilot, I suspect it is because ABC was worried that the show would get lost in a sea of new dramatic serials that premiered last fall. It seems like a reasonable assumption, because there really isn't anything wrong with this series. I'm not jumping for joy over it, but I do find it somewhat intriguing.

The premise of Traveler is this: Three best friends (Jay, Tyler, and Will Traveler) graduate from Yale and plan to go on a two-month, cross-country road trip. Only, it all comes to an end on the first afternoon when there's a terrorist bombing in a NYC museum that they're in. Jay and Tyler get out, but Will is gone. And so is his stuff from the hotel. Jay and Tyler end up becoming suspects in the bombing (trust me, it makes sense), and, instead of turning themselves in, they decide to go "underground" and try to find out who this Will Traveler person really is.

The pilot starts out as a flashback that catches up about halfway through the episode. I can understand why the writers did this: to catch your attention right away. Starting a show with three guys heading out on a road trip is boring, but starting a show with two guys running from something and then watching smoke pour out of a building on television... that's a captivating show opener. It definitely works. Actually, I think all the flashbacks work. They're not done in the way that Lost does flashbacks. These ones are meant to reveal information about the relationship between the three guys and also to reveal Will Traveler's odd behavior... that didn't seem so odd at the time.

I thought the acting by stars Matthew Bomer (Jay), Logan Marshall-Green (Tyler), and Aaron Stanford (Will Traveler) was quite strong. There are also several mysterious characters who help Jay and Tyler along the way and I'm interested to see whether these characters are really trustworthy or if they are somehow connected to the terrorist network that Will Traveler is apparently part of. I honestly am not sure whether I'll watch the series. A lot of my favorite shows will be done for the season, so I might make room for it. Unfortunately, even though I think it is well done, it is also one of those shows that I could live without seeing.

There were several things that really bothered me about this episode. First, the relationship between the guys is less friendly and more flirty. It's a tad bit homo-erotic, quite frankly. And I don't think that's what the writers were aiming for, I just think they overshot their effort to reveal to us how close these three friends had been during the last two years. The other thing is super minor, but whenever Jay and Tyler are running from something, the editors have dubbed in sounds of them panting heavily and even grunting as they run. It's hilarious and completely overdone.

A sneak preview of Traveler airs tomorrow night at 10 pm on ABC following Grey's Anatomy. Then the pilot repeats on May 30th and, at this point, ABC intends to play out the series. It appears it may be more of a mini-series at this point than a drama that gets renewed... but you never know.

You can watch the first 10 minutes below.

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Please bring Traveler back this fall-- the ending was too abrupt- kept us hanging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 30 2007 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Finally got a chance to see the pilot and loved it. It'll be a nice to have a quality show fill the summer void.


May 31 2007 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jordan, first off as Gavin says this was created long before VA tech, and second theres is no way you can draw assumptions to VA tech from this show.. So the forecast says no shitstorm

May 10 2007 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to Gavin

i don't think that's what jordan wallace was talking about and also consider that nobody watched "Invasion" after what happened with hurricane katrina.

May 10 2007 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to jordan wallace

dude this show was created last spring or last fall i doubt it would be based on VA tech!

May 09 2007 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Glad this isn't a FOX show, or it would be canceled after 1 show! I'll be watching tomorrow night

May 09 2007 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like the idea of short series'

The Lost Room was a pretty cool change from the serialised stuff that gets cancelled before the story has a sensible ending (still peeved about Push, Nevada the other year & Drive this year)

May 09 2007 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the Traveler pilot when I first watched it last summer. Maybe it was because I'm an old X-Files fan looking for a new outlet of confusing conspiracy theories but I thought the show was so much fun.

I blogged my review of it on my site: http://www.mediaobsessed.com/tv/pilot-reviews-heroes-and-traveler/

May 09 2007 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me be the first to voice what will kill this show:

Its a show about a terrorist who was "odd" yet no one noticed till it was too late..... Va Tech anyone?? Comon, ABC you gotta be smart about this, seems like a great show but once it gets out the plot there will be a shit storm. World we live in...

May 09 2007 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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