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TV review: ‘Frequency’ stands out among competitors in fall lineup

Have you ever spent all night talking to friends about the concept of time travel? What about getting in contact with the dead?

Then “Frequency,” which premiered Wednesday night on the CW is the show for you.

“Frequency” follows  28-year-old Raimy (Peyton List) whose father, Frank (Riley Smith), was murdered the day after her eighth birthday, Oct. 20, 1996. The show begins on Oct. 20, 2016 when Raimy finds an old ham radio her dad once used. She begins talking to a man on the other end, only to find out that man is her father from the year 1996. The episode’s turn of events will leave your jaw dropped throughout.

For those of us who are too young to remember, myself included, “Frequency” is a remake of the 2000 Dennis Quaid film by the same name. Some might be annoyed there is yet another TV show based on a movie.  Somewhere, there’s a hipster screaming, “TV ISN’T ORIGINAL ANYMORE!” But to those I say, get off your high horse. Remakes can be just as good, if not better. “Frequency” proves that perfectly.

Given the CW’s long history of terribly made shows — “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Vampire Diaries,”— I had relatively low expectations for “Frequency”. Its unoriginal concept of a character going back in time to change a dark part of their past made expectations even more low. Most of us are aware of how the butterfly effect works; a small change in the past can cause big changes in the future. But I have to say, I’m extremely impressed this time around.

What sets “Frequency” apart from “Legends of Tomorrow,” NBC’s “Timeless,” and countless other CW shows that focus on time travel is that the show’s main shtick is tugging on the heartstrings of losing a close family member. Everyone who has ever lost a parent or a close realtive has wondered, “What would life be like if I didn’t lose them?” Given the opportunity, I’m sure most of us would head back in time to save someone we care about.

Needless to say, there’s a happy ending for Frank and Raimy. Frank avoids being murdered and now Raimy has memories of him being at special moments in her life he wouldn’t have been a part of. There’s just one problem. In bringing back her dad, Raimy compromised the relationships with her mother and boyfriend. I’m assuming no one told her one small change in the past can have dramatic changes to your future. She should really read a book or watch a movie sometime.

The cherry on top of all of this is, drum roll please, a serial killer. What? You weren’t expecting a heartfelt tale about a father and daughter to feature a serial killer too? Well truth is, no one wants to watch a happy-go-lucky show about a family who loves each other. The CW likes to add an element of mystery; just look at “Jane the Virgin.” Much like the movie, the show features a killer that goes by Nightingale who murders his victims and wraps their ankles and wrists in rosaries. Creepy, right?

What really makes this show click for audiences is you don’t have to love sci-fi to fall in love with it. At its core, it’s a family drama that happens to feature an element of time travel, but it’s not the next “Supernatural”. It’s also not continuously paying homage to the original “Frequency” and everyone who has ever watched a TV show remake like “Fuller House” knows how quickly that gets annoying. If you’re looking for a new drama to get into this autumn, “Frequency” is definitely worth your time.

“Frequency” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.

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