Forever is an ideal concept synonymous with eternity. It neglects the value of time where centuries are reduced to hours and decades dissolve to minutes. When forever is coupled with immortality, naturally, it means rejoicing. It means never-ending journey to self-discovery like learning languages or playing musical instruments, propagating revolutionary ideas, building structures that can rival wonders of the ancient worlds, or taking on hundreds, nay, thousands of lovers to satisfy one’s carnal desires to the hilt. The possibility of positive things immortality brings seems endless.
ABC’s Forever navigates with the tricky subject of immortality with a little tongue-in-cheek treatment and gives it a twist. It stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, a 230+-year old immortal who first died aboard Empress of Africa, a slave ship his family owned. Since then he has died countless of times and each time, he resurfaces in a body of water (Hudson River?), naked but alive. Do not keep your hopes up, there are no nude scenes. He chooses to become a Medical Examiner (ME) because he was a doctor in his previous life/lives and he wants to study the human body and learn how best to kill it and eventually kill himself. His vast knowledge makes him an indispensable asset to NYPD, especially to Detective Jo Martinez, played by Alana de la Garza. As they solve their first homicide case together, Dr. Morgan finds out that there is another immortal, a 2000-year old man with creepy voice and hunger for revenge. His name is Adam, played by Burn Gorman.
Dr. Morgan has died in the most excruciating ways possible, and he welcomes all forms of deaths. So why would a handsome immortal who remains in his 30’s want to kill himself? When does living a lifetime that stretches to the end of time become a curse? According to the show, immortality becomes counterproductive when Dr. Morgan’s loved ones, especially his wife Abigail, cannot keep old age and death at bay.
Like most sane human beings, immortality is a topic I do not relate to or believe in, but the coffee-loving, scarf-wearing, old-fashioned Dr. Morgan has enough charms to knock my socks off. Okay, I am biased because I cheered for him as Lancelot in King Arthur, and in my heart he will remain as an attractive knight whose physical attributes are untouched by time and gravity. I partly ignore Gruffudd’s few half-naked scenes in the show so I will have the romanticized version of him as Lancelot. Also, the chemistry between Gruffudd and Judd Hirsch, who plays Dr. Morgan’s adoptive son, Abe, is undeniable. They have funny and poignant moments that made me sigh and say, “awwww”, foremost of which is the skateboard scene. Abe who is more than twice as old as his father, as far as the looks department and documents are concerned, is always preoccupied about the well-being of his unkillable father figure. There is a reversal of roles when Abe encourages Dr. Morgan to loosen the scarf around his neck to enjoy life by drinking and dating. Their banters are interesting as most repartees between two equals are. Their common love for Abigail and antique pieces keep them grounded. Admittedly, it is not the most intellectually stimulating show on TV, with logistical and scientific loopholes in storytelling, but in a plethora of detective/crime shows, it stands out because of historical references and random trivia that Dr. Morgan spouts without provocation while examining corpses. His assistant, Lucas, played by Joel David Moore, is the token loveable awkward nerd who cannot get girls and worships the ground his boss walks on. Their interactions are almost always hilarious. Lucas tries his best to impress and to look as cool as his boss, but the latter always nips the possible bromance at the bud. So my love for Ioan Gruffudd and trivia made me believe in Forever and for a split second there, in forever .
As I slowly started to fall in like with the show, I learned that it was cancelled after 22 episodes. Like being unceremoniously yanked out of bed in the middle of a fairytale dream, I realized that there is no such thing as forever in real life and in the fantasy world of TV. Now, I have to watch King Arthur to get my dose of Ioan Gruffudd.
Thank you, SPRDC for the recommendation and more. 🙂