12 Monkeys is one of the top three TV shows currently on air in my opinion. Like another fantastic show that shared some space on the SyFy network, The Expanse, 12 Monkeys has flown under the radar during its four-season run.
It is also a remake of the 1995 Twelve Monkeys movie starring Bruce Willis. For those of you that are unaware of the old film (don’t worry, it was pretty bad) and have no idea what this TV show is about, here is a quick synopsis:
12 Monkeys is a time-traveling TV show on the Syfy network. It revolves around James Cole, a time-traveler from the post-apocalyptic future where most of the population has been killed by a plague. Cole must travel back to the year 2015 in order to stop the virus and those responsible for creating it.
Today, I’m going to give you five (spoiler-free) reasons why you should be watching 12 Monkeys.
12 Monkeys is a Time-Travel Show Done Right
If you’ve ever watched shows like The Flash or Lost, then you would know how frustrating time-traveling can be. 12 Monkeys doesn’t have this problem. There are rules on how time-travel works in this universe and the series always follows them.
Which leads me to my next point.
Well Thought Out Plot with Satisfying Twists and Turns
Other than Game of Thrones and maybe The Expanse (who both have numerous books to look to for content), I’ve never seen a television show plan for everything ahead of time as much as 12 Monkeys. Quick side-note; this is a great club to be in.
If you are someone who enjoys consistency in their shows, you’ll love this series.
Like I mentioned above, the plot revolves around stopping a deadly virus that will eventually kill most of the world’s population. Over the seasons, the focus will shift to more complicated matters but you can always tell that the writers know what they are doing.
As for the twists (and there are a ton of them), these are some of the best reveals that I’ve seen since the early years of Lost and it has continued to impress over its four seasons.
Quality Cast and Characters
Going in, I’ll admit I was skeptical about the quality of acting coming from 12 Monkeys. Mainly due to the stigma of the Syfy network.
After binging three seasons in the span of two weeks, I gotta say that I can’t really name one character that I’ve hated to see on screen. Some actors and actresses stand out here, like Kirk Acevedo as Cole’s best friend José Ramse and Emily Hampshire as the crazy Jennifer Goines. Hampshire actually plays a gender-swapped role from the original film, taking over for Brad Pitt of all people. After watching a few episodes of Hampshire in the part, you’ll quickly realize that she steals every scene she’s in.
Speaking of the original film…
The Series Diverges from the Movie after Season One
If you’ve never seen the 1995 film, feel free to skip this but if you have, I’m sorry that you had to sit through that mess of an ending. (Spoilers ahead for the 1995 version of Twelve Monkeys) For those of you who haven’t skipped to the next part or watched the movie, it ended with James Cole (Bruce Willis) failing to stop the virus and dying from a gunshot wound a few feet away from his younger self, thus completing a never-ending time-loop.
Luckily, the series bases its first season after the movie but diverges onto its own path for the remainder of their run.
It is what Lost should have been
Look, I know I haven’t been very…what’s the word I’m looking for here…supportive of Lost in this article.
Lost was a great series that housed some of the best TV moments of all time but it could have been so much better. They spent so much time hooking us in with over-complicated mysteries that the show ultimately suffered due to the lack of payoff.
Piggybacking off of “This is a Well Thought Out Plot with Satisfying Twists and Turns”, 12 Monkeys has many questions to answer. What is the Army of the Twelve Monkeys? Why do they want to destroy humanity? Why is James Cole so important? All of these questions have a worthwhile answer that won’t take six seasons (and some deleted scenes) to reveal.
12 Monkeys is wrapping up their fourth and final season on the Syfy network (click here to see our latest review). You can watch the first three seasons via Hulu and to see the final season, you can go to Syfy’s official site.
Those of you who have seen the show, do you agree with these points? Is there anything I missed? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for all of your nerdy news and needs!
Avid gamer and placeholder of what is now the worst selfie of all time. Mostly an Xbox/PS4 player but I have been known to destroy friendships in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.