“Making History,” FOX’s new primetime television series premieres this Sunday with a blend of slapstick comedy with a period-driven plot to create a unique package.
The tale kicks off with Dan, a university facilities manager (played by Adam Pally) recruiting the help of Chris, a history professor (Yassir Lester) in the hopes of setting history back on track. It turns out that Dan has been carelessly traveling back in time in order to date a colonial woman (Leighton Meester) who just so happens to be Paul Revere’s daughter. As a result of Dan’s actions in dating her, Revere’s midnight ride never happens, resulting in the American Revolution never taking place. In this mess, it now becomes up to these two wise-cracking coworkers and Revere’s daughter to fix time.
Creator, writer and executive producer, Julius Sharpe, has acquired notoriety for his work on the Emmy award-winning animated show “Family Guy.” Seth Cohen, who is also the executive producer for “Making History” heads another FOX original series, critically acclaimed “Last Man on Earth.” It’s also worth noting that the pilot was directed by Jared Hess, responsible for the cult classic “Napoleon Dynamite.”
The show boasts a fairly established cast, the most well-known name most likely being Meester, known for her lead role in “Gossip Girl.” Her character is certainly the most interesting of all, and she repeatedly expresses concerns over the treatment of women in her time period, bringing up themes of inequality in the process.
The show’s lead, Pally has previously starred in a slew of indie comedies and appeared in several hit tv shows including “The Mindy Project” and “Happy Endings.” Pally tends to receive the majority of the quippy punchlines throughout the show and quite a few are successful at generating chuckles out of viewers.
Lester is a stand-up veteran who prefers to perform primarily in Los Angeles. Lester’s character tends to play the straight guy role in the series since he’s accompanied by a jokester janitor and a woman from the 1700’s. He’s usually at his funniest when criticizing poor choices made by the protagonist.
This story begins in colonial times and plays quite a bit with that. Clever jokes about time period are bound to arise again and again and the majority come off quite well. An interesting aspect of the series I was not expecting was its satirical treatment of modern-day issues. By far my favorite moment in the second episode happened when history professor Chris must incite the men of Lexington to take arms and revolt against the British. His prepared speech falls entirely flat and Chris needs to come up with an alternate plan in order to sufficiently arouse the interest of these men. Thankfully, he remembers something that never fails to get Americans really going. He claims that the British are threatening to attack their soon to be second amendment rights to bear arms. Without giving away too much, conversation over gun laws, ownership and registration arise and it’s not only funny but delightfully intelligent.
“Making History,” like many other sit-coms, is very mannered and over-the-top which works to its disadvantage at times. A lot is thrown at the wall; but even so, a good deal of it sticks. If you’re a fan of shows like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Community” I definitely recommend tuning in this Sunday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. central time on FOX.
Promotional images of “Making History” property of FOX