While pop culture, art, music has painstakingly detailed every facet of romantic breakups, there are far fewer presentations of friendship breakups, which affect roughly 2.9 million adults every year.*
*This statistic is not based on empirical evidence
In fact, it used to be trendy to break up with all your friends when you found your romantic partner, but thank the Moon Goddess that the Spice Girls helped remedy that.
Hindsight is a VH1 scripted show about avoiding a friendship breakup. Our protagonist Becca (Laura Ramsey) is getting ready for her second wedding when she travels back in time to the day of her first wedding, in 1995.
Becca uses the time travel as an opportunity to change her life, making different romantic and career choices (using her knowledge of computers and the future to aid her along the way). But it becomes clear that rekindling (or maintaining) her relationship with her best friend Lolly (Sarah Goldberg) is what the show is really about.
In Becca’s 21st-century present, she and Lolly are estranged. Becca has decided not to tell Lolly what caused their breakup, and instead tries to make choices that will circumvent it.
I’m only a few episodes in, but I’ve seen enough That’s So Raven to know that knowing and trying to avoid a future event usually prompts you to make the choices that ultimately results in it coming to pass. But this is time travel and not futuristic visions, so instead Becca may run the risk of disappearing photographs and stepping on important butterflies.
Lolly occasionally calls Becca out for selectively–and solely–determining which character traits and events are fixed (or should remain fixed), and which ones can and should be changed. These decisions reveal much about the way Becca views others: does she see their behavior as inherent or conditioned? Insert philosophical paradigm she’s representing here.
The most prominent example of this is the relationship between Lolly and Becca’s brother Jamie (John Patrick Amedori–and if you like him, watch him be charming in TiMER, a charming movie that Christina so brilliantly reviewed here).
I’m a sucker for a good Pulp Fiction reference
Becca is convinced that because the relationship failed before, it will again. Lolly (perhaps rightfully) interprets this as Becca’s lack of faith in both Lolly and Jamie.
Like I am with most shows, I find the protagonist to be the least interesting character. Lolly is more interesting, even if she falls into the trope of the wild and cooky friend. But I’m intrigued enough to keep watching. And the 90s soundtrack/references are a lot of fun.
Mostly, though, I like that a friendship breakup is Becca’s biggest mistake that she needs to go back in time to fix. With this, Hindsight departs from the pattern of other time-traveling stories like The Time Traveler’s Wife, 13 Going on 30, and The Family Man* by setting up a mysterious re-do that appears to focus on making the right romantic choice:
but in fact is about strong female friendship.
*Not a comprehensive list.
Then again, I haven’t finished the first season yet (available on Hulu).