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5 reasons why you should check out Syfy's '12 Monkeys'

We have one week until Syfy premieres its newest drama, 12 Monkeys, adapted from Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film Twelve Monkeys. It’s a time-traveling, postapocalyptic, “must-save-the-world” kind of thing: James Cole escapes his dying world and travels back in time to prevent a massive plague from happening.

There will always be naysayers: “Have we run out of original ideas? Another REMAKE?!” But before actual judgment, let’s take a moment to break down some positives about the forthcoming 12 Monkeys reboot.

1. Familiar genre faces. If you’re a fan of science fiction and/or horror, you will recognize some folks. First up, our protagonist, James Cole, is played by Aaron Stanford, aka Pyro from the X-Men movies and a final guy from The Hills Have Eyes remake (a good remake, mind you). You might also know him from Nikita.

12 Monkeys - Aaron Stanford - from 12 Monkeys and X-Men

Next up: Kirk Acevedo plays Ramses, Cole’s ally. Acevedo has done a lot of TV, including the short-lived but enjoyable Prime Suspect and sci-fi favorite Fringe. Recently, he had a two-episode guest stint on The Walking Dead and co-starred in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

12 Monkeys - Kirk Acevedo - 12 Monkeys and The Walking Dead

And, finally, my personal favorite: Tom Noonan. Noonan stars as the Pallid Man, a mysterious and presumably bad guy on 12 Monkeys. While Noonan’s acted in more than 70 TV shows and movies (including Damages, Hell on Wheels, and House of the Devil), he will forever be the lovable Frankenstein’s Monster from cult kiddie classic The Monster Squad (1987).

12 Monkeys - Tom Noonan - 12 Monkeys and Monster Squad

2. A familiar nongenre face. This one’s for kicks (or should I say grand battements—yes, I had to look that one up). The role of Dr. Cassandra Railly (originated by Madeleine Stowe) is played by Amanda Schull. Her recent TV gigs include Suits and Pretty Little Liars; however, she is probably best known for her starring role in Center Stage (2000)—a fluffy yet enjoyable movie about ballet dancers. If you love dance flicks, it’s a must.

12 Monkeys - Amanda Schull - 12 Monkeys and Center Stage

3. Gender-switching roles. Emily Hampshire steps into the role of Jennifer Goines. This is a female take on Brad Pitt’s award-winning counterpart, Jeffrey Goines. She’s the psycho genius who happens to have key intel on Cole’s time-traveling mission. Plus, in the promo art, she appears to be wearing an Uma Thurman-style Kill Bill tracksuit top. So, there’s that.

12 Monkeys - Emily Hampshire

4. Movie-to-TV adaptations can be good. It’s been done before. As with anything, some adaptations are successful and others are not. As a society, we’ve become so quick to judge if something is not pure and original. Adaptations or—dare I say it—remakes are reimaginings. They can bring something old to new eyes. They can further plots and introduce new characters in a world you already know. Despite what you may have heard, remakes do not, I repeat, DO NOT ruin memories, childhoods, or originals.

Based on James Hibberd’s breakdown, it sounds like 12 Monkeys has a good balance of movie similarities (setting, main mission, etc.) and the show’s own inventive angle on certain plot and character points. That’s a good start. And let’s all remember this: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was once Kristy Swanson.

12 Monkeys - Buffy Comparison

5. Syfy’s new plan. Many argue that Syfy has wandered from its actual sci-fi roots. It’s less quality television and more reality shows and CGI this-versus-that TV movies (confession: I am a sucker for it all—shout-out to Town of the Living Dead!). But Syfy is looking to return to what it once had: the platinum level of creating shows like the masterpiece that was and is Battlestar Galactica (2004).

It’s a good plan, and 12 Monkeys is part of that plan.

12 Monkeys premieres Friday, Jan. 16 at 9/8c on Syfy. Watch the whole episode exclusively on EW.com. 

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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