In theory, I should be a huge fan of the SyFy channel. I love reading Sci-Fi novels (two personal favorites are Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart and 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks) and I love watching Sci-Fi movies (too many to even begin to start naming them), but every time I have attempted to get into a show on the SyFy channel, I was left seriously unimpressed. So, it was with great trepidation that I once again went down the SyFy rabbit hole, and tested my luck on a show titled 12 Monkeys. This time, I was not disappointed.
12 Monkeys is the television adaptation of the 1995 movie starring Bruce Willis. It is a fast paced, time traveling roller coaster ride. Long story short, a deadly virus wipes out humanity in the future, and a small group of survivors build a time machine in order to send someone back in time to save the world. The story, special effects, and direction are all on point, but what really makes 12 Monkeys special, is the excellent acting. Aaron Stanford plays the man responsible for saving the world, Amanda Schull plays a doctor from the present who reluctantly becomes Stanford’s ally, Kirk Acevedo plays Stanford’s partner and best friend, Emily Hampshire plays a mental patient who is the catalyst to spread the virus, and Barbara Sukowa plays the scientist who built the time machine. I would love to highlight a few of them for outstanding performances, but all of them absolutely kill it in their roles. It is movie quality acting all around.
If the action-packed plot and brilliant acting aren’t enough, the season 2 premiere includes a fun surprise for fans of the show Impractical Jokers. Brian “Q” Quinn makes his acting debut by playing a very eligible bachelor at a speed dating event, and wouldn’t you know it, he unsuspectingly helps to save the world! If you read my Who is the Best Impractical Joker? article, you know I am a big fan of the show, so it was pretty cool to see Q pop up out of nowhere.
SyFy finally got one right with 12 Monkeys. There might be a few plot holes here and there, and maybe they cheated a little bit by adapting an already successful movie, but I’ll still count it. It is an extremely entertaining show that you will not want to turn off. Season 1 is currently not available anywhere for free, but you can watch the season 2 premiere here.
By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)