screenshot from tomorrow people, a one-season show
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One-Season Wonders That Deserve Your Time

Although cut short, TV series such as ‘Limitless’ and ‘Frequency’ provide engaging storylines that will leave you asking for more.

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screenshot from tomorrow people, a one-season show
Image via Google Images

Although cut short, TV series such as ‘Limitless’ and ‘Frequency’ provide engaging storylines that will leave you asking for more.

Many shows lose their fire after a few years, but somehow continue to be renewed. A one-season series, on the other hand, has its perks. Series like “Limitless,” “Terra Nova,” “Tomorrow People” and “Frequency” are fantastic in their own right, and since they only have one season, they do not lack excitement but advance the plot in each thrilling episode. If you’re looking for something quick and exciting, watch one of these series. You will not be disappointed.

1. “Limitless 

The series is based on the 2011 film by the same name starring Bradley Cooper, but you do not have to watch the movie to understand the series. In fact, the show dives deeper than the movie ever did — an advantage of creating a series. The protagonist, Brian Finch, is an average man and struggling musician trying to find his way in life. After he finds a temporary job, he runs into an old friend who offers him something to give him a boost: NZT, a pill that stimulates neurons in the brain. With it, he can remember everything he has ever learned, heard or read with instant recall, among other extraordinary abilities. After 12 hours, the pill wears off, but the cognitive boost did not come for free. The pill comes with wicked side effects though, like the worst hangover — headaches, memory lapses and psychosis — which only increase with each use.

Still, Brian returns to his friend for more NZT, but finds him murdered. He searches for the pill instead of calling the police, though they burst into the room minutes later and pursue Brian. The first episode features Brian’s dive into the world of NZT and the hazards that come with it. In the rest of the series, Brian handles the good and bad of the cognitive boost. He also has a more dangerous secret that threatens the people he loves.

The crime drama is still full of comedy. Brian is an eccentric, quirky character for the audience to enjoy. Throughout the series, he tries to keep his playful, carefree demeanor despite the struggles he experiences. While each episode has its own plot, an overarching storyline melds the series together. The single season is full of excitement and suspense.

2. “Terra Nova 

The year is 2149 and the Earth is near death. The atmosphere is clouded yellow, greenery is extinct and billboards that announce “four is a family” dot the city as police regulate family size. The population has not found a solution for the present, so they look to the past. After opening a rift in time, scientists harness it into a portal and send people 85 million years into the past to a parallel Earth. Jim and Elizabeth Shannon, with their three children, Josh, Maddy and Zoey, take the opportunity to go to Terra Nova after Elizabeth is recruited to use her medical skills on the new colony. They become part of the 10th pilgrimage. The grass is green, the sky is blue and dinosaurs roam the Earth. (Steven Spielberg drew from his experience with dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” to produce the wonderfully detailed show.) While people travel there looking for a new life, it is not always a utopia, even aside from the giant carnivores. Some people have traveled to the past with dark motives.

Each of the 13 episodes in the one-season series bounces between the characters and their own adventures as they explore the wonders of the unfamiliar world. While the episodes are action-packed, they also focus on interpersonal relationships between family members and people of the community, providing a well-rounded story. Each person has a unique, distinct personality and every relationship is realistic and relatable.

3. “Tomorrow People

In the one-season show, Stephen Jameson experiences a few changes in high school. He wakes up in strange places and hears a voice in his head — a woman calling his name, telling him things. Attempting to remedy his condition, Stephen sees a therapist and takes medication, not knowing his latent powers were manifesting. After following her directions down to the subway to prove she exists and that he isn’t crazy, a man touches his shoulder and with that physical contact, he teleports Stephen to an underground safe house full of people like him: Tomorrow People, a group who can teleport, use telekinesis and communicate via telepathy. There, he meets Cara, the mysterious voice that has been penetrating his thoughts. The people let Stephen know that he is not alone and the genetic mutation that gives him his abilities is also in others. Stephen’s father had the strongest powers of them all and gathered together the Tomorrow People, but never returned from a search for a safe place to bring all of them.

Adding a rush of urgency, a containment program started by the government seeks to prevent the mutated group from overpowering mankind. The division captures the Tomorrow People to either recruit them to hunt other powered individuals or, if they refuse, fix their mutation and remove their abilities. As the mystery of his father’s disappearance clouds Stephen’s mind, even more secrets lurk nearby, threatening everything he thinks he knows.

4. “Frequency

What would you do if you discovered you could talk to someone 20 years in the past? Raimy Sullivan followed the footsteps of her father to become an NYPD detective, though she does not recall his memory fondly. He was killed two decades ago after he went undercover and got in too deep. Before his death, the father and daughter would use a ham radio and try to talk to people. Raimy leaves the ham radio in her garage, pushing the reminder of his memory away, but after her boyfriend tries to get it working, a strike of lightning to its towering antenna sparks it back to life with a sci-fi twist. Raimy discovers that the ham radio communicates back in time 20 years, allowing her to talk to her father just days before he is supposed to die. However, their interference across time has devastating effects.

Each episode flips between the past and the present. Every medium handles the ripples of time travel differently and in “Frequency,” some of her father’s actions change in Raimy’s real time, like a burning cigar on the ham radio causing the wood to smolder in front of her. Every episode flies by and the audience is dying to see how the series ends.

Fans wonder why these shows were canceled and have called for their renewal, eager to see more of their favorite characters. While these one-season wonders do not have completely definitive endings, each episode is action-packed and worth watching.

Writer Profile

Kim Becker

Aquinas College
English Writing, Communication Minor

I’m an aspiring author who has dreamed of publishing my work. Reading, writing and watching science fiction and fantasy remain my favorite pastimes. I love traveling and the memories that accompany those experiences.

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