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2014 Cancellations Part 1: The Tomorrow People

May 16, 2014

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Over the course of the last season of television, I’ve made many predictions about which shows would be canceled and which ones wouldn’t. For the most part, I’ve been right: Super Fun Night, The Michael J Fox Show, Dads, Sean Saves the World, Hostages, Dracula, Believe, Crisis, Almost Human, etc.

But I’ve been wrong about a few, or couldn’t quite predict a few others that didn’t make it. Here are my thoughts on why:

The Tomorrow People

I originally anticipated this being an X-Men ripoff, but once I sat down to watch it, I really enjoyed it. Stephen (Robbie Amell), a kid in high school, discovers he has three superpowers: telepathy, teleportation, and telekinesis. He also discovers that there is a shadow war going on between a government type organization, Ultra (which is run by his uncle Jedekiah (Mark Pellegrino)), and a group of rebels who call themselves the Tomorrow People. 

Did you catch the part where I said he was in high school? Because after the first two episodes, we never see him in high school again, even though he’s a senior. He spends his time divided between working at Ultra, or hanging out in the underground lair of the Tomorrow People, working as a double agent. Who has time for school?

I watched the entire season, and looking back, I think the show just lacked a consistent focus and didn’t really know what it wanted to be. Why put him in high school if you’re never going to show him in high school? Is it about him learning to deal with his powers while trying to live a normal life? Clearly not. So then he’s a double agent. Except he’s the worst double agent in history. His uncle sees right through him and clearly doesn’t trust him, and Stephen gives him no reason to. 

Then there’s the love tangle, which involves Stephen’s best friend, Astrid (Madeleine Mantock) being in love with him, but Stephen likes one of the Tomorrow People leaders, Cara (Peyton List), who’s with the other leader, John (Luke Mitchell), but there’s obviously a connection between John and Astrid too. Yet even when they start pairing off, John and Cara are still jealous of the other one.  Makes no damn sense.

If they’d stuck to the sci-fi aspects of the show, they might have done better. There were some dramatic reveals late in the season, like Stephen’s mother (Sarah Clarke) having powers, Stephen’s father (Jeffrey Pierce) being alive, but they were too little too late. 

By the last six episodes, they were just making me mad. Jedekiah leaves Ultra, so he’s a good guy, sort of, but not really. One of the Tomorrow People that we’ve never seen before suddenly decides she wants to make a deal with Ultra, and when it backfires, no one calls her out on it, even though she’s being a total bitch about it.

In the end, naturally, Stephen saves the human race, but John ends up getting his brain wiped by Jedekiah, who wants to create a super soldier army (Hail Hydra?). That’s the set up for next season, but thankfully, we won’t get one of those.

Ultimately, the show just tried to be too many things at the same time. High school show, family show, sci-fi show, teen love show. You gotta pick one, kids.

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