6:00am PT by Alicia Lutes
'Hindsight' to Explore "Space-Time Continuum" in Season 2
VH1's original scripted series Hindsight is a veritable smorgasbord of television delights. It has everything: time travel, friendship drama, relationship drama, a killer soundtrack and a heck of a lot of flannel to keep its characters warm in the disillusioned world of 1990s New York City. The follies of its central character, Becca (Laura Ramsey), a 40-year-old woman sent crashing through time on the eve of her second marriage, gets thrust back into the mid-1990s and the morning of her first wedding (that ultimately ends in divorce). And that's only what happens in the first five minutes.
With the help of her best friend Lolly (Sarah Goldberg) — a Kit from Pretty Woman meets Rayanne from My So-Called Life type — Becca attempts to navigate the decisions from her past that will shape her future. In a freshman season full of missteps, misfires and questionable passions, Becca's mission is to try to avoid outcomes which may or may not prove to be inevitable.
Series creator Emily Fox chats with The Hollywood Reporter about starting over, changing the past, female friendships and making a show about time travel that isn't science fiction-y at all.
Read more VH1's 'Hindsight' Renewed for Season 2
Becca had a tough go of it in season one as she realized that despite her wealth of knowledge about the future, she didn't know anything at all.
All she has is questions. All she knows is this one reality that, with each passing day, fades away because once you make one change, as she did — running out on her wedding to Sean — that changes everything. She does have some macro-knowledge, but in terms of what's happening, her omniscient position has turned to sand underneath her. At a certain point, that knowledge and its usefulness of expires. We all like to think we're so mature, that we have such a comprehensive view of our own lives and what we would have done had we another chance. But what the show sort of sets out to display is there is no "right" decision, only a different decision. Though you hope the outcome will be better, you have no guarantee.
It does feel like she's trying to be slightly more thoughtful while making decisions.
Yes, but the decisions are not without consequence. She does have some perspective, some maturity and certainly some knowledge, but at the same time she's a very moral and righteous person, and a lot of what she's trying to do is meant to protect others around her. What she keeps coming up against is this reminder that she can't protect anybody and, in fact, she might be making it worse by trying. Sometimes the sheer effort that she puts in steers them right into another problem, which illustrates what is essentially true about the show and about life: you can always start over and you can always make a different decision but it's not necessarily going to be the better decision. it's just going to be a different one.
And this is what happens in the finale culmination: that recurrence, only 10 years sooner than in the original timeline, of Lolly and Becca's friendship-ending fight over Kevin (Steve Talley).
There's part of Becca that wonders if this is a dream. … But when Lolly gets the final piece of the puzzle — she realizes, "Oh, it's a much bigger thing. This isn't just happening now, this was part of our breakdown" — it's really about the two girls and this betrayal that Becca was guilty of in the past. Now she's thinking, "I haven't done anything bad yet," but Lolly makes a pretty airtight counterargument, which is: yes she has, because Becca's gotten Lolly on board with the idea that everything that happened in the original timeline really happened, and it's valid and it exists. Now, Becca — when it's most convenient — says, "but it didn't, it's all erased," and Lolly says, "How convenient for you now, when you're in trouble and you're caught. Well I'm not erasing it and you have to be held accountable for this, too." And it's devastating.
It's a big lesson that Becca had to learn; she couldn't have her cake and eat it, too.
But there's a moment where you think she's going to have her cake and eat it, too. For a solid hour, she thinks her life is OK. But that's all she gets, one hour [laughs]. Everyone's so sure they would get it right, but Becca's like our canary in the coalmine. You watch what she goes through and you see she's messing up left and right — because everybody would.
Becca and Lolly's friendship felt very lived in and familiar—like so many '90s teen movies and comedy duos.
We were excited about portraying a female friendship that felt like it brought you back to Reality Bites or the friendship on Thirtysomething between Hope (Mel Harris) and Ellyn (Polly Draper). That felt real to me: it was deep, they fought, they disagreed on stuff and they loved each other dearly and helped support each other. We felt strongly about having those great female characters interacting with each other in a way that felt honest, familiar, charming and complex.
It's interesting to have a show that's ostensibly about time travel that isn't super sci-fi-y.
I'm interested in magic in storytelling devices, and in the fantasy of what it would be like to travel through time but not necessarily super-preoccupied by how you would [do it]. I think that helped us avoid getting into the tricky business of explaining time travel, and instead explore the effects of it and how that plays out. We had a lot of fun with it.
Is it safe to say that the game plan for season two might explore other alternate realities?
I won't get into our plan for season two, but suffice it to say it is elaborate. We really want to build on season one. Season one is really foundational and ... the hope and expectation is that your season two will explode out of the gate and present you with something completely different. We're going to have a lot of fun doing that. When you're not trapped in one particular space-time continuum you can take an awesome journey. Because we care so deeply about the characters and so invested in their well-being and emotional education, I feel like everyone's on board.
What did you think of Hindsight's freshman season? Sound off in the comments below.