Now and Then

Now and then

I’ve been watching Now and Then on Apple TV+. While overall I’m enjoying it (one more episode to go), it does have some problems.

The basic premise of the show is that 20 years ago in 2000, six college friends (well, five actually, since one of them ended up dead) participated in events that left two people dead, and now 20 years later (they keep saying 20 years but I think it’s set in 2021), those events are coming back to haunt them. A nice premise (if not the most original one) for a thriller.

As I said, I’m mostly enjoying it but with these caveats.

For some reason the Miami-Dade mayoral race takes place after Thanksgiving. Huh? I guess that comes under the banner of dramatic license, but it’s odd because the Thanksgiving show was the weakest; they really could have done without it. Or made it a Hallowe’en show.

And there’s a lot of artsy-fartsy special digital effects as the camera pans around and we’re fluidly shown 20-year-old scenes blending with current ones. I think they did that merely because they could. It only made things more confusing as I tried to follow the two storylines.

Then there are all the stupid things the characters do—but as there are consequences for their stupidity, even for the stupidity of the investigating officers, I don’t mind that too much.

But the biggest problem, at least for me, is that I have a hard time keeping the characters straight. This is largely because it’s about 70% in Spanish, and since my eyes are usually following the subtitles, there’s little eyesight left over to learn who is who by remembering their faces. It’s especially difficult trying to correlate young characters with their mature selves. It seems to me that the creators could have spent a little more time establishing who is who. Oh, well, if you understand Español it’s probably not a problem. And I think by the third episode or so, I figured most of them out.

As I said there are two deaths in the past, and the events in the present lead to still one more. I don’t call it a whodunit because I don’t think the clues are presented in a way that makes it plausible to logically arrive at the identity of the culprit or culprits; there is a big reveal in the penultimate episode and I figured it out about five seconds before the reveal (there’s no reason for that character to be there unless—). It’s supposed to be a surprise, I think.

Caveats aside, the acting—from mostly actors who were unknown to me—is quite good, and I’m looking forward to the final episode where there’s a lot that has to be explained.

* * *

Just watched the final episode and—I don’t feel the need to change anything that I’ve written above.

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