4400. The CW. Monday October 25, 9:00 p.m.
Let us look back at an obscure part of television’s past as the autumn broadcast-TV season comes to an end. 4400The USA Network aired a sci-fi series called. It aired between 2004 and 2007. It didn’t develop into. American Zoetrope was the Francis Ford Coppola George Lucas production company. It was to spearhead a wave in new, imaginative outside-the-box television programming.
American Zoetrope was convinced that movies and even smoking cigarettes were better than the nutsy ways of TV by low ratings, budget problems, scheduling issues and finally, a writer’s strike. 4400 disappeared, and only one more series—surely you remember Mozart in the Jungle—was ever forthcoming from the company.
But it’s not that! 4400 didn’t have a certain agility to its approach. The show’s premise was that 4,400 people who went missing during the second half of the 20th century suddenly turned up wandering around near Tacoma, Washington, with no idea of what had happened to them or how they got there. Some of the people seemed to possess superpowers. Are you an alien researcher? It’s not true. They were actually time-travelling janissaries sent from the future to stop a catastrophic event. But there were also moles fighting to undermine the mission. In 2007, the Writers Guild strike lasted 100 days and ended the show. No one ever knew what actually happened.
Now fast-forward fourteen years, and here we are 4400The imaginatively titled CW remake American Zoetrope’s soupy mess. Precisely why anybody would want to remake a show that didn’t have much of an audience and revolved around a now-compromised surprise gimmick is abundantly unclear, though The CW has already done much stranger things this fall. The CW is not the only network that has redone a show, according to some fans. 4400
The pilot episode was not made by The CW. 4400 available, it’s hard to know exactly where the show might be heading. You’ll find it funny, silly, and sometimes very insightful. It can also be soggy and stupid, or terribly hilarious. It seems to be more ideologically oriented than the predecessor. Although the original version had some political bents, it was only in an illustrative, sci-fi manner: totalitarians evil, anti-totalitarians smiling good.
This new series is much more closely tied to 2021’s woke politics. They aren’t randomly chosen, like the original version. These people are predominantly African-American and come from the history of historical victims. Dr. Andre (Broadway actor T.L. Thompson was transgender during the Harlem Renaissance long before “gender fluidity”, as it is commonly known, had ever existed. Claudette, Jaye Ladymore Chicago P.D. was a black Mississippi activist in the dangerous Freedom Summers of the 1960s. Shanice (Brittany Adebumola, Netflix’s Grand Army() Was a lefty attorney in the early aughts. He was often seen at “no oil for blood” protests.
The newly-resurfaced individuals may view America as a tight-knit police state. Trotsky For Beginners(Their reception in 4400 only encourages it. The police lock them up, not with joyous family members but with scowling eyes.Are there any charges? We don’t need no stinking charges!) in a hotel—not even in rooms, but the lobby. Claudette sings Little Richard in an attempt to relieve the boredom. LucilleOn the lobby piano the cops beat the crap out of her. The joint chiefs of custody—policeman Jharrel (Joseph David-Jones, Arrow) and social worker Keisha (Ireon Roach, the 2021 edition of Candyman)—are like good-cop/bad-cop prison wardens.
Sometimes, those who return from captivity find that their greetings aren’t as friendly at home when they do manage to escape. Shanice’s daughter and husband (a bright schoolkid who left with Shanice, but now an unhappy teenager) still view her bitterly as a runaway mother who never even left a note. Credit to 4400For being open to wandering off-message from time to time,’s writers are to be commended for not only abandoning politics but also considering the consequences of unwittingly traveling through time. A debate about Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been one of our most entertaining. This argument ranges from respective RIPs to you-are-you!daftWhat? replies from women who vanished decades ago before the Supreme Court was founded. Not to mention the puzzled and semi-contemptuous jibe from Claudette at all the acid complains about one particular set of police confiscations: “Y’all have a real surprising attachment to Telephones now.” These moments make me think 4400 can keep from being crushed by the predictability of its political affections or its possibly used-up plot device.