“Fun” Friday: My Review Of “A Thousand Tomorrows” series
by: Debbie Waltz
I’ve always been a fan of Karen Kingsbury’s books; her ability to weave spiritual truths within the pages of a manuscript has always amazed me. She doesn’t shy away from the hard stories either. Adoption, 9/11 stories, stories on depression and disability-related issues, you name it. She’s written on it. That’s why she’s titled the “Queen” of LIFE-CHANGING Fiction, because of her uncanny ability to write characters authentically and realistically, allowing readers to relate to them in a uniquely personal way.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Karen is not new to the big screen. No, she’s actually had a couple of her books turned into a major motion picture or TV cable premiere, the most obvious being 2009’s motion picture premiere of Like Dandelion Dust or Hallmark Channel’s premiere of “The Bridge” in 2015 and 2016. Other titles include A Time to Dance and Maggie’s Christmas Miracle.
As popular as these books were, I was unsure how A Thousand tomorrows would work as a 6 episode series on Pure flix every week. How would that translate on television? Would the story have it be condensed- leaving out some essential parts? I need not worry. With Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell (her son) working together, they did their best to keep crucial scenes intact while condensing past years into flashbacks that keep the storyline moving.
In the opening scene of the series, we learn that Cody’s younger brother was born with Down Syndrome; in subsequent episodes, we learn how the impact of Carl Joseph’s diagnosis influences the entire family life- as well as Cody Gunner’s (Colin Ford) choice of careers.
But Cody isn’t the only one hiding a secret. Along the way, we meet the mysterious and aloof Ali Daniels (played by Rose Reid), who has dreams of becoming a champion barrel racer in Las Vegas this summer. Cody does his best to court. Ali, but she thwarts all of his advances. That is until he tells her about his family dilemma, and she sees another side of Cody’s hard exterior.
During a series of late-night chats, the two “champions” bond over their secrets while becoming more vulnerable with each other. In some strange way, Cody and Ali feel they have something to teach one another—Ali hopes to teach Cody how to let go of his anger and find peace with his father. In contrast, Cody hopes to show Ali the Joy of enjoying life despite the fear of dying from Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
Since each episode is an hour long, it is pretty understandable that minimal time is spent explaining these disabilities or disorders. But they go to great lengths to describe the condition when necessary or needed to explain parts of a storyline. For example, Ali’s time in the “breathing” vest or breaks from championships to see doctors are real treatments for CF.
Anyway, the series is only halfway finished, and it is unclear whether Cody will find peace with his father or Ali will get a lung transplant. But I am interested in finding out how everything plays out