Seven Days may be one of the most underrated television shows of all time. It was smart, funny, dramatic and knew exactly what it was trying to be. The series, unfortunately failed to find a mainstream audenience and was canceled after three seasons.
The series centered on former convict Frank B Parker, who, as a means of commuting the rest of his sentence, has been enrolled in Project Backstep, a military run time travel program that can send one soldier into the past for… wait for it… Seven Days.
Seven Days, while it was on the air, was a wonder of 1999ian achievement. It was exactly the right mix of compelling characters, high stakes plot devices, and a high concept idea that was instantly engaging.
The show’s central thread was Frank Parker, played wonderfully by Jonathan LaPaglia, being flung back in time each week to stop some horrific event. The show became a little repetitive in season three but the first two seasons were amazing.
The fact that Parker was doing this against his will, ostensibly, and the fact that he was surrounded by mostly unsympathetic military types made for some very interesting character dynamics.
Upon recent viewings of Seven Days, the realization that the show holds up is the obvious conclusion. In hindsight, the show feels a little bit like The X-Files’ second cousin. It has that same we-shoot-on-video-and-we-dont-care vibe to the cinematography. As well, as the fact every TV show from 1992 until 2000 was scored by a dude in a room with a synthesizer. Seven Days, unfortunately, is no different. The synth-sound track is alive and kicking.
The show’s shoehorned romantic subplot between Parker and the female lead on the show, Olga, a russian scientist, is the only area that really falls flat. Purportedly LaPaglia and his female co-star did not get along and that shows up onscreen. When it was airing I had no clue, but as a seasoned movie watching adult it’s fairly evident that the two have some sort of tension. It’s really only noticeable in the third season.
Seven Days is one of those cult shows that you can always find populating bootleg bins at conventions or in back alley internet sites.
Finding Seven Days can be a little bit of a hunt but if you can track it down, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Seven Days is quite possibly one of the greatest televisions ever broadcast…or maybe I just really like it a lot. One of the two. You be the judge.
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