Back in January, Hindsight made its quiet debut on VH1. One of the network’s few scripted series, it follows a young woman as she time-travels back to 1995 to fix past mistakes. The light drama, with its penchant for nostalgia and emphasis on female friendship, was recently added to Hulu, and it’s a great, quick series to binge-watch over the weekend.
When I wrote about Hindsight‘s pilot episode, I gave it a fairly favorable review. It was just cute enough, just breezy enough, and just interesting enough to be fun, but amid the glut of winter television, there wasn’t time to keep up. But two weeks ago, I noticed the series had popped up on Hulu and decided to watch a second episode. I ended up tearing through the entire first season in one sitting, immediately addicted to this wonderfully implausible premise, enamored of all the women characters, emotionally invested in their relationships, and sucked back into a world of VHS tapes, clogs, and Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Hindsight isn’t a heavy drama with big stakes. Becca is about to get married to her second husband when the combination of a mysterious and possibly magical man and a freak elevator accident lands her back in 1995, on the morning of her first wedding, to her first love — a foreign, long-haired dynamo who, according to Becca, is still the best sex she’s ever had. She’s unsure of why she’s gone back in time — to work harder on her marriage and stay with her original husband Sean? To end up with her second husband/childhood friend Andy even sooner? To fix familial relationships or save her brother from his inevitable drug spiral? To reconnect with best friend Lolly and prevent the falling out that resulted in the end of their friendship?
The series never makes the answer quite clear, especially not as it relates to Becca’s romantic predicament. But it does strongly assert that one of the biggest issues for Becca is her friendship with Lolly. The two suffered a falling out sometime after 1995; Becca knows exactly what happened but won’t tell Lolly, despite her repeated begging, presumably because she believes that it could be solved or, at the very least, totally avoided if she changes her future a bit. The series really teases out this conflict, often bringing it up without explaining the actual fight that occurred until closer to the season finale, when we get some insight through a flashback. (I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it’s not exactly an unpredictable TV-friend fight.)
While Becca/Andy and Becca/Sean are interesting, it’s Becca and Lolly where the show finds the most heart. I love their friendship, which is simultaneously familiar and enviable, with a bond and trust so strong that Lolly just immediately believes Becca’s time-travel story. They complement each other, helping each other out in their careers and relationships, able to seamlessly transition from serious conversation about Lolly’s not-exactly-Becca-approved relationship with Becca’s younger brother to easier (but equally important) conversations about Doc Martens. More than any of the dozens of love plots between various characters, I’m rooting most for Becca and Lolly’s friendship to remain strong and eternal — even though the underlying question in the series is whether or not the future is set in stone. (There’s at least one romantic instance, involving Becca’s cousin, that implies her fate is somewhat set, even when she temporarily strays off course.) Can Becca fix the rift in her friendship before it even happens, or is it destined to happen no matter what?
But that’s the heaviest stuff in Hindsight (along with some B-plot with Becca’s burnout brother), which is mostly just a thoroughly enjoyable and generally lighthearted series. Its necessary emphasis on the ’90s can become a little too much — Lolly works at a video rental store alongside a stereotypical snotty film obsessive, and there’s a whole R.E.M-centric road trip episode — but the series kills it when it comes to the soundtrack. Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” plays during a pivotal, emotional scene in the pilot, “Good” by Better Than Ezra is heard during a drunken game of Never Have I Ever, Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations” blasts during a club montage, and Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” scores a bonding scene between two women forming a friendship.
With only ten episodes, Hindsight is your best bet for a quick weekend binge-watch — especially this weekend, when choices on television are slim . After one or two episodes, you’ll quickly want to watch the rest. Plus, it was already renewed for Season 2, so now is the perfect time to catch up.