Friday, September 25, 2009

FlashForward has kidnapped LOST fans and refuses to let go.

I finally watched FlashForward this afternoon (I say that like it premiered weeks ago. It premiered last night.) and I was thoroughly impressed. The show was first advertised on ABC in the final few weeks of this last season of LOST with cryptic promos that simply said "What did you see?" Since the 5th season of LOST was ending everyone thought this was some sort of tease for the new season or some sort of summer ARG. nope. It was just fantastic advertising on ABC's part. According to wikipedia the shows plot is as follows "A mysterious global event causes everyone on the planet to simultaneously see, for two minutes and seventeen seconds, his or her life six months in the future. When it is over, many are dead in accidents involving vehicles, aircraft, and any other device needing human control. Everyone who survived is left wondering if what they saw will actually happen." The first 20 minutes of the pilot were a bit slow and I thought the entire show would be awful. But once Seth McFarlane's character was introduced it got a lot better. Disclaimer: Seth McFarlane's character didn't make the show better. He just showed up when the plot picked up. It was weird to see him as not-a-talking-dog. Luckily, he wasn't in the show for too long. He actually wasn't a bad actor, obviously, his voice just kind of annoys me. (By the way, Seth McFarlane produces 75% of the shows on FOX's Animation Domination Sunday nights.) Once the characters start figuring out what's happening the show gets you (or maybe only me) LOST-level excited and intrigued. Well, First season of LOST anyway.
This show, I feel, will deal a lot with the battle between religion and science, much like LOST has. It wasn't incredibly prevalent in the first episode, but will probably become more through-out the show. The main-character, an FBI agent named Mark Benford, is searching for the reason why this happened, while his kid's babysitter said "I think God did this... as punishment."
I've also formed a theory that this is just a really big promo for the final season of LOST. It probably isn't true but the show indirectly says "Whatever happened, happened." That sounds pretty familiar.
The only real problem with the show is the characters. The actors are all great, except maybe the kid, but she's a kid. I just don't feel emotionally connected to any of the characters. They all seem like they are only pawns in this mystery of the flashforward, which is interesting but a TV show can't survive on mystery alone. We need to care about the characters We need to want people to not die and we need to want the bad guys to lose. (By the way, there are bad guys, then there is also this REALLY bad guy who has yet to be introduced. I'll mention him later.) The only character I really care about so far is John Cho's and that's only because I like John Cho. The main character is apparently in AA, but that's mentioned briefly. I guess I can't blame the show after only one episode. The pilot was required to be all about the disaster. But in LOST's pilot we had the moment between Jack and Kate where she had to sew him up and he told her that story (you know what story). Remember before we all hated Kate? That was a long time ago. FlashForward didn't have that moment. Then again, FlashForward only had a one hour premiere, LOST had two hours.
The show really is great and I'll watch the second episode. But, if anyone says "When are we?" I'm done.

1 comment:

Roy said...

Well, much of this is pretty accurate or insightful, but I don't watch "Lost", so all of the cross-programming references are lost on me. Yes, pun intended. This was actually about a 44 minute show, promos and commercials excepted. They had a lot of ground to cover, and I think the storyline has been well defined. They will have time to explore the characters in future episodes, and if they keep the tempo and quality up, they should be fine. And who knows who will guest star? With the whole world at their fingertips, there is an endless amount of possible outcomes. The question will be each week "What did each person see, and how does it fit into the puzzle". And maybe someone, perhaps a small boy with an oddly shaped head, will shoot Seth MacFarlane in a future episode. That would be nice. He'd appreciate it, too.