Movies/Theater

“You’re Not Supposed To Be Here” A Review of 11.22.63

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had the ability to go back in time and change a significant event that could alter history? What if you could go back to the early 1900’s and prevent Adolf Hitler from ever rising to power. Would doing that prevent the Holocaust? Would that prevent World War 2 from happening? Would that have saved millions of lives? Or would it have caused something far worse to happen? This is the premise of the Hulu Show, “11.22.63”, which is based off of a book written by Stephen King and brought to television by JJ Abrams.

It’s hard to explain this show without giving away too much information that could potentially spoil your viewing experience, but I will try my best not to do so. I binge watched this show over the weekend mainly because I hate going week to week with an “online” show, so I waited for all eight parts to be released on Hulu. I must say that it was indeed worth the wait. JJ Abrams did an excellent job of bringing Stephen King’s story to life and James Franco did a wonderful job with his role in this story. So without further ado…Down the rabbit hole we go.

James Franco plays the role of “Jake Epping”, who is a school teacher in Lisbon, Maine. Jake and his wife had just recently divorced, which left Jake in a not so great place, but he was trying to move on. Jake frequents a small diner in Lisbon owned by a man named “Al Templeton”, played by Chris Cooper. This diner has a 1960’s feel to it, along with 1960’s prices for the food as well. Coincidence? I think not. Anyways, Al becomes ill in the Diner while Jake is there. Of course Jake is concerned, they are friends, so why shouldn’t he be concerned. Al admits to him that he has late stage Cancer, this confuses Jake because this is the first time he has even seen him sick or even show symptoms. He takes Al home and Al tells him to come back the next day and he’ll explain everything. So he meets Al at the diner the next day and expects an explanation. Instead Al tells him to go into the closet and spend all the time in there he needs. Jake is confused, but goes in the closet anyways. He keeps walking until he falls through the “Rabbit Hole” and is transported back in time to October 21, 1960. He is confused as hell as he walks around but encounters a bummy looking man who says, “You’re not supposed to be here”. He gets scared and runs back through the portal. Al is there waiting for him, and gives him the run down. Tells him that no matter how long you stay in the past, when you come back, only 2 minutes will have passed in real time. Meaning that you could stay in the 60’s for years and come back and only 2 minutes will have passed when you get back. But any changes you make in the past will stick unless you go back through the portal and come back. The portal will always go back to the same date and time every time you go through. Valuable piece of information to know as you watch this show.

This revelation has Jake curious, so curious that Al asks him to do something. Something that he feels could change the world and the course of history. He asks Jake to prevent the assassination of John F Kennedy. He feels that doing this could prevent Lyndon Johnson from starting the Vietnam War among other things and truly make a difference in today’s world. He states that he tried to, but was always unsuccessful. He states that when you go back in time, the past fights back. Weird things can happen when you try to change things in the past. Things meant to stop you from changing the course of history. Jake is apprehensive about carrying out the plan of an old dying man, but after a few events he decides to go forth and try and carry out this plan. The issue Jake has is the fact that he would need to stay in the 60’s for approximately 2 years. Al had given him all the intel he had had on the eventual Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. It would be up to Jake to determine if Lee was really the assassin or was he just a patsy. He will have 2 years to gather info and stop the assassination.

This was just a brief synopsis of this show, which has a wide range of likable and interesting characters. The bulk of this show takes place in the 60’s and the creators have done great job recreating the time period and the locations in Texas where the bulk of the show takes place. If I had to give this show a rating, I would give it a solid 8 out of 10. Give it a shot, everyone enjoys a good time travel show right?

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