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November 6, 2003

Tru Calling

I normally don't watch prime time TV, but I've recently become addicted to Fox's new show, Tru Calling (IMDB), starring Eliza Dushku as Tru, a 22-year old medical student who takes an internship working at a city morgue. Whenever someone dies of "unnatural" causes, their corpse "calls" her to help. Tru is then propelled back in time to the beginning of that day, with just a few hours to prevent their death. Because she has only a limited amount of knowledge of each case (the identity of the dead person, the location where they died, and cause of death), Tru often finds it difficult to prevent the dangerous situations from taking place. I'm pretty much a sucker for time-travel narratives, so I've become pretty much hooked (not that I'd be watching Friends or Survivor anyway).

I really enjoy how the show visually conveys time travel, using what appears to be a quick "rewind" through the day's events, and the show has already dealt with the possibility that Tru might not always be successful is rescuing everyone who calls her. Like many reviewers, I think the show is comparable to Run Lola Run, one of my favorite time-bending movies. Of course, in Tru's case, she knows that she has the opportunity to save people from dying while Lola's status is more ambiguous.

It's certainly not a perfect show: the premise may wear thin, and the Run Lola Run comparisons sometimes point out the show's limitations, but Dushku is fun to watch, and so far, the show has demonstrated some self-awareness: her knowledge that her professor boyfriend is cheating on her with a new student allows Tru a second chance to reject him with just the right amount of strength (of course, the fact that he's an "associate professor" who claims to be meeting with the dean because he's "up for tenure" kind of cheapens the whole thing). I know it's not the most complicated time-travel narrative, so call it a guilty pleasure.

Now I really need to be working on my article.

Posted by chuck at November 6, 2003 9:43 PM

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