From the Broadway musical Hamilton to the comedy series Drunk History, creatives have found innovative ways to make history more accessible to the masses. They've turned that boring slog of dates and names you might've hated in high school into something you might actually enjoy. But for us history nerds who still can't get enough, we're trying to contain our geeky joy. History has always been fun and interesting to us, and now it comes with the added bonus of seeing it play out in the form of musicals, films and television shows.
NBC's #Timeless is one of the latest offerings in the #timetravel genre that chooses to focus on the history angle more than the #sciencefiction. There's some handwave-y science to jump-start the plot, but mostly it's a fun trip through various time periods that results in some alternative history consequences. At its center is Lucy Preston (played by Abigail Spencer), a historian hired to make sure the team doesn't screw things up too badly.
Lucy is the unapologetic history nerd we can relate to.
Lucy Is Shamelessly Nerdy.
She tries to rein it in — she has a job to do, after all — but sometimes she just can't help it.
Really, can we blame her for fangirling? She's been studying all of this since she was a kid, teaching it for years, and suddenly she gets to live it. It's every history buff's dream to be able to meet their favorite historical figures. And so far, Lucy's met some big names; Katherine Johnson (a name you'll know from Hidden Figures), George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Bonnie and Clyde, Davy Crockett. Lucy even had a tearful meeting with Abraham Lincoln, her childhood hero. Unfortunately, they crossed paths on the night of a certain play, so you can guess how well that ended.
While in WWII-era Germany, Lucy even flirted with British spy Ian Fleming.
Not a bad job perk.
- 'Timeless' Series Premiere: We Have A Possible Hit On Our Hands
- 5 TV Shows To Start Watching After You Finish Netflix's 'Travelers'
- 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching 'Timeless' Right Now
She's The Right Woman For The Job.
The job is not all fun and swooning over heroes of the past, Lucy and her teammates are on a mission, and she's expected to know her stuff. It's got to be a bit nerve-wracking to have to spout off facts like a walking encyclopedia when lives are at stake, but when the moment counts, she's there. And what's more is that her teammates trust her without hesitation. In the middle of stressful, intense situations that would rattle anyone, Lucy uses her intellect to come up with unique solutions to the team's mishaps. Her resourcefulness helps to keep history intact, with a few minor adjustments.
Lucy cares deeply for the preservation of historical events. Whether they're good or downright ugly, she understands the importance of protecting it for the sake of future generations. It's a tough path to tread, especially when, like many of us, she would rather fix the worst parts. Her love for history is heartfelt, echoing what many historians in her place would feel. Her compassion for others, though, is most striking of all, Lucy isn't playing tourist. These events aren't just old photographs or paintings in a textbook, they're real and there are lives in the balance.
But Lucy also recognizes that her viewpoint of history isn't the only one. Her teammate Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) constantly reminds her that they have different perspectives on these events because of the color of their skin. Lucy and Wyatt (Matt Lanter) both come to fully understand their own white privilege while traveling through time.
She Isn't Afraid To Impart Some Future Wisdom On The Past.
It would be impossible for Lucy to travel into other decades and centuries without facing some misogyny.
Being a modern, 21st century woman who's not afraid to put some sexist jerk in his place, Lucy's got it covered. She doesn't have time for that kind of bullshit. Her excellent take-down of a NASA employee who repeatedly nags her for coffee even gets the women around her turning their heads.
And it's so satisfying to watch. The female camaraderie is strong, and empowering, especially after a few women walk by with smirks on their faces in silent approval. Lucy's probably had a lot of practice, as I'm sure her field is fairly male-dominated. It's easy to picture Lucy going off on some tenured professor who tried to mansplain some historical event she's already written a dissertation about.
History Nerds Unite.
Fans have responded positively to Lucy's portrayal on screen. History buffs, historians, and teachers have praised the #NBC show for being a fun and entertaining history lesson.
I think Lucy would be proud to inspire some fellow history nerds.
Timeless returns on NBC next Monday, January 16.
What do you think of Timeless? Is Lucy a worthy history nerd protagonist? Comment below!