TV Review – 12 Monkeys: Testing

12 Monkeys was one of my most anticipated TV shows for 2015, and the pilot episode gave me everything I needed to get addicted. There has been much talk about similarities and differences between SyFy series and Terry Gillian’s movie, but this week, we began to see the TV and film universes really separate.

In the 1995 film, the Army of the 12 Monkeys served as a red herring. Believed responsible for releasing the virus, they were actually nothing more than an activist group, led by Leland’s son, Jeffrey (Brad Pitt.)  They freed zoo animals and locked Leland in a cage for conducting experiments on animals.

12 Monkeys - Season 1

In the SyFy series, Leland is dead, and we have a mentally unstable Jennifer instead of a Jeffrey.  Showrunner Natalie Chaidez told The Hollywood Reporter about the vision for first season, noting that the mystery surrounding the Army of the 12 Monkeys will be the big question that drives the entire series.

“Who the 12 Monkeys are, what they are trying to accomplish, how they relate to time travel is the big question of the series. Unraveling that mystery is our series journey. Knowing where Cole fits in their plan is a big part of it … In the series, we have the time to explore what was around those dark corners that we couldn’t peer around in the movie. We really get to dig into how people survive in the future and how they are living.

We have a group of people called Scavengers. They are the people who have survived but not always with the best morality. They’ve done what they’ve had to do … Are there other evil forces at play? Are there other collaborators? Certainly, but the 12 Monkeys are definitely the mysterious force that Cole wrestles with and battles against over the course of the series.”

Thumbs up:

– Guys being brothers in arms, and making time travel jokes.

cole and ramse

– Intertextuality:

Reds and blues. Top: SyFy 12 Monkeys (2015). Bottom: The Matrix (1999)


The faces behind time traveling. Left: SyFy 12 Monkeys (2015). Right: La Jetée (1962)

– Sensitive photography.

doctor bandara

– Secretive, strong, mature female characters in power. Let’s hope these two have nothing but their looks in common, given the destiny of the people under Milner.

Left: Barbara Sukowa as Jones, in SyFy 12 Monkeys (2015). Right: Geraldine James as Milner, in C4 Utopia (2013)

Thumbs down:

– I don’t buy scientists who get time travel all wrong in the movies, since Dr. Emmett Brown and the DeLorean did it right. First, they failed to catch the mention of the Army of the 12 Monkeys in Dr. Railly’s message.  Now, they’ve sent Cole to North Korea in 2006 instead of Philadelphia in 2015.

mistaken again

– Too many wallflowers on this team.

Sem título

To whom it may concern:

The romanticizing and glamorizing of violence is everywhere these days, and it’s heavily included in this show.

“If any human act evokes the aesthetic experience of the sublime, certainly it is the act of murder … if murder can be experienced aesthetically, the murderer can in turn be regarded as a kind of artist – a performance artist or anti-artist whose specialty is not creation but destruction.” –  Joel Black in The Aesthetics of Murder



– I grew up watching both Mexican and Brazilian soap operas (I have been clean for 15 years,) and I’ll tell you what: This is a face soap operas taught me not not to trust or fall for:

cassie's bf


See you all soon!

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About the author

Kenia Santos

Sci-Fi geek. Book nerd. Art enthusiast. Comics dork. Board game buff. Crooked poet. Full time thinker. Weekend photographer. EFL teacher. Free spirit. Friendly soul. Fat kid.

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