It’s a clever premise, I hope the later episodes live up to the pilot, but it’s not likely: in 2049 staffers from a president talk about his life and those comments are intercut with how he grew up (now-ish). Because one of these boys becomes president, we think they’re special, and we watch the show to find out what presidential people are made of. It adds weight immediately to the pretty-okay drama of a couple of boys growing up under a bright, loving and yet still detached single mom. This is the “How I Met Your Mother” trick as well – seemingly ordinary things are made special because a narrator (in Jack & Bobby’s case the staffers) give them credence with the benefit of hindsight. It makes a drama or comedy a mystery as well. So that’s a strategy to write down, kids: create a current/future narrator with enough suspense in the outcome (here’s the story of how I met the person I married, here’s the story of how our president got his grit) that people will keep watching. It also makes it easy to tell people what to look for: here’s the episode where we learned X – and then you look for X, and lo and behold it happens (or it doesn’t, or happens differently than you expect, as a twist). People won’t miss the point and you won’t have to make plot-related signposts or discussions over the dinner table at the end of the episode about what everyone learned. I’ll likely follow it for a few episodes to see how it pans out. It
Jack & Bobby – 2004-2005 on the WB. A one-seasoner.