Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse: the abrupt cancellation of a television show just finding its legs due to low ratings (as was the case of Selfie) or giving a low rated show a full season to really entrench itself in your heart and then give it the axe after so much goodness.
Right now I feel it’s the latter with the cancellation of Forever after having twenty-two episodes to fall in absolute love with Ioan Gruffudd’s Dr. Henry Morgan, an immortal who rather than wallow completely in the angstier aspects of his ‘curse’ (although there were times he did wallow just a little bit) embraced the hand that life had dealt him and explored his life with a kind of infectious gusto that made Henry and his fuddy-duddy man out of time ways so very endearing.
Don’t get me wrong, Forever wasn’t doing anything new in terms of innovative television. It neatly fit into the standard cop procedural every network has these days and most certainly was hoped to be a Castle companion (if not a potential heir/replacement since Castle itself was getting a little long in the tooth). Like it’s big brother show, Forever centered on an eccentric, charming knowledgeable male lead paired with a no nonsense, kick ass female cop (in Forever’s case, Alana de la Garza as Detective Jo Martinez) who solved the case of the week while interweaving a personal connection for one or both of the leads.
But what really set Forever apart from other procedurals and Castle was the magic of Ioan Gruffudd playing the role he was meant to play in Dr. Henry Morgan and having such obvious fun in doing so; pairing Ioan with Judd Hirsch as Abe Morgan, Henry’s adopted son, and allowing the men to craft a funny, touching, and very real father son dynamic that really became the emotional heart of the show; showing mature adult relationships in giving the audience the full backstory of Henry’s love for Abigail while not pitting her ghost against his potential present love for Jo and letting the audience and Henry have room for both women in his heart and his life; and ultimately layering in a little magic and whimsy unique to the world of Forever that culminated in a show that was fun and surprisingly emotionally compelling. I do not believe I am overstating that it was one of the most overlooked and underrated really good shows of the season and it’s a shame more people didn’t check it out.
The cancellation still hurts but us fans of Forever were lucky in many ways: we got a full season to see Henry’s journey, and those of his friends and family, and we left him at a high point in his life that saw him victorious over his nemesis (Want to know who? Watch the show on DVD!), able to let his beloved Abigail rest in peace, and ready to embark on a new way of living his life. If we had to leave Henry at all, it was nice to leave him at this point where he he’s ready to truly embrace life and possibly love again with Jo. And continue to sassily solve murder cases in only the way Dr. Henry Morgan can.