Erin Tieng (Ali Wong) is awakened before dawn by unexpected noises coming from her kitchen. She uses a landline to leave a phone message for a friend alerting them to the possibility of an intruder, then cautiously descends the stairs. Immediately we flashback thirty-one years to 1988 (the year Stephen Hawking published “A Brief History of Time“) and see twelve-year-old Erin (Riley Lai Nelet) getting up at 4:26am in the same house for the first day of her paper route. It is Hell Day (the morning after Halloween), a ritual of vandalism and destruction very similar to Devil’s Night.
Erin starts off on the wrong street and runs into two other paper girls: Tiffany (Camryn Jones), who, although she probably planned to deliver papers alone, brings walkie-talkies along, and Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), who seems to have acquired right wing and racist inclinations from her father. The three of them rescue a fourth paper carrier (KJ Brandman played by Fina Strazza) from some overly enthusiastic Hell Day revelers. All four of them decide to stick together for protection, and “ride up to Sunnydale”, which is likely a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference. Continue reading →
Jessika Van as the 2019 version of Erin’s sister Missy. | Van stars as Jessica in Alex Ranarivelo‘s romantic comedy A HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS, which will premiere on HBO Max on 1 December.
On the day the Paper Girls arrive in 2019, Larry Radowski (Nate Coddry) records a message reminding himself of who he is. He does so to safeguard himself against memory erasure (more about that later). In the recording, he mentions that the date is 23 June. Later, Larry discovers that 2019 Erin (Ali Wong) has activated that mysterious electronic device. When the Paper Girls see Larry shove elder Erin into his van, they follow him back to his farm, and he captures them as well.
Once he figures out that the Paper Girls are not a threat, Larry explains that a time war is in progress between the Old Watch, a clique of rich people who have outlawed time travel because it threatens their power, and the Standard Time Fighters (aka The Underground) who try to alter the past to create a better future. The STF knows first hand the effects of allowing those rich reactionaries to rule, bcause the Old Watch is a part of their past. Larry also informs the girls that the Old Watch sometimes feeds people to dinosaurs, and that they erase all memory of time travel from anyone they think shouldn’t know about it through a process called ablution. Continue reading →
On her birthday, Mac (Sofia Rosinsky) tells KJ (Fina Strazza) about her fatal illness, and the two of them decide to visit Mac’s grave. The gravestone has only the years of Mac’s birth and death (1976-1992), without specific dates for either. While they are there, Mac’s stepmom Alice (Rebecca Spence) puts red roses on Mac’s grave. The girls hide, but Alice eventually gets a very good look at her deceased stepdaughter. What effect this might have on the rest of things remains uncertain. KJ has not yet told any of the other girls that she is a lesbian, but her friendship with Mac which began 27 years after Mac’s scheduled demise might be affecting the timeline, perhaps making Mac’s death in 1992 no longer inevitable. What if her grave marker originally had specific dates inscribed. but is slowly losing detail and is in the process of vanishing? Continue reading →
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