Watching Way Too Much TV For You!

Posts tagged ‘FlashForward’

First Look: My Review of the Return of ABC’s FlashForward

If you look back at both my review, and my November article on how to make the show better, you can tell that FlashForward went from a show that was so high on my list to one that is barely staying alive. The epic science fiction story about when the world sees the future and goes dark for 2 minutes 17 seconds, was a show ABC was high on from the beginning. From an early pilot, to an early pickup, to early screening, ABC had faith and so did I.

Now as the show enters its 12th episode after a lengthy hiatus, the faith has dwindledFl (look at the no promos during the Oscars), and when I tuned in to check out the firs two hours airing Tuesday, my faith was few and far between, and believe me, when I was watching I tried not to like it, but in the end… It made me quite happy.

When the show left in December, Mark (Joesph Finnes) and Demitri (John Cho) met up with Agent Vogel (Michael Ealy) in Hong Kong to track down the woman who knows about Demitiri’s death that will happen in March. They found a woman who knew a lot more and in the process got Mark suspended, and his wife in dire need. Back in Los Angeles, after Simon (Dominic Monaghan) and Lloyd (Jack Davenport) came out to say they caused the blackout, Lloyd’s son was released by Mark’s wife Olivia (Sonya Walger) but as they were leaving the hospital, attacked and Lloyd was talking after almost killing Olivia.

The premiere picks up as Mark returns to LA, and Olivia is getting debriefed by the FBI. The first 15 minutes of the episode do a great job in recapping the series so far in part from guest star Gil Bellows (Ally McBeal) and from the music that underscores and compliments the episode beautifully. FlashForward changed in this episode with the music by becoming the third show to use a live orchestra (Alias did it, Lost does it).

The two hours as a whole are well thought out, present both stereotypes and unique situations that are both foreseen and surprising. The first hour in particular presents some interesting dilemmas. First, Paula Newsome shines in her role as Mark’s bureau assigned therapist and pulls him a new one, while the FBI search for Llyod from the help of Simon. The second hour provides more of the mythological based meat thanks to a lengthy backstory of Simon, as well as more of the just fabulous Ricky Jay who as he puts it, a “villain” in the best since of the word. Of course, for all you that crave a show that gives you answers, the mystery of who Suspect Zero is, is revealed as well as some other very interesting matter. Also include tonight for your viewing pleasure, some not so great plot points, ridiculous dialogue and more. Yeah!

Overall, the two hours provide a well thought out launch point for the next 10 hours, and as I see it give me some hope of the future. That future however includes some very tough moments but for a show that gets the best talent as guest in the biz, there must be some reason they are signing on and for the time being I will and you should be too.

FlashForward returns to ABC tonight at 8/7c!

How to Change FlashForward for the Better

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Big News Day and What Did You Think?

117687_208_preWow. When I came home today, I flicked on the news reel and nothing major in TV had happened, 20 minutes later. Things had erupted. First of all, the fantastic news that ABC has picked up Modern Family, Cougar Town, and The Middle for full seasons with an addition of 9 +13 all ready ordered episodes. All three laughers have made me well laugh especially Modern Family, and are performing strong for the net.

Then things went downhill from there. 10 minutes later reported that NBC has cancelled there powerful, gritty, and real crime drama Southland 2 weeks before it was due to premiere. An odd change in events for the dying network that was said not to be happy with what was happy and that is was not going to perform.

Southland was great last spring and I am sad to see it go. Back to the good news, all signs are pointing to ABC’s addictive new drama FlashForward will be picked up for a full 24 episodes need to tell its season 1 tale. ABC wants to see how it did tonight. Also, if you were wondering when a certain Lost individual was going to show up for his permanent stay, I would recommend staying for next week.

For tonight’s TV, what did you think? Is FlashForward grabbing you? Did you find Jim and Pam’s wedding on The Office as touching and iconic as I did? What other shows are you watching on this crowded Thursday?