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Tomorrow People: TV Review

The Tomorrow People

The Bottom Line

Empty-headed hokum about people who one day realize they're special -- as in being one of the Tomorrow People. One cool thing they can do is teleport. But none of them use that very wisely. Anyway, they are being hunted by a group called Ultra. Which puts two crazy names into one crazy show. Other stuff happens but  you really shouldn't watch this unless you're immortal and time doesn't matter to you.

Airdate

Wednesday, 9 p.m. The CW

Cast

Robbie Amell, Luke Mitchell, Peyton List, Aaron  Yoo, Mark Pellegrino

Executive producers

Greg Berlanti, Julie Plec, Phil Klemmer

Directed by

Danny Cannon

 

It's ridiculous and both poorly written and acted, but it's also pretty funny, so there's that.

If I didn’t think Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Goldbergs were so funny, then Tomorrow People would be the funniest new comedy on television. Except that it’s a drama on The CW.

I hit the pause button in double-digits to laugh out loud or scoff out loud at various scenes. Sometimes it was just someone actually calling themselves the Tomorrow People, other times it was the wooden acting, the inconsistent application of powers or just the bad writing.

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Often it was just laughing at how The CW is hell bent on having everyone be in high school, even though nobody on this show looks under 23 -- even if they are. And that’s being generous. Why not cut back on the implausibility and have them be in college?

Clearly, I’m over-thinking this. And I’m never going to get over my fascination with The CW.

And that’s a consideration here, it should be noted. I’m more FX than CW. I liked Nikita. Many of the 19 seasons of Supernatural (were there more?) told an entertaining story. I hated the pilot for Vampire Diaries but then was told to come back because it got much, much better. And even in a world where time is uncommonly precious -- I just assume it’s not for people who are in the CW demo, where your life seems infinite and you haven’t yet recalibrated your standards of quality entertainment – I did come back for another episode and found it…better but not something I’d willfully give an hour of my life.

So, yes, I’m not the CW target audience. But when does that, as a defense against criticism, slip past its sell-by date? Translation: How long can the CW get a free pass because I’m not a 17-year-old girl? I’m not – or I hope I’m not – the target audience for USA or TNT either. So when their shows are tragically inept, I get to point that out without the asterisk that the CW so often gets. My point: These are still shows being put out into the world, made by grown-ups and marketed on a kinda-sorta network that’s playing, or attempting to play, in the Big Leagues. Its glossy imperfections are fair game for criticism.

Now that we’ve clarified that – Tomorrow People will not end up on my DVR season pass list. It has a stupid title and a stupid premise and, among its many transgressions against watchable entertainment, it really doesn’t make much sense (you know, on top of the acting and the writing and whatnot).

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See, the Tomorrow People are, according to the CW, “the next evolutionary leap of mankind, a generation of humans born with paranormal abilities.”

That’s hokum, clearly, but if you want to know what they can do just remember your three T’s – telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication.

Already it’s funnier than Sean Saves the World.

So, in summation, they can move objects without touching them, move through space and time, and also be moved by your innermost thoughts (which they can hear), or move you to think you’re going insane by talking to you via disconnected voices.

That’s a lot of power.

Also, they’re all hipsters. So, like, they could be all around you and you wouldn’t know it. Which makes them dangerous (although they are also extremely good looking – Rule No. 1 of the CW, as you know – so they stand out).

No, but seriously (I can’t believe I just typed that), the Tomorrow People (or that) are on the run from “a paramilitary group of scientists know as Ultra” (at least that wasn’t something I came up with).

God only knows how dangerous “paramilitary scientists” can be. And we are to assume you’re one of the Ultras if you’re in Ultra. It’s a tricky word thing. But if you’re in that band it means you wear the black suits and white shirts and black ties that were left over from theMen In Black movies. And you’re hell bent to stop these Tomorrow People freaks from “breaking out” – which has nothing to do with acne even when it’s mentioned on the CW but instead refers to “normal” people realizing they’re not normal.

Having any one of the three T’s, let alone all three, would be a good clue. One of the people not picking up on that real fast is our hero, Stephen (Robbie Amell), one of the aforementioned really old high school students. A trio of Tomorrow People start to track Stephen down. They are John (Luke Mitchell), Cara (Peyton List) and Russell (Aaron Yoo). Even though they can all teleport, they tend to run a lot. Maybe teleporting to exactly where you need to be, which would save time and avoid Ultras, runs down your battery or something. If they reveal that in the second episode, let me know.

Anyway, the hipster trio of Tomorrow People don’t want Stephen to get a big head or anything, but he’s special. Stephen thinks his dad was a crazy, loser magician (yes, you read that right, and I do believe that’s what I saw in the pilot, but I could have been laughing).  Turns out, his dad was actually not crazy. He was, in point of fact, like magic. A leader whose abilities were hopefully passed down to Stephen. When you mate with a normal human, one of your kids can be super special with power (the three T’s) and the other one can only be special because his parents say so on Facebook all the time.

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Stephen is truly special.

And that’s why Ultra wants him. Particularly shadowy leader Dr. Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino), who, despite spelling his name like that, tries to prove to Stephen that the Tomorrow People are dangerous freaks unlike him. Come over to our side and stop them, Jedikiah says. Don’t sell out to the man, retort the Tomorrow People. Stephen is torn.

He makes a decision – and you can find out what that is if you blow an hour of your life. On the other hand, I enjoyed my frequent laughing fits so maybe it’s not a total waste of time. But honestly, there are better shows for you to seek out. If you skip this, pretty soon Tomorrow People will be yesterday’s news.

Email: Tim.Goodman@THR.com

Twitter: @BastardMachine