Easily the biggest drama going in to the new season was ABC’s FlashForward. Now the show is dipping in ratings, still with respectable numbers, but viewers are leaving. Why? The show is suffering from convulted plots and nothing really to latch onto.
However, I am still enjoying the show to an extent but to me it is a okay show, but it has the immense potential to be a great show. One that is the chatter each week and can create interesting, compelling stoires to watch.
Here are 5 ways that the producers and the cast can make FlashForward to must see TV.
- Better writing. The show was created by David Goyer and Brandon Braga of a book by Robert Sawyer. I read the pilot script last year and it was easily the best script I read, and the reason was the writing was crisp and fun. Now, the show has ordinary, stupid writing that makes the viewer just smile at the cliched and ridiculous things the character is saying. One reason I can see from this is that all the episodes that are great are ones NOT written by Marc Guggenheim but by Goyer and the talented writing staff. Guggenheim was brought on to show-run with Goyer but was recently let go, I can see why (This takes effect around episode 13). Guggenheim is a fine writer and producer, evident in the fun but cancelled ABC show Eli Stone which I loved, but this was not his show and I can just hope 24 ends this year and Brandon Braga (who had committed to it) can return to his pal Goyer to write great stories.
- Less Finnes and the Benfords. I know Joseph Fiennes is a respect actor but I have to say, he is TERRIBLE in FlashForward. Cringeworthy in each hour. It is not the character. The character has flaws, has levels, has goals but Joe always has a “What is happening to me, why am I doing this face” that is so repulsive. Even at home with his wife or trick-or-treating with his daughter, he looks so angry. So off putting, they either need to replace him, kill the character, or change it fast, or they can just give him less screen time. There are so much more interesting characters such as Janis, Demitri, Bryce, or even Olivia, who when is not with Mark is perfectly fine. The show is not about Mark, it is about the world, and all the 7.8 billion people that are on it.
- More character focus. I love Janis. She is such a fun and interesting character. The episode with her and her girlfriend was great and gave Christine Woods some fun stuff. All my favorite episodes like “The Gift,” “Give Me Some Truth,” and now this week’s “Believe,” centered around one character in general and one story, not multiple subplots with little bits of everybody. In this week’s episode the story is about Bryce. His flash, his story, for 85% of the hour. Why not do this with everybody. What made Lost so great in its first year was the way it developed each character, each one got an episode that surrounded his or her backstory with an on-island story with that character too. FlashForward can learn from Lost in that way. I feel that I can’t like any of the characters yet because I don’t know anything about them or anything that I like (Mark). More focus, less stories is key.
- Stop repeating the flashes. I am not stupid. Lets just make that clear and the America and the world aren’t all stupid but FlashForward sure is making I feel like I am with every episode. Every time a character mentions their flashforward or thinks about it we get presented with the same flash, over and over. Why? I know what happened to Mark. I know he was drinking, they just said that. I don’t want to see it. Please, please stop.
- Continued stories. The show struggles from not continuing things it sets up in previous episodes. Take Suspect #1. Huge part of episode 1 and 2 but that story just ended and popped up again in the last episode; or D. Gibbons, I thought he or she was a big villain, what happened? I dislike when we get invested in a story and then it just comes to a screeching halt even when we don’t like it. I feel the producer feel they need to establish everything on Mark’s board that they don’t take adequate time on each item such as the Somalian crows, or the Blue Hand group. The fix for this is just to create a story and ride it out and transition to a new one even if not all the questions are answered.
How would you help the show? Change? Keep? Tell me in comments!
Although I can’t say much about this week’s episode entitled “Believe,” I will say if you gave up on the show just DVR or watch this one. It presents the show in a new light that I really enjoy. It airs at 8/7c on ABC Thursday.