Counterpart is a very hip sci-fi show that unfortunately was canceled after Season 2. The program doesn’t rely on flashy CGI and glowing FX but rather, on solid scripts and performances.
The show is premised on the accidental creation of a parallel universe into which a select few special agents may cross over. Those in the know, as it were, pass into their parallel reality much like any government agent would travel from a democratic to a communist country. Lots of checkpoints, questions, and so on.
Again, the look of the show is not sci-fi—more like retro tech. As a US production, Counterpart has a sort of Mad Men / Mission Impossible feel but also a definite UK flavoring with a lot of action taking place in Berlin, the dialog sometimes in German with English subtitles.
Why do I like this program?
Well, through the image of parallel universes Counterpart deals with several intriguing issues. One reviewer notes the obvious East/West duality of the Cold War. But other dualities come to mind like good and evil, lawfulness and the underworld, marital fidelity and cheating, senseless vs. honorable violence, the list goes on.
We often watch the same actor meet his or her “other” self in their respective parallel worlds. The personality difference between the two identical-looking individuals is usually striking and yet sparked by the littlest thing: Taking or not taking a pee at a sports match, a father buying or not buying his child a music CD…
The precipitating events seem insignificant, but the cumulative outcomes between the two worlds differ dramatically.
So yesterday while making my ordinary, seemingly unimportant choices throughout the day, I stopped to think… I wonder what would have happened if I did this instead of that?
I cannot know because we can only make one choice as we march through our mostly linear perception of time.
But it’s fun to wonder… 🙂