Forever: The Art of Murder Review

Forever clicks in The Art of Murder, but still waddles in mediocrity. Here is our review.

When a TV show clicks, sometimes I pump my fists in the air or let out a playful shriek or fall off my couch in shock. With more access to a wide variety of shows and the disgusting way I sometimes binge on episodes thanks to this new thing called the Internet, my reactions have become tempered, as my body lay comatose and my eyes glaze over the watered-down product reflecting off me.

If I took a closer look at that reflection, it would be of a man who has accepted rudimentary accomplishments of stage and screen, like an innocent hookup everyone saw coming or a menial plot twist that merely opens up new wounds without closing the old ones first. More programming means more mediocrity, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up just yet.

Tonight’s episode of ABC’s freshman drama Forever, “The Art of Murder,” more than the previous three installments, clicks in certain spots. Yet it’s still toeing the line of mediocrity as it tries to distinguish itself from the procedural pack. There was a moment, a brief one, that got a rise out of me. Henry’s trademark seems to be standing outside the interrogation room, waiting for that right piece of evidence or the perfect question. When he hears what he wants, when it clicks, he bangs on the glass, getting a rise out of Detective Jo Martinez, and myself, and I have no idea why.

It was a minuet interaction but it snapped me out of the coma the episode’s “case of the week” put me in. Forever has something more than it’s procedural counterparts, it has a sense of humor, charm and a fun, limitless backstory that spans 200 years. The problem is the show isn’t going anywhere if it’s “A” plot for the week is so vanilla that we’re begging for another flashback to get us through the episode.

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This week’s flashback helped Henry solve the murder mystery of New York billionaire Gloria Carlyle. While the plot was easily the worst of the first four episodes, it did give us some more insight on Henry’s relationship with Abigail as we learn more about how his past shapes him in the present. We need more of that, and there has to be a better, more exciting way to package it.

That’s not to say the cast isn’t doing their part to boost the material. Jo is growing on me, and Joel David Moore (best known for his hilarious turns in Dodgeball and Grandma’s Boy) is getting more screen time as Lucas, Henry’s aid, and he can be the comic relief the show needs. Judd Hirsch’s Abe is also there for that and lead Ioan Gruffudd is reasonably versatile as well. The cast feels cohesive right now and that’s a big positive to take away from what’s still really early in the season.

We’re learning more about each character and though forever is a long time, it’s probably best that the show remains in the past because right now the cases of the day aren’t doing much for me.

“The good memories, those are the ones that hurt the most,” Jo says as she recalls a spot she used to frequent with her late husband.

Let’s go back to the good, even if it hurts. I need something to cheer about if I’m going to stick with this show for the long run.Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing! 


2 out of 5