Next week Hulu subscribers can travel back to the 1960’s with James Franco, Chris Cooper, and Josh Duhamel in an attempt to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Adapted from a novel by the great Stephen King, “11.22.63” is a dark dramatic thriller that stars Franco as Jake Epping, a high school teacher who has an important task dropped on his shoulders. Al Templeton (Cooper), one of Jake’s good friends, is dying of cancer. But before he passes away, he reveals a dark secret he’s been harboring for years – his cafe has a rabbit hole that transports anyone who walks through it to 1960 – three years before the assassination of Kennedy.
Much of the first episode deals with Al’s explanation the predicament (see clip), how far he’s come in his own attempts to stop the assignation, and all of the various rules he’s discovered.
Al’s final wish is for Jake to go back to 1960, lay low, and then follow Lee Harvey Oswald in an attempt to confirm he’s the actual shooter.
Starting off with a Back to the Future vibe, “11.22.63” quickly turns dark as Jake make volatile mistakes early in his endeavors. The series quickly becomes an engaging and tense thriller as even the smallest of mistakes have severe consequences and could compromise everything he’s been working towards.
But what really drives the story is the introduction of the most unique antagonist I’ve ever seen: time itself. If Jake pushes too hard, time pushes back in a weird sort of Final Destination-like vibe.
While “11.22.63” is by no means horror, it’s got enough genre features to entertain even the most casual of Stephen King fans.
“11.22.63” is Hulu’s big push into original programming with hopes of competing and creating respectable, award-winning content with the likes of Amazon and Netflix. Franco’s laughable facial hair early in the series is the perfect metaphor for the failed attempt. And while “11.22.53” never really reaches the level of craftsmanship of “House of Cards” or “The Man In the High Castle,” it makes up for it in it’s immense “can’t stop watching” entertainment value.
The entire seres will be streaming on Hulu next Monday, February 15th.