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Series Review

Season 1 [Premiere]

Aired On: Max
Release Date: 05/15/22
Drama. Fantasy. Romance.


"Tells the intricate love story of Clare and Henry, and a marriage with a problem... time travel."


I'd be lying if I said I went into the HBO Max series The Time Traveler's Wife with high expectations. This marks the latest series from Stephen Moffat (Sherlock, Doctor Who) who wrote this interpretation of the book by author Audrey Niffenegger. I have not seen the 2009 film nor read the book, so if you are looking for a review that compares and contrasts the differences, I am sorry to let you down. I dove into this series premiere completely blind with very few expectations, and maybe that's the best way to prepare yourself for this show.

The series opens with a documentary-style interview with Claire Abshire (Rose Leslie) and a much older Henry DeTamble (Theo James). Talking about what it's like to be a time traveler and to be married to one. One of my immediate issues is that in the year 2022, I expect films or series that use this live recording effect to look somewhat realistic; instead of what we get here, which looks like an Instagram video filter. The other immediate issue is how jarring the old age makeup and wig look on Theo James; it took me out of it almost completely. Both these issues added with the constant back-and-forth information being presented so rapidly, I began to wonder if I had time traveled from the whiplash produced. Luckily, the episode pumps the brakes and finds somewhat of a pace following the opening five minutes.

The real underlying issue with The Time Traveler's Wife comes down to the writing and that it ultimately is wildly miscast. Are our leads Theo James and Rose Leslie dreadfully bad? No, yet as the episode went on, the most prevalent thought I had was, "Would this show be as cheesy with different actors in these roles?". Probably not, as a lot of the questionable acting seems to stem from the source, the teleplay. Maybe the book is written similarly, but this show plays more like an edgy Hallmark Channel series.


The premiere episode ends with a mystery that may hook you to keep watching, but even though certain elements of the episode were interesting, it did not affect me enough to care to put this on my list of series to keep up with. Time travel is an appealing subject, but if you're looking for a quality time travel narrative entangled with a romance, then you should just watch About Time instead.

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