Oh, the angst. Already, the angst. Two seconds into the show, and I'm already drenched in angst. Can't you smell it? It smells like feet.
We open on a shot of the Lincoln Memorial. A fancy futuristic train whizzes past it. Because it's 2049, and apparently we're all going to be on futuristic flying trains in less than fifty years. If I don't have a flying car by then, I'm going to be extremely pissed. The way this show is structured is interesting, by the way. The events of the present day -- you know, the Standard WB Teen Angstapalooza segments -- are framed by interview bites from a 2049 documentary about the McCallister boys. It's kinda like the narration on Everwood, except coming from the future. And with more people weighing in. People from the future. Also, it's longer. Okay, it's not that much like the narration on Everwood, really, except for the part where it's narration, period.
Some old talking head, whom I recognize from ER and who is chyroned as "Victor Samble, Harvard University, 2049," explains that great presidents are all "complicated individuals, undertaking an impossible task." Can one image tell their story, he wonders, before launching into some yada yada about how, since the advent of photography, each president has had "one defining image associated with him...or her." Her? In less than fifty years? I think that's quite optimistic, but I'd certainly like to live to see a woman president. I'd also like to see an African-American President and apparently we will, in 2018, when President Helman visits "Africa after the plague." Note to self: avoid Africa for a few years. ["You'll probably see both in just a few years, when Oprah decides to run." -- Wing Chun] Samble continues, adding that no documentary about President McCallister would be complete without "this photo, taken just before his election in 2040. It tells the story of a fiercely determined man, on the cusp of wresting victory away from the jaws of near certain defeat." It also tells the story, in black and white, of an unidentifiable dude leaning against a wall. "Now, whether it tells the whole story, now that's another question all together, isn't it?" My guess is that it doesn't tell the whole story, or this show would have no reason to exist. We fade from the Leaning Against the Wall photo to a still black and white photo of a really hot young man mid-jog. He turns to color and begins to move. Meet Jack. He's hot.
Jack runs down the street in what we learn is present-day Hart, Missouri, past the city hall and into a Best Buy and right up to a Jack Black-y looking salesboy. "She has to buy a TV," Jack tells Not Jack Black. "All you gotta do is not let her get off-track, all right?" NJB retorts sullenly that, considering the fact that he was salesperson of the month in July and August, he thinks he can handle it. Jack looks doubtful.