So you’ve never watched 12 Monkeys and your friends are always telling you how great it is. They keep trying to get you to watch, but you’re just not feeling it. Now, they’re getting really excited about this season 3 “linear binge-a-thon” weekend May 19-21. They, much like me, just won’t shut up about it. Maybe by now you’re getting a little annoyed with them.
Well, un-bunch your time panties and listen to your friends because they know their shit.
Alright, alright. I hear ya. You’re thinking, “I can’t just jump into season 3 without watching the first 2 seasons, but I don’t have the time!” Don’t worry, you don’t have to hurriedly binge them or travel to the past to get into this time-warped show. You’ll be able to slip right in to the 3rd season marathon with relative ease.
Season 3 begins with a really detailed summation of the entire story so far. When we watched, our first thought was how easily a new viewer could get into the show right now. The beginning is actually that good at catching you up. You’ll get far more backstory going into this than you would in most motion pictures.
While some details might be lost on you initially, a few episodes in you’ll find those details beginning to make sense. You’re going to find yourself caught up in in the story, invested in the characters, thinking about the complexities of time travel. In short, you’re going to be a little obsessed with the show. Don’t worry, you probably won’t need therapy. Probably.
Don’t worry if you’re still a little fuzzy on a detail here or there after a few episodes – even we regular viewers occasionally are, but eventually things become clear. This is by design. We know this, and it’s one of the many reasons we watch.
I think serialized storytelling was made for binge watching. If that’s true (and it is, dammit!), then 12 Monkeys’ complex characters, inventive storytelling, and intricately thought out time jumping are absolutely perfect for binge watching. Having said that, this is a show you have to really watch. Not that “half-assed watching while you’re snapchatting 27 friends” kind of watching. Yeah, I’m talking to you. This is an “order pizza, take off your pants, and stay on the sofa for three days paying attention to only the show” kind of watching.
I say those things not as a warning, but as a high compliment to the sharp writing on this show. 12 Monkeys is a prime (you’ll see what I did there once you watch a bit) example of the best kind of television. There’s so much on TV now that you owe it to yourself to seek out only the richest, most intelligent storytelling. 12 Monkeys fits this perfectly.
And once you’re done with this season 3 orgy, I think you’ll be rushing to watch seasons 1 and 2. You’re going want to fill in every detail of what happened before. You’re going to want to know more about these people you’ve suddenly become very interested in. And you’re really going to want to know more about the central mystery surrounding the show. I can promise you there is plenty to learn and it will satisfy your appetite for a serious time travel story that never talks down to the viewers.
Finally, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you won’t be wasting your time on a story that’s never going to have an ending because of cancellation. 12 Monkeys has been renewed for a fourth and final season. While four seasons aren’t a lot, or even enough, some might say, at least we know we’ll get a satisfying, proper end. No cliffhangers dancing off into the eternal void here, folks. A solid ending to a solid story is your reward for watching 12 Monkeys.
What more could you ask for? Free popcorn?
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Season 3 of 12 Monkeys premieres Friday, May 19 on Syfy