The 2004-07 USA Community collection The 4400 was widespread due to the central time-travel thriller, the place 4400 folks from varied time intervals are zapped from their instances and dumped in 2004 Seattle. It was widespread sufficient to get the 2020s reboot therapy, however with a twist: A principally Black forged and undertones of racial inequality driving the thriller. Learn on for extra.
4400: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening Shot: A pair get up within the morning. The husband pretends that they’re waking up in Paris, however they actually stay within the Detroit space, and so they have a four-month-old daughter.
The Gist: Shanice Murray (Brittany Adebumola) goes again to work at her regulation agency after her maternity depart. All of it appears prefer it’s taking place now, however one thing appears amiss when her husband Logan (Cory Jeacoma) palms her a Blackberry. She pulls as much as her workplace, then rapidly, a inexperienced gentle blows her out of her automobile and deposits her someplace else, at night time. A lot of persons are additionally deposited in the identical place, 4400 in all.
The authorities come instantly, together with Jharrel Mateo (Joseph David-Jones), a social employee, and a corrections officer named Keisha Taylor (Ireon Roach). A number of the individuals who appeared out of nowhere are being held at a neighborhood resort however the authorities can’t determine all of them. Others had been reported lacking in instances going again a couple of many years.
Amongst them: Dr. Andre (TL Thompson), who looks as if he lived someplace across the World Struggle I period; Claudette (Jaye Ladymore), who’s from the Fifties and finds that she has the facility to heal herself shortly; Isaiah “Rev” Johnston (Derrick A. King), a younger reverend whose sweater and fade shout early ’90s; LaDonna (Khailah Johnson), who might be a 2010s Instagram consumer; Mildred (Autumn Greatest), a white hippie teen who can seemingly management issues together with her thoughts; and a younger man (AMARR) who doesn’t speak when Keisha interviews him.
Mildred helps Shanice escape to see if she will be able to discover her household, and the remainder of the group begins getting irritated that they’re being held towards their will, even when all of them understand that their frames of reference are all from totally different time intervals. Shanice finds that her household has moved from their residence to a suburb, and a sympathetic Jharrel redirects Keisha and the cops so he may also help take her to Logan and their daughter. That is when she finds out that her daughter is now 16, and Logan has remarried, considering that Shanice ran off when the daughter was a child; he discovered a word that Shanice wrote within the throes of postpartum melancholy, earlier than she acquired assist.
What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? 4400 is a reboot of The 4400, a 2004-07 collection that aired on USA Community. Solely now, the forged is extra numerous, and the locale has switched from Seattle to Detroit.
Our Take: All of what made The 4400 a cult hit again within the ’00s is at play on this remake. However what showrunners Anna Fricke and Ariana Jackson have added into this mixture of thriller and science fiction is the truth that the general public who’ve been yanked from their instances and transported to 2021 have handled discrimination in a single type or one other.
It was an attention-grabbing twist to make the forged principally Black, taking part in each the victims of this time journey thriller but additionally a few of the authorities in command of the case. This manner, the distrust flows in a number of instructions, together with the extra regimented Keisha butting heads with the extra sympathetic Jharrel. There’s a purpose why Jahrrel doesn’t need to deal with these folks as criminals; his brother Manny disappeared the 12 months prior and he desires to suppose that he’s among the many 4400 that landed that night time.
Is a few of the messaging a bit heavy-handed? Positive. You see white cops in pandemic-friendly masks menacing the victims, and folks like Claudette voicing to the nice physician that they’re thus far sooner or later and little or no has modified. The concept Shanice’s husband Logan acquired married to a white girl after her disappearance is a bit on the nostril.
For essentially the most half, although, the showrunners maintain the thriller entrance and heart, with the messaging being a element of it. In some unspecified time in the future or one other, we’ll get extra data on why a few of these time refugees have powers and others don’t, and we’ll get a greater concept of their backstories, type of like we did after we noticed Shanice and Logan meet cute at what we assume was a 1990-era Gulf Struggle protest.
If the present can deal with the mysterious side of the story, the addition of the very related tales of discrimination by the ages will solely add to that thriller and why these folks had been chosen for this trip by time. But when it will get too heavy-handed with that messaging, that’ll seemingly make followers of the unique flip elsewhere.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: None.
Parting Shot: The mysterious younger man lastly speaks, giving Keisha a message for Jharrel.
Sleeper Star: Jaye Ladymore is particularly good as Claudette, whose world weariness isn’t just obvious in her basic Southern accent however her recommendation about slick guys like Rev. Johnston. And if that’s her singing “Lucille,” she’s fairly good at rocking out, too.
Most Pilot-y Line: Menacing white cop after he stops Claudette’s impromptu live performance. “This isn’t summer time camp.”
Our Name: STREAM IT. Whereas 4400 might must clean down a few of its extra noticeable tone hiccups, it has arrange a really attention-grabbing thriller with undertones of points which can be very related to 2021.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.
https://decider.com/2021/10/25/4400-cw-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?