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Making History Doesn't Take Time Travel Too Seriously

It gets dumbed down -- and we mean that as a compliment

Malcolm Venable

Time travel is totally in this season, if you hadn't noticed, what with Timeless, Time After Time and Frequency (it counts). And you also may have noticed that time travel can be... what's the word, confusing? Laborious? Entirely too serious?

On Fox's Making History, time travel gets dumbed down -- and we mean that as a compliment -- to follow buddies Dan (Happy Endings' Adam Pally), a sort of ne'er-do-well, and Chris (Yassir Lester), a professor, who zap through time every weekend in a duffel bag. Though creator and executive producer Julius Sharpe told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter previews Wednesday that they actually brought in a physicist to break down the rules of journeying through time, he promised Making History's ride would be as smooth as possible for the sake of fun. "The thing for us," he said, "was getting the rules as simple and clear as possible so they were out of the way and you can enjoy."

Dan and Chris go to a few eras in time, including 1919 Chicago and 1940s Germany -- both of which might be slightly tricky for a Jewish guy and a black dude, which they address on the show -- but the biggest ripple, at least at first, takes place in the Colonial era. That's when Dan meets and falls for Paul Revere's daughter, Deborah, played by Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester. "When it was time to think about doing a TV show," she said, it was this -- a show that lets her have fun. In researching the role, she learned not much was available about Revere's daughter. "Which is telling," she said. " I thing people were really, really bored back then without television. So they just, like, read books."

Adam Pally and Yassir Lester, Making History

Adam Pally and Yassir Lester, Making History


As Deborah travels to the future with her boo Dan and Chris, we'll see that skills she had back in her day make her superhuman now (People made clothes? They hunted for food... and cooked it?), and through her, we see injustices that we take for granted. Ultimately, it's a romantic comedy, Sharpe said, about two people from entirely different worlds -- and a buddy issue. "We're not dealing with serious issues," he said.

At least not yet. Although Pally gave some very overt clues about his feelings about the election ("We were able to look back at time when rights we hold dear were formed at at time when they're being taken away from us," he said), he said this is escapist fun. That said, they're already thinking about what they'd take on if there is a Season 2: The Constitution.

Making History debutsSunday, March 5 at 8:30/9:30c