TV Review - Somewhere Between

ABC has remade a Korean TV series about a woman who essentially travels back in time to her birthday, which is a week before her 8-year-old daughter's murder by a serial killer. An ex-cop who's now a private detective time-travels with her. Together, they work to track down the serial killer. The online description from ABC's web site says that what happens to her is similar to Groundhog Day (1993). That classic film is about a man who not only time-travels. He relives the same day over and over. That's not the case here. The woman here isn't reliving the same day over and over. She's simply time-traveled back a week before her daughter's death. Groundhog Day was really about self-examination, self-reflection and self-improvement. Again, that's not the case here. The point here is just to be a gimmick for yet another series about tracking a serial killer.

The problem is that ABC just tried this same thing not that long ago. Last year, ABC put out Time After Time, another remake about a man and a woman who team up and time-travel to track a serial killer. It was all about the victimization of women and the sexualizing of a serial killer, which made it rather disgusting. It wanted to make its serial killer physically attractive, a sex symbol and not in a satiric way as in American Psycho (2000), but in a legitimate way. The show wanted us to actually like the serial killer and not in any reasonable way like Dexter. This series isn't that appalling, at least not in the first three episodes.

The victimization of women though is still at the top of the list. This series just delights in leaving bloody female body after bloody female body on screen. Thrown in the mix is that of a murdered child. Of course, the series doesn't have the courage to show the dead child, but has no qualms using it as the driving force. Yet, when it comes to a mystery about a dead child, ABC already did another, cancelled show about a child's murder. Its remake of the Australian series Secrets and Lies was only two years prior.

Yet, that series was about a family and a neighborhood, and how social dynamics can change and be turned due to that kind of tragic event. It was more about how a man's life and reputation can be seriously affected. It was to a smaller degree also about the psychological examination of children themselves, their fears and jealousies. So far, this series isn't really about anything. It's predictable in its lame romance between the two time-travelers, despite the woman being married but the series hints at her husband being shady, so their inevitable hook-up is eye-rolling.

Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) stars as Laura Price, a TV producer who is investigating a serial killer in San Francisco. She's married to Tom Price, played by JR Bourne (Teen Wolf), the city's district attorney and a very handsome man. They have a 8-year-old daughter named Serena, played by Aria Birch. Serena is kidnapped and murdered. Her body is left in Black Pine Cove, a nearby bay. Laura is so distraught that she attempts suicide in that same bay. At the same time, Nico Jackson, played by Devon Sawa (Nikita), the brother of the man prosecuted by Tom for murder, is nearly murdered himself in that same bay. Nico is able to save them both. However, both come out the bay having time-traveled a week before Serena's death.

Written by Stephen Tolkin, Laura explains her time-travel trip as a result of the "universe." There's also some vague talk about a higher purpose. Nico's mother tries to reinforce the idea of Heaven but her granddaughter rejects that idea. Nico's former mother-in-law whom Laura meets calls the whole thing "fate." There's no spiritual or religious sense to Laura and Nico, our two protagonists. There's no scientific explanation to their time-travel as in Time After Time. An obvious question is why them? Why did they time travel?

The simple answer is that it's a gimmick, all seemingly working toward the goal of saving Serena, of saving this one little girl, which is noble, but tons of little girls go missing or end up murdered all over the country and world. There's nothing seemingly special about this family that this should happen to them.

There's a side plot about Nico's brother who is on death row. His mother does everything she can to get him released. Nico's brother seems to be mentally challenged or has special needs. Maybe all of this is about him in reality. It's not clear four episodes into it. It's mainly just a police procedure again with this sleight gimmick buried underneath.

Rated TV-14-VSD.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Tuesdays at 10PM on ABC.


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