Friday, January 30, 2015

Are You Watching Hindsight? You Should Be Watching Hindsight!

by Sara N.

You know those TV shows where you finish an episode and immediately feel a deep sadness because you don't have the next one to watch right now?

This, my friends, is Hindsight, VH1's new, utterly charming back-in-time show

On the eve of her second wedding to a boy-next-door type, Becca travels back to 1995, the eve of her first wedding to a long-haired, accented artist. Armed with what she now knows — her first marriage crumbles, her family implodes, her best friend stops speaking to her — she tries to make it right the second time around (once she stops freaking out about being back in 1995).

This show is right in my nostalgia sweet spot, and it's got the all the fizzy throwbacks to the '90s that you could ask for: Denim overalls. Blossom hats. Video stores arranged by genre. Sunflowers everywhere. That one lady razor I had in 1995. (No, seriously, I shrieked in delight when I saw it.) Black string chokers. Doc Martens. Oh, the Doc Martens.

And because it's VH1, you know the music is impeccable. So far, I haven't heard anything that felt out of place in 1995. (In fact, about 10 minutes into the pilot, I told my husband, "If there's no Alanis Morissette in this, I'll be sorely disappointed." I was not. Plus, the show demonstrated great restraint in not busting out "Fade Into You" until episode 4.)

But this show is so much more than the zing of recognizing clothes, toiletries and music you haven't encountered in 20 years. It has the heady freedom of getting to re-live being in your early 20s with your best friend, when your entire, uncharted life is stretched in front of you.

The show also has interesting things to say about free will, pre-destination, and not ruining the lives of everyone around you — including your own — when you've already seen the future. By knowing what's going to happen next and taking steps to stop it, don't you then stop knowing what's going to happen next? And does this foreknowledge make you too scared to make any big decisions at all?

This is the frustration of Becca's best friend, Lolly. Becca warns her away from dating Becca's brother because she know how badly it hurt him when Lolly ended things. But Lolly, who really is a trooper when it comes to believing that her best friend has traveled back in time, chafes at the warnings Becca keeps dropping. Is a heads-up enough to stave off the heartbreak this time? Or is it inevitable?

And then there are the men. Back in 1995, Becca' first fiancé is as tempting to her as ever, but her future fiancé also has a pull on her that he doesn't understand and that she tries (halfheartedly) to fight out of respect for his girlfriend in 1995. Both men are appealing polar opposites, yet it's also possible that neither is actually her soulmate. This show has amazing scenes of romantic yearning, illicit kisses, conflicted longing, and desiring gazes. Gah, if only it were bingeable on Netflix already!

1995 fiancé

2015 fiancé

One nerdy thing I love is the subtle examples of how our lives and even our language have changed in 20 years. Becca wakes and tells her brother she's going to make herself a coffee, and she asks if he wants one. Then she realizes there's no Keurig and starts to realize that she might not be in 2015 anymore. In 1995, you'd simply make coffee, not a coffee, and if her brother noticed, he'd probably wonder why she phrased it like that. Becca also fumbles a bit without a smart phone, seems like a genius to people struggling with technology, and has to think about which movies haven't come yet before making any references. Plus, she keeps accidentally spoiling things for poor Lolly. (What do you mean Chandler and Monica get together??) It's all great, great fun.

I hope you're intrigued enough to check out the marathon of the four episodes that have aired so far starting at 5 p.m. CST on Sunday, Feb. 1, on VH1. This way, you don't have to experience that agonizing feeling of "I have to wait a whole week for the next one?" that hits me every Wednesday.(Sorry, non-Midwesterners; you're on your own to figure out the timezone thing.)

Seriously, lovies, I cannot recommend this show highly enough, particularly if your own young adult glory days were lived in the 1990s.

All gifs from VH1's Hindsight Tumblr
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  1. Huh. Ok, cool; will check it out. :)

    Also loved your library but the comment I made died before I could post it... gorgeous basement!

    1. Thank you so much! It's nice to have a place to store the fruits of our acquisition disorder. :)

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