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'Hindsight' fan react: Lots of talk about fate

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “The Cranberries” | Aired Feb 18, 2015

Every week I sit down to process my feelings about Hindsight, and every week I wind up getting all teary and nostalgic. Although I did geek out a little over U2’s “All I Want Is You” and Becca’s zigzag part, this week was a little different for me. I am having some conflicting feelings about all this destiny stuff.

This week’s episode, titled “The Cranberries,” is probably an homage to a pretty cool ’90s band of the same name. Perhaps it is a nod to the first episode in which “Linger” played while Sean kneeled in the park, temporarily talking Becca out of her wedding jitters.

Sean tries to talk Becca out of her wedding jitters on

It could be, however, that it just so happens to be a Thanksgiving episode, so it could be a reference to the excruciatingly awkward dinner with everyone who has ever broken up ever. Perhaps it has to do with Melanie begrudgingly making cranberry sauce in Becca’s parents’ kitchen, or the fact that it is usually Becca’s job to do so. Whatever it’s meant to call up, this episode certainly spends a lot of time contemplating how fate works.

(I should break here to send a shout-out to the beautiful Aunt Libby who’s in town for the holiday. Of course she is played by the ageless Daphne Zuniga who knows how to rock a leather skirt. Aunt Libby is a free-spirited, functioning alcoholic who offers Lolly some dubious romantic advice. Lolly worries that she will turn out like Aunt Libby, and I say she should worry that she won’t.)

Aunt Libby gives Lolly romantic advice on

Back to contemplating fate. Becca breaks things off with Andy and reunites with Sean because she thinks that will “set things back on course.” But as we all could have told her last week, it doesn’t. She is completely convinced that the outcome of their lives is an inevitability, and that the future is a fixed destination. Anybody who’s seen The Butterfly Effect, or even Back to the Future for that matter, would know that even the slightest change in the past has an impact on the future. The future that she’s holding onto, the one in which she and Andy are engaged, and she and Sean are divorced, is long gone. The minute she lands in 1995, the 2015 she knows disappears.

Subsequently, Becca must come to terms with the idea of a future that is more fluid. Her obsession with setting things back on course is a very destructive element, not only for her, but for everyone in her immediate vicinity. The harder she pushes to get back to the future (hee hee—see what I did there?), the more turned around she becomes, and the more tangled up we get in the looping of time.

I don’t want to invest in a future that is already set in stone, and this show can be brilliant about giving over to the idea that anything is possible, but sometimes it wavers in its conviction. Hindsight continues to grapple with the same issues as Becca, and this is what is at the heart of my ambivalent feelings.

At times, the show believes that things are predetermined, and they will occur no matter what—like with Phoebe and her husband. In fact, Jamie’s trip to the Dominican Republic is evidence that some things are just meant to be. No matter what year it is, Jamie goes on this trip, but I refuse to believe that it will play out the same now as before. Jamie, ironically, tells Becca, “Nobody knows the future,” and maybe he’s right. Maybe she doesn’t even know at this point.

Other times, Hindsight asks us to believe that everything is up for negotiation; that these characters actually can relive their lives and have them turn out differently. Becca’s romantic future is so cloudy, at this point nobody can know how it will turn out. Sean breaks up with her, confusing her beliefs about their shared destiny, and when Andy proposes to Melanie, it appears that things couldn’t be going farther off course.

Andy and Melanie arrive at the an awkward Thanksgiving dinner

To make matters worse, Lolly’s new guy, Kevin, shows up at the end of the episode, and it’s pretty clear he’s the thing that comes between Becca and Lolly. I mean, I get it. Look at that smile. But can we really be afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet? Now that Becca has the foresight (or to be glib, the hindsight) to avoid the big bad that threatened her friendship, surely she will avoid it. Right? What’s to be afraid of?

Becca thinks she knows how things turn out, but what she doesn’t acknowledge is that nothing has happened yet. Not to get all existential on y’all, but each one of them can choose what’s next. Just like Sean chooses to be with Paige instead of Becca, or how Lolly and Becca vow to get Jamie from the Dominican in a month, and Andy can realize that he’s not in love with Melanie. Everybody has the power of free will, and I need Hindsight to make these characters come around to this.

I can’t be the only one feeling so conflicted about their destinies. Weigh in and tell me how you are reconciling these two parallel universes. Do we even care about the future at this point? Couldn’t we be content to just live in 1995 forever?

Hindsight airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on VH1

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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