Beyond ‘Pilot’ Review

Beyond ushers in the new shows for 2017.

The show starts off in a flashback, lending a certain flare of nostalgia too the early 00s. People are still using phones that are connect too things, we were still eating sugar and computers were the size of dollhouses.

An achingly sweet look at prepubescent friendship as Holden and his friend hang out and talk about girls. I can’t help but wonder if this show would feel more at home in the late 90s rather than the modern day.

Even as Holden takes a bike helmet and smashes one of his bullies it could easily be a moment in a John Hughes movie.

A crash and a coma and we’ve cut to twelve years later.

Beyond marks a turning point for Freeform and for teen shows as a whole. As we move away from dystopian fiction sci-fi seems to be taking centre stage a little more. And Beyond is the first time that Freeform has released the first ten episodes of a show and I hope that this means it’ll be a short concise season that doesn’t move too dramatically from week to week.

Anyway…

Holden’s wakes up.

His muscles haven’t given up, in fact it looks like he’s been getting regular gym visits in. He’s tanned even though he’s been inside for twelve years and he’s been speaking in full sentences.

His mother takes him out of the hospital ignoring the protests of his doctor and back to the room he was a twelve year old in. His brother’s grown up and his dog is no where to be found.

With the exception of one moment of realisation there’s no real emotional journey played for Holden. The loss of his life, his childhood and relationships are not particularly played on, although seeds are planted that things are were going on while he was in the coma.

This includes meeting a beautiful European girl whom seems to be mysteriously in middle-America for no reason and she knows Holden.

She informs him via marker too “Trust no one” including his old friend whom is now the school guidance counsellor. Also introducing a faction of people who seemingly know about the life that Holden may have superpowers…

Battle lines are drawn in Holden’s small town between two different factions and Holden is definitely in the middle of them. Even within the action and drama the first episode feels decidedly low key. Maybe it’s the time constraints or the need for world building but the characters don’t pop or feel part of the story yet. Of course this is one episode out of ten so expect a full review at the end of the week.

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