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September 18, 2014

Journeyman: Blowback

by JJ Hawkins, posted Nov 27th 2007 8:22AM
Katie talks to Bennett.

(S01E10) So what, trying to get a kidnapper behind bars gets me shot? Who in the hell are we working for? - Dan Vasser

His line may as well have been, "So what, we have an interesting eight episodes capped off by an excellent ninth and tenth show, only to get hit with rumors of being canceled after this season? Who in the hell are we working for?"

That would be NBC Danny boy, and I'm none two thrilled that Journeyman probably won't be showing up on the schedule when spring rolls around.

I understand that this is a business and that good shows die on a regular basis if they aren't getting the numbers. I understand this all too well (ahem, Arrested Development), but it doesn't make it any less aggravating when it happens.

I hate that I'll have invested twelve hours of my life into this show when it's all said and done but that I'll never have any real closure to this story. It's frustrating but I guess all I can do is accept it and try my best to enjoy what's left. Right?

I guess I could latch onto whatever Jericho-like campaign inevitably springs up to try and keep the show on the air, but if people aren't watching the now, I have little confidence that they'll magically decide to watch it later just because 10,000 zealous Internet fans mailed NBC execs 20,000 pounds of Aspirin. (You know, because Dan gets a headache before each journey).

Anyhow, tonight's show got off to a roaring start. Dan immediately found himself on the receiving end of a gunshot wound administered by last week's nemesis Aeden Bennett.

Apparently, Aeden was a little bit pissed that Dan was responsible for his six years in the clink when all he was trying to do was give some little girls a safe life - by keeping them locked up as hostages. Something is incredibly wrong with that logic.

I was a little surprised that Dan didn't see this retaliation coming after Hugh clued him in to the fact that Aeden was already released on good behavior. I guess occasionally even a reporter with good instincts can fail to see the obvious.

After being shot, Dan journeyed back to 1980 and that's where we learned why Aeden was such a screwed up character. His mommy didn't love him and his daddy treated him like a caged animal. I guess in some twisted way we were supposed to sympathize with Aeden's character. I can't say I felt all that much pity for him. He was a successful real estate developer living a luxurious lifestyle. His abduction of little girls seemed more like a sick fetish than the product of an abusive upbringing.

Outside of not really buying into Bennett's character flaws, I liked several things about this episode:
  • The scene where the paramedics questioned Starbucks ("is that a massage parlor?") and looked confusingly at Dan's iPhone were pretty amusing.
  • I liked the fact that the antibiotics Dan received in the hospital during 1980s ended up being ineffective against his Staph infection from 2007. Nice touch.
  • I liked that the rogue (and now dead) FBI agent uncovered Dan's trips through time. It almost sounded like the FBI has some sort of covert unit that knows about people with Dan's condition and actively pursues them. At least that's what I took from the agent saying, "They always need money. That always trips them up." I'm curious to know if this will come up again in future shows. Oh that's right. There probably won't be any future shows. #&*(Q!
  • I loved when Livia confronted Jack in the elevator to let him know Dan had been shot. The look on Jack's face was priceless.
  • Finally, I'm just relieved that Jack finally has some sort of confirmation that the whole time traveling thing is really happening to Dan. Since they're brothers, I'm wondering if Jack has ever experienced any phenomenon similar to what Dan's been experiencing. Again, more speculation that I'll never have an answer to. Why do I even bother having these questions? I'm also curious if Jack knowing will adversely affect the dynamic between the brothers. The time travel thing was a huge point of contention that the show fed off of on a regular basis. Would the show be as interesting with that dynamic missing?
There's not a great deal more to recap. Dan ultimately convinced Bennett that he was guy he'd met as a kid, and that the world needed to know the story behind Bennett's jacked up childhood. Case closed.

Outside of that, I learned several important things from tonight's show:
  1. If one were to travel back in time, never ever deviate from the road. Ignore the fact that the road is completely subjective - just don't do it.
  2. Never leave important phone numbers on your fridge. If you do leave important phone numbers on your fridge, it's a really, really bad idea to leave your schedule on the fridge right next to the numbers.
  3. When you've been shot in the arm, it's probably a bad idea to try and ram down a door with your shoulder.
  4. Now that I think about it, if my mom put ketchup on a slice of bread and called it pizza I'd have probably turned out pretty screwed up too. I take back what I said earlier about not buying into Bennett's character flaws. He was completely justified in locking up kids.
  5. Seriously, I'm making my daughter lunch everyday for the rest of her life lest she turn out to be a homicidal maniac. To be on the safe side, I'll also never keep her locked up in a bathroom.
Just a couple of more episodes before this show vanishes into network purgatory. I've enjoyed the ride while it's lasted.

Thoughts on Journeyman's potential cancellation?
I'm bummed. It's one of the best new shows on television.685 (78.1%)
It's not the best show out there, but it's way too early to cancel it.177 (20.2%)
Good riddance! This show is pure tripe.11 (1.3%)
I'll tell you in the comments.4 (0.5%)

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38 Comments

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SeanTubbs

What a shame that the television industry can't figure out a way to sell their product. I can't wait for the day when they produce a complete show, and then sell it on a variety of different platforms. Decisions on whether or not to continue could be made on whether it attains a large total audience.

