It sounds like a bad 80’s breakup song, but it’s true. ABC has chosen not to give Forever a second season.
Forever is, or rather was, a series about a 200 year old Doctor named Henry Morgan (Ian Gruffudd). He had been shot on a slave galley and thrown overboard, presumed dead, only to survive with nothing but a scar. Since then, he has been unable to truly die. If something kills him, whether it be an injury or illness, he wakes up naked in the nearest body of water.
Henry’s inability to die has led to a fascination with death. His background in medical science let him to become a pathologist. By 2014 he is working in New York, where he catches the attention of a homicide detective. Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) has her own demons to tackle, but the partnership and friendship she develops with Henry has become beneficial to them both. The constant risk that Joe will learn Henry’s secret is always highlighted in the previews. Will he be killed before her eyes? Will a case’s history compel him to tell her the truth? At the very end of the season Jo corners Henry with evidence that is all but impossible to explain. Now we will never know how Jo will react to Henry’s immortality, and how it will effect their friendship.
Add to this a generous sprinkling of Abraham (Judd Hirsch), Henry’s adopted son, rescued from a Nazi concentration camp as a baby. Abe’s relationship with Henry is fascinating to watch. He is a grown man, an antique dealer, who lives with his father who looks nearly half Abe’s age. To outsiders they claim to be old friends and roommates, and Abe routinely calls his father “Henry”. When the family card is played the reaction is often hilarious and unexpected, especially when Abe is the one admonishing Henry for his recklessness! He is the only one that knows Henry’s life story. Well, except for Adam and Henry’s wife, Abigail.
Adam (Burn Gorman), if that is really his name, has been around since the golden age of Rome. He is just like Henry in that he cannot die. After so many years, Adam has become little more than a psychopath. He views other humans like we view ants – short lived and insignificant. Since learning of Henry’s existence he no doubt feels like he is no longer alone. He could be a sympathetic character. If he wasn’t a killer bent on manipulating Henry for his own twisted and mysterious ends, that is.
Abigail (Mackenzie Mauzy) knew of Henry’s condition when she married him. Together they adopted and raised Abe as their son. We recently learned that as she aged, life with her seemingly younger husband became difficult for her to bear. She eventually disappeared without a trace in 1985, sending Henry into a downward spiral that Abe had to save him from. Abe continued the search for his mother without Henry’s knowledge, and recently found out what happened to her.
I am very disappointed by the news that the show is cancelled. I have been closely watching this series was was becoming increasingly excited about it. It’s a fascinating combination of murder mystery and science fiction. The second I saw Burn Gorman I felt the show had really hit the nail on the head. As an antagonist, he really was the perfect choice, and I looked forward to seeing where Adam’s plot thread was going. Abe made me laugh routinely. The balance in his relationship with Henry was perfectly designed to allow Abe to be a councilor and friend to his father. Henry was simply brilliant. In had the fear that the character would not stand out when compared to other current shows of the genre, but I believe Ian Gruffudd was able to carve out a role that was uniquely his. Jo had the unfortunate position of playing Watson to Henry’s Holmes, and sometimes this detracted from the character. However we were just starting to see her branch out in her personal life, and I had the feeling this was going to have a huge impact going forward.
I don’t usually feel the need to rail at ABC for their decisions. NBC and its affiliated networks kill my shows so often I have ceased to be surprised by their stupidity. ABC has not offended me in this manner recently enough for me to recall. I do know that the ratings were never that high, but the show was competing with other established series. One of those shows was Person Of Interest, which I lost all interest in a couple of seasons ago. I also know what Forever gained a very strong fan base. It would have been very easy for the show to go to a second season and improve its ratings. Of course I could simply start my usual diatribe on how ridiculous and archaic the Nielsen rating system is, but I will spare you and simply say that we would have more quality shows like Forever to enjoy if it wasn’t for Nielsen.
Want to add your two cents? There are multiple petitions running, the most successful of which can be found here. Go, sign, and share it across social media. Forever may not be lost forever if we speak loudly enough!
UPDATE: On Sunday May 17th there is a bid to trend #SaveForver on Twitter, starting at 5pm EST/10pm GMT. Please join in! Together we may be able to save this excellent show.