The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Time travel affects everyone differently. 

For Henry DeTamble, it means dropping from the sky onto the ground, completely naked, into the past, present or future. At times, it means hanging out with Clare Abshire and telling her about his trials and adventures. 

But Henry might drop into Clare’s timeline at any point. She might be 10, 15, or 30. So for Clare, it means encountering Henry wherever she may be in her present and then desperately awaiting his return, however long that may be. 

It makes things complicated for both of them. (And, incidentally, for the viewer.)

Currently, Clare is 20 years old. To her, Henry’s a familiar face, having first met him when she was in elementary school and another 152 times since. But here’s the catch: This is the first time that time-hopping, 28-year-old Henry has seen Clare. He doesn’t know who she is yet. Not really. That’s OK. Because she knows who he is better than anyone else. And she’s going to help him remember, and warn him of what’s to come, until death forces them to part. 

When Time Travel Goes Around 

HBO’s latest six-part original series, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is derived from Audrey Niffenegger’s book of the same name, which also inspired the 2009 film adaptation starring Rachel McAddams. 

If you read the book or saw the film, this series holds some similarities. Henry is often naked due to not being able to take his clothes with him during time travel; Henry and Clare have an instant love connection; and time travel is both difficult for them to understand and hard, in any given moment, to process. 

And, like the book and movie, The Time Traveler’s Wife is, ultimately, a love story. But this series makes it feel as if mystery and potential dangerous encounters are just as much a part of the focus.

Henry has these weird flashes to a time when he will evidently be hurt (he often sees a pool of blood covering the ground), he also sees his own severed feet standing in an alleyway at some point. And then, of course, he often has to beat people up in order to steal their clothes and food. 

There’s not much that’s dignified about time travel. And a few critics are saying that a much older Henry (oftentimes in need of clothing) meeting a very young Clare is a form of grooming. (And I suppose if you feel the same, it’d be true for both the movie and the book as well.) 

It’s far from the only discomforting issue you’ll deal with here.

Henry is seen very naked (all except full-frontal nudity) many times, he and Clare shed clothing in the first episode (Clare in a bra and underwear), make out and go much further. There’s a ton of unnecessary profanity, including the f-word. And the whole series feels like it was made in a lab from the content creators of the CW–just without all those network restrictions. And then there’s this new element of mystery which hints that something sinister may be around future bends.

Episode Reviews

May. 15, 2022–S1, Ep1 “Episode One” 

Henry and Clare reminisce about the first time they met; Clare meets a younger Henry and tells him about his future. 

Henry literally falls from the sky and lands on the ground completely nude in many scenes. Although he’s never seen from the front, his backside is completely bare. Henry and Clare make out, Clare takes off her dress and is left in a bra and underwear. After they have sex (which is discussed, but not shown), Henry is seen shirtless in bed and Clare is naked, her upper chest exposed. Henry and Clare discuss Henry’s erection. Clare asks for a library book that most consider to be “artistic porn.” 

In a flashback, Henry sees blood covering the ground. Later, he finds his own two feet cut off, standing in an alleyway. Henry beats up multiple people and steals their clothes and food. 

A few people consume wine and hard liquor. Each time Henry appears in a different time, he vomits. 

Jesus’ name is misused twice. The f-word is used over 20 times and the s-word is heard nearly 10 times. Other profanity includes a few utterances each of “a–hole,” “b–ch” and “d–k.”

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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