December 06 2007 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Q

Maybe Taye Diggs (Daybreak) and Kevin McKidd (Journeyman) will both figure out that real reason for network producers canceling very good "time travel" shows is that they don't like the very attractive Ms. Moon Bloodgood. Why? I don't know but this seems to be the only connection between the two shows. This is her second series (both time travel types which she has a romantic connection to the main character) and now second possible cancellation. They should have never canceled the first one (Daybreak) but that's another story in itself.

December 03 2007 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bartf

There is something to be said for allowing a show to find its stride. The writers need to adapt to the actors, the actors need to get to know their characters, and the audience slowly comes around. The first few years of Seinfeld were not great; but they showed promise of greatness. Neither did they do well in the ratings. It took them three or four years to really hit their stride.

Journeyman is a great concept; I gave the pilot a "B" or "B-minus" but have watched every one. They have gotten better, despite the flaws you pointed out with the plots. I remarked when it came out that it could be a great show, but probably wouldn't be given the leeway. Now that there are hints of greatness, there are also loud warning bells of impending cancellation. I hate it when I'm right!

November 29 2007 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trevor

This is the best new show this season. I watch Life and enjoy it, but would be much more upset to lose Journeyman. As others have said, this is not a show for the masses and (like Studio 60) that means, it won't last. I was talking to a client yesterday that still uses "rabbit ears" and a VCR (and she was younger than me)...sadly, I think this is still the norm in most of the U.S.

To the cast and crew, great job, your efforts were lost on the masses of America...

November 29 2007 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bb

News posted this evening: The 13th episode "Perfidia" WILL air on WEDNESDAY, December 19th at 10pm. So the last three episodes shot to date will air within a 10-day period. These are the three to watch to get a reprieve from cancellation, and we couldn't ask for a better scenario for the 13th - a better night a week before Christmas, which means repeats or preemptions on the other channels. Good ratings for "Home By Another Way" and "The Hanged Man" followed by a big boost for "Perfidia" should be enough to earn the back-nine for a full season.

November 28 2007 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cib3k

I also love Journeyman, and it seems there are a lot of people who like it. As others have mentioned, the problem is that NBC looks only at the Nielsen ratings, instead of keeping track of people who are DVR-ing or downloading the episodes. What has to be done right now is for the fans to get organized. There are already at least 2 petitions I know of:
http://www.petitiononline.com/sjmnbc/
http://www.petitiononline.com/jmf/
and I think there should be only one. Also, people should start emailing NBC asking them to not cancel the show. Talk to your friends, to all the Journeyman fans you know, and start writing. It will be more difficult to get it back on the air after it's cancelled than keeping it on the air. If NBC starts getting lots of emails asking them not to cancel they will see there is a real interest out there in this show and maybe they will keep it alive.

November 28 2007 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

What I think is funny is that I dumped Heroes several weeks ago, but have kept Journeyman. I understand that Heroes is supposed to have gotten better, but I just don't care about it anymore. I watch Chuck and Journeyman (both through DVR). I also watch Life, but would rather see it go down than Journeyman. I think I made it through 2 episodes of Bionic Woman before dumping it in disgust. What a stupid show. Of course, I was one of the few who loved Studio 60 last year. Face it, this show is for smart people and there just aren't that many of us watching tv to make it profitable. This has got to be an expensive show - they do period every week and have digital effects.

November 28 2007 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Fantastic episode, fantastic show. This is Quantum Leap with brains and so much more suspense. This show is what Quantum Leap should have been, much more realistic and intelligent. While I knew it was Aeden in the room, I was still in suspense to see what would happen, how he would succeed. I think the biggest issue with this show's ratings is that it's on late at night and it appeals to a group of people that are likely to be working early and therefore, not really people who will stay up till 11 watching TV. The other thing, it is a show that appeals to Heroes and Chuck viewers, and 3 hours of TV Action/Dramas (comedy too in Chuck) is a bit much for most people to sit through in one night. I just hope that the strike gives us at least one more season of Journeyman. It's just such a great show, and I have nothing to watch on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday nights, KEEP JOURNEYMAN ALIVE!!!!!

November 28 2007 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AJ MacReady

There's a petition, everybody - doesn't guarantee anything, but it's doing SOMETHING, right?

http://www.petitiononline.com/sjmnbc/petition.html

I intend to post this link to everything even remotely related to Journeyman in the coming weeks. So be prepared.

November 28 2007 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Manda

I loved last nights show. And I loved that the brother had to be pulled tooth and nail into believing in time travel. Dat's the way it should be.

... and I really want to know about the money thing. How many time travelers are there and who decides where they go? Do they have a crystal ball that shows all the gazillions o possibilities or what. Ha.

November 27 2007 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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