Matt and I have been getting into this new TV show on Fox called Reunion. After two episodes, it’s already become a guilty pleasure for me. Reunion is a one-hour drama that follows a group of six friends over the course of 20 years, from their high school graduation in 1986 to the present day. Each episode covers a subsequent year in the characters’ lives. Interspersed with all the flashbacks is a present-day mystery: one of the six friends has been murdered – we don’t yet know who, or by whom – and a detective is investigating it. We’ve already seen the detective interview two of the friends in their present-day, late-30s incarnations, so we know they weren’t the ones killed.
The show has an interesting structure. Most TV dramas have a continuity of action from week to week, but because each episode of this show takes place approximately a year later than the previous one, you need to play catch-up. Or, rather, the writers need to catch us up – each episode has to work in some exposition without being clunky. So far, it succeeds.
In last week’s episode, it’s 1987, and at one point, some of the characters are hanging out in Manhattan. At the beginning of one scene, we get an establishing shot of the night skyline. There, of course, are the Twin Towers, brightly gleaming against the dark sky. I had to pause the recording and stare at the image for a few seconds before I was able to move on.
One of the themes of the show was stated by one character last week: every day, we make choices that could affect our lives for years to come. No news there, of course, but it’s a theme that resonates with me. I’ve always been interested in the passage of time and how our lives change as the years go by. (See Back to the Future.)
Reunion has lots of typical soapy TV melodrama that you can find all over, say, the WB. But the structure – the flashbacks and the murder mystery – compel me to watch. And I will be watching.