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The 11.22.63 series

May 11, 2017

11/22/63 is an 8-episode TV show that aired from February 15 to April 4 2016 on the channel Hulu. This show is written by the famous Stephen King, a writer of horror, fantastic, science-fiction and crime novels, which were always successful and which helped King win several prizes. Moreover, the show is directed by the famous director and screenwriter J.J. Abrams. 11/22/63 is about Jake Epping, from Lisbon Falls in the state of Maine, who’s an English teacher in high school. The TV show was named after the day of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, because the whole plot of the series will revolve around this event.

The show’s cast is quite good in my opinion as the main character is played by James Franco, and the rest of the characters are portrayed by actors just as talented, Sarah Gordon, Chris Cooper, Daniel Webber and Josh Duhamel.

The series’s plot is quite special because Jake Epping, a recently divorced teacher from Maine, is presented the opportunity to go back in time. It’s a good friend of him who actually gave him this ability after he couldn’t use it anymore, because of the grave and irreversible effect it had on him. However, Jake can only go back to one specific date and place in the past, Dallas, Texas, in 1960. Jake’s friend Al Templeton manages to convince him to use the chance to go back in time in the goal of stopping  President  JFK ‘s assassination to happen in November 1963. Nonetheless, throughout Jake’s  traveling time, numerous difficulties will come in his way which could be his mission’s undoing.

In order  to accomplish his mission, Jake has to follow very precise instructions that his friend Al gave him. These instructions and pieces of advice will help the main character not to rise suspicion around his identity and so, lead his mission without being suspected of anything. For instance, Jake Epping has to become Jake Amberson as soon as he’s back in 1960, thanks to fake ID’s Al gave him. Jake also has to give up his 2016 belongings if he wants to blend in, that is why he throws his phone in the river and purchases new clothes, more appropriate for the 1960’s.

During his years back in the past, Epping meets different people, like Sadie Dunhill, with whom he’ll have a special relationship as they will both slowly fall in love. Nonetheless, he doesn’t only make beneficial encounters. Indeed, Jake will be led to meet people who’ll  want to harm him or even stop him from accomplishing his mission.  As a matter of fact, most of the hardships that the main character will have to deal with will be, as Al told him, the “past pushing back” because it doesn’t want to be altered and changed. That is why sometimes random characters will try to attack Jake, and why random catastrophes will happen to him.

In this series, as Jake Epping’s main goal is to stop the assassination of president JFK, his most important mission will be to follow and spy on the head of state’s well known assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The latter is a former marine who had a rough childhood and who, growing up, finds more and more interest in Marxism and so, in communism, which is why he starts in his 20’s to have links and relationships with some high graded Soviets. Nevertheless, Oswald’s real motives for the assassination of the president are still very unclear to this day and many theories have been brought up to try to find an explanation and to give answers to the public opinion.

To conclude, 11/22/63 is a short TV series about the assassination of president JFK; it deals with this event with a historical aspect, but also adds its share of fiction, drama, action and romance, which is why I enjoyed watching the show from the start, to episode 8, the end. Moreover, as the cast is very well chosen and the actors perform their roles with such authenticity and sensibility, it is impossible for me, not to be caught by the storyline and the many plots. Finally, 11/22/63 is definitely a series to watch if you are fond of the 1960’s and everything it involves, whether it’s clothes, cars, way of living, but also if you like history and science-fiction.

Loane

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