I’m still enjoying Tru Calling, the Fox show about a medical student who takes an internship at a morgue and discovers that she is able to repeat the same day over again in order to prevent murders or accidental deaths from taking place. My original interest in the show grew out of my work on representations of time travel in popular culture.
The show is still captivating me, enough that I may want to write about it for a conference paper or journal article (or, obviously, The Book). Not quite sure what I want to do with the show just yet. The fascination with death, especially the death and rebirth of young (usually under 30) people is obviously a major part of the show, and that’s probably one of the areas I’d want to address. Of course almost all time travel focuses broadly on “second chances,” on being able to correct past mistakes and thus produce a “problem-free” existence, but Tru Calling seems to complicate that desire, at least a little–to the extent that Tru lives in one temporality and all of her friends and family live in another.
More importantly, for my work, I want to think about how television might treat time travel in ways that are unlike film. Is there something about the medium of TV that produces different kins of time-travel narratives? Is there something about the seriality of TV that lends itself more or less readily to these kinds of narratives?
The other question I’ve been entertaining: Tru Calling consistently, and often very subtly, makes reference to other time-travel or time-fantasy texts. This might be a coincidence, but both Tru and Phil Conners (the weatherman who repeats the same day endlessly in Groundhog Day) use a waiter in a restaurant dropping a tray full of dishes to convince friends that they are repeating the same day. There are a few other references (I’m blanking right now), but I’ve been quite impressed with this aspect of the show as well.