Review of "Journeyman" From The TV MegaSite
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Primetime Show Reviews

"Journeyman" Review by Lorna 12/9/07

Journeyman is a show thatís got a very familiar premise too anyone familiar with a certain 80ís series (but weíll come back to that): Dan Vasser, a news-paper reporter, is forced to leap into the past and fix events in peoples lives. Not only has this but heís got to deal with his failing relationship with his wife Livia, and the ghost of an old girl-friend whoís also leaping through time.

Being fair though I was always going to be a sucker for Journeyman, because it reminds me of a show I love: Quantum Leap. They both have the same basic premise: the lead character will leap into the past, and in the words of Quantum Leap, 'put right what once went wrong'. They both tend to deal in the quieter, more personal side of time-travel: i.e. events in peoples lives, more than large scale events.

The main difference being Dan Vasser is himself when he leaps back in time, whereas Sam Becket: Quantum leaps lead guy - takes on the identity of someone else. Although admittedly with Quantum Leap it's actually an excitement and the character can never go home. Minor details: the overall idea and execution are exactly the same. Some people will tell you that there nothing alike, or that it does Journeyman some kind of injustice, when in fact it's very much something working in the shows favour.

It means it's already got a target audience, and the whole concept is comfortably familiar, and infinitely flexible. It's not constrained by rules like Quantum Leap was in itís last few seasons, but is still sufficiently hard-core enough with the sci-fi elements to keep me happy. In that respect Journeyman is a very old fashioned show: no obsession with solving weird puzzles, no overriding mythology, just good storytelling.

Although we donít always have enough time to connect with the people Dan is helping theyíre generally well caricaturised and relatable. This human side of the show anchors Journeyman. Ditto with Dan's relationship with his wife: They're both well written and acted, and Iím sure some people love that element of the show because they can relate.

Not only is Journeyman well written the scenes shot in the past are also wonderfully done, with a predictable, yet fun, retro soundtrack. There's a lot of work and joy going into these sets so they tend to be very colorful and fun. They may not be realistic, and tend to be more about our perceptions of that time, but it's done well and it's another thing they borrow from Quantum Leap.

Journeyman is good, but far from perfect. It sorely lacks is a sense of humour, because it takes itself slightly too seriously, and loose a bit of fun from that. Personally I dislike the stuff with Danís wife, itís all a bit too soapy for my liking: but as I said earlier Iím sure the majority of viewers enjoy it.

Overall though this show is well worth checking out, especially if youíre a fan of a certain 8oís sci-fi show.


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Updated 12/19/07 

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