Friday, September 11, 2015

Parallels (2015)

I remember being excited when Sliders first aired.  It was a show about four people who are thrust into different universes, each with a slightly different set of circumstances.  One week might show a world where the United States was still a British dependency.  Another might show a world where advanced technology had been banned.  The concept wasn’t new.  Lots of movies and TV shows have used the concept before and since.

When I saw Parallels, I expected something similar.  Instead of a wormhole, we have a building.  We have three friends, two of whom are brother and sister, going from world to world with a stranger.  The first is a post-apocalyptic world.  It turns out that their father nuked the surrounding area.  They manage to escape to a futuristic world.  The date is the same, but technology has advanced quite a bit beyond what we have.  It’s apparent from graffiti inside the building that there are all sorts of other worlds.  (In one, the attack on the Twin Towers happened on a different date. In another, all live births are twins.)

I had wondered why I hadn’t heard of this airing on TV, as it gives the impression of being a TV pilot.  It turns out that Netflix produced it and has it available streaming.  It could very well be made into a TV series.  On that note, I see a lot of similarities with Sliders.  You have two children finding out that they weren’t born on the Earth that they were raised on.  They’re trying to seek out their mother to find their home world.  (In sliders, they were trying to find both parents.)  They also gain control over which world they go to next.

With Netflix producing original content, I could see this being made into a TV series.  (Since the movie was released earlier this year, I don’t know how long it will be before we hear of any news.)  Constance Wu, who plays the stranger, is apparently staring on Fresh Off the Boat.  I don’t know how that would affect anything.  She wouldn’t be the first character to be recast and/or replaced when a movie was made into a TV series.

The main problem would be the similarity to Sliders.  I’d imagine that there would be a similar slew of alternate worlds being used as social commentary.  The main difference would be that other story lines are introduced from the onset.  Sliders kind of jumped the shark when they started having Cromags and the search for the brothers’ real parents/home world.

Another problem I’ve had with alternate universes is how many of the main characters are in the other worlds.  Yes, I realize that it’s easier to use the same actors.  However, do you realize the odds of the same sperm meeting up with the same egg?  The slightest variation could produce a totally different person or not result in a pregnancy at all.  I always found it odd that each world the Sliders visited had most, if not all, of the main characters.  I’d hope that if this movie is made into a show, it might rely on this less.  Given that there’s the potential for a whole new, potentially expansive, mythology, I might very well get my wish.  That is, assuming it gets made into a series at all.

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