TV Club: In “The Rabbit Hole,” 11.22.63 recites the rules and wastes no time

Just like Stephen King, 11.22.63 seems to have a knack for beginnings.

Adapted from the novel of almost-the-same-name (11/22/63), the latest from Hulu (and J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot) jumps into King’s sprawling time-travel story—a little bit sci-fi, a little bit romance, a little bit what-if—at top speed. In the first 15 minutes, Jake (James Franco) hears a story that rattles him from a GED-seeker he then tries and fails to help get a promotion, gets served divorce papers and says a begrudging farewell to his wife, watches a friend go from healthy to death’s-door in two minutes, accompanies said friend to his cancer diagnosis, has a few seriously confusing conversations, and walks into a pantry and out onto a street in 1960. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and if viewers who haven’t read the book feel …

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