BY DANNY HAMILTON
Imagine a world where the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was prevented, where all the issues of the Vietnam War could’ve possibly been deescalated. These are the issues in Hulu’s new eight-part mini-series, “11.22.63.”
Based on a bestselling novel by Stephen King, “11.22.63” dabbles in the alternate history of what could have been. Starring James Franco as Jake Epping, one day he goes into his favorite diner and discovers the owner is sick with cancer.
After tending to him for a few days, he tells him he has something to show him at the diner. Once there, he tells him to walk into the closet.
Epping then appears in a different place, unfamiliar to him. He notices different clothing styles, cars and surroundings which make him feel uneasy.
After freaking out, Epping goes back through the worm hole to see the owner sitting at the diner. He seems a little discombobulated over what happens, but he explains that only two minutes had passed for however long Epping was in the worm hole.
As the owner explains everything, he also explains his objective is to use the wormhole to prevent the assassination of President JFK. This is where the story truly begins.
Without spoiling much, Epping makes it his personal need to prevent the tragic events which happened that day.
As far as being filmed, the rapid editing of scenes always built tension the way it should. Whenever they used close ups on Epping’s face, I know he’s thinking about something he should do or piecing two and two together.
The plot is what kept me drawn into the series because it is like an alternate timeline even though he is time traveling. The way Lee Harvey Oswald is portrayed and the sense of CIA government corruption almost seems real, even though it is not.
The show also left me with questions outside of the plot. For example, what if he dies in the past, will everything he did be left the same? What happens if he finds love and gets the girl pregnant? These are all things that make this universe so interesting.
Questions are a huge part of this series as well, from what will he change in the past to will he kill anyone that could change the outcome of the future. The show keeps drawing me back for more.
Franco does an amazing job of portraying this character too, from the 2016 bearded contemporary version to the 1960’s manly man version. But what kept me loving this character’s dialogue were the pop culture references.
If you haven’t seen the show I highly recommend it, even if you have to subscribe to Hulu for it. You won’t be disappointed in the thrill ride.