Television
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New Fall Television: FlashForward

FlashForward began with tremendous hype, being touted as the next Lost. This alone set our expectations higher than normal for a new ABC series, normal being extremely low. The pilot opened in epic disaster really pulling the viewer into this scene of complete turmoil and chaos following everyone in the worlds blacking out and seeing the future. They really captured the feeling of world changing really well. Everything for the first 17 minutes or so was on point and flawless and comparisons to Lost seemed legit…. Then came the rest of the episode.

In typical lazy writing, the main character is a cop, well an FBI agent, you know like every lead character on a CBS show and hes a drunk, oh how original. Even less creative, his wife is a doctor. For gods sake if I see one more show where a character is a doctor I’m going to book a flight to California and take a header off the Golden Gate. Writers, stop being lazy, there’s thousands of jobs you can choose from for a character, everyone doesn’t need to be a cop or a doctor. Be creative for once in your lives.

John Cho stars in Flash Forward

The writing here began to dip into the less than stellar category. After the flash forward thousands of people are left dead, having gotten into car accidents, fallen down stairs, etc. and the FBI agent, who was chasing a terror suspect on the highway during the flash forward and his wife who is busy at work at the hospital treating the injured here exchange a phone call. They have a child at home with a babysitter. Do they run home like any normal sane human being would to make sure their little girl is ALIVE and well? Nope. They just briefly talk to the babysitter. They don’t even bother checking in on their child’s mental state having just experienced a trauma she couldn’t possibly understand. This is a problem which has cropped up quite a bit during the first three episodes. The writing is decent, but its not thorough. There are way too many plot holes, oversights and contrivances. Things like what I just detailed don’t per say ruin the show, but they do knock it down a notch or two. Its an ambitious project, and when you take aim at something this detailed you have to be meticulous. Everything needs to be looked at under a microscope to make sure it all fits and works, here it doesn’t and a lot of things seem haphazardly thrown together.

Plot issues aside sadly, the real reason why this isn’t Lost, Fringe or even Invasion is the acting, merciful lord, the acting. Earlier I reviewed CW’s craptastic Vampire Diaries and I commented on how awful the acting was on that series, well, I stand now with egg on my face as FlashFoward has eclipsed even the worst of CBS shows in wooden, emotionless, dull, terrible acting. This is the coffin nail for this show. Over the course of three episode there has not been one good acting performance on the entire series. Not one. The FBI agent is awful, his wife is even worse, Harold is unwatchable and the FBI boss is perhaps the worst actor outside of the Saw series I have even seen in my life. Really with a project this ambitious how can you hire a cast who wouldn’t even be serviceable in a day time soap opera? There is no reason for a cast to be this bad when there are so many good actors out there. When your suppose to be the next Lost your cast shouldn’t make the cast of the Melrose Place reboot look like the cast of The Godfather.

Bottom line the show isn’t awful, but its not good either. If you can tolerate the bad acting of CBS shows then you will likely enjoy this one as the plot is still pretty good despite a few hiccups. However if your like me and are use to the astounding acting and plots of shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Big Love, True Blood and Supernatural then this one might be tough for you to slog through. So despite the hype don’t expect this to be Lost, expect it to be more on the lines of Jericho and I wouldn’t expect it to be around for too long. If I were you I’d play it safe and just FlashForward to the DVD release date and add it to your Netflix.

3 comments
Kgun5
Kgun5

I think similarly to Avillian, but I have a little different take on what's wrong. I'm enjoying the plot, and as a die-hard Lost fan, I'll let some things slide for now, hoping they are explained later. I think the writing is killing the show. The middle school style cat fighting and flirting at the highest levels of government during a crisis, (e.g., the deputy director's initial resistance to the FBI boss, before even addressing her ignorance of their knowledge). The tension and drama crated for no reason, (e.g., the inflammatory and completely unnecessary comment about Sophie Scholl having been executed at the prison to its warden). The mind-numbing skepticism shown by people in the show who cry "coincidence" when someone points out a possible connection moments after having pointed out a possible connection themselves. It all serves as a lazy way to drive a good plot. Lost seldom does this. The acting is affected by this poor writing. There are so many cheesy lines, it's laughable. That doesn't stop many of the actors from hamming it up to the level of soap opera scene chewing. I agree that the Joseph Fiennes (the cop) is the worst. I really think he's trying to make his voice sound like David Caruso in CSI Miami. The little girl needs a beating. Two exceptions to this for me (thus far)... I've actually enjoyed Courtney Vance's acting as the FBI director. He's been given some terrible lines, but he at least tries to capture the correct emotion for the crisis. Jack Davenport, as the "other man" has also been ok in the brief time we've seen him. All in all, it seems to me like this is looking more and more like the creators are trying to fit a cool plot and premise into yet another tired, overly dramatic cop drama. How sad. An intelligent story doesn't work when you have your main characters talking about vapid and non-sensical things during what should be a panicked and critical time. That is, there wouldn't be an argument over what agent got to shoot the guy that was about to press a button that would end the world. I hope the producers and writers decide to switch course and get less in our face with the emotion and pettiness.

The Czar
The Czar

I'll take the leap here and say the show is indeed awful. Everything about it is horrible