Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall Season 2009: FlashForward

I’m a fan of Lost, Heroes, Alias, Fringe, X-Files – any story that can blend a little (or a lot) of science fiction and time travel into a complex and mysterious serial drama, and I’m sold. So it says something when I have to stop getting excited for FlashForward to take a deep breath and remind myself that these types of shows fail to deliver (except Farscape, bless you).

I often get the feeling that the show writers are a bit confused themselves. The starting idea is brilliant, they love their characters, and they keep a little something out of the mix to help stir things up in season two and three... and then, the flame sort of sizzles and you’re left with Alias’ Elixir of Life, or in the case of X-Files, some overly complex, muddled plot that involved bees, Super Soldiers and The Syndicate, I think?

Heroes is resetting again, apparently unable to build upon the season before and once more wiping the slate clean (not that I can blame them). Lost is nearing its finish line, and I am more and more convinced that we’ll be left with a lot of unanswered questions and a fairly unsatisfactory answer as to what the island actually is. And you can tell JJ and team learned because they started to go down the same path with Fringe and all of a sudden it was like someone smart finally said, “you know, let’s just get to the damn point and tell them there’s an alternate universe.” Thank you, Someone Smart!

The thing is, I like science fiction and time travel and complex and mysterious storylines. I like fully fleshed out characters and confusing relationships. But if I am going to commit to watching your show weekly, and hang on for the ride season after season to the finish, is it too much to also ask for a well crafted show arc? I want to think and question and be surprised when there are twists and also satisfied when there are answers. Hell, I’d be more proud to be a fan of writers that thought out a brilliant six seasons and just walked away at the end of their contract instead of getting reeled in by the network that decided they wanted to milk more from the cash cow.

So please forgive me if despite my excitement for FlashForward, I’m coming into it a little hesitant. I have no doubts the first season will be brilliant, but there will be ranting like no other if this show goes the way of most.

Now, all that said, here’s why I actually think this show is going to ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF:

1. I read the book, and though I already know the two aren’t going to be alike in much more than a layer of primer, the book was thought provoking and romantic (I know). It was the usual fate vs. free will main plot, but the subplot was all about reality now vs. reality future, relationships and hope. They also announced at Comic-Con that the novelist, Robert J. Sawyer, will pen one of the episodes.

2. Unlike the book, the “flash forward” takes everyone to April 29, 2010. For a television series, putting the flash 21 years in the future isn’t nearly as exciting, so good move there. What will happen when we hit the date? Or the better question, what will happen after?

3. It’s almost like the writers know the Lost fans are going to watch but are also coming in slightly bitter and suspicious, heh. They have already confirmed that we will not be facing “Island Time” with this series. It will progress in normal time. Praise be!

4. It has an impressive cast; among them, Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Gabrielle Union, and Losties Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger.

5. The writers have a five season arc (22 episodes each). And that means it will have continuity that actually makes sense, and satisfactory answers to questions that were set up episodes or seasons before. Hello! Music to my ears. Please stay true to this and I may actually have one additional show to add to my Best Shows Evar!1 list (hi, Farscape - also seriously, you all need to see this).

Unlike Lost, where a bracelet worn by two women and deliberately shown in one episode is there to MEAN NOTHING (argh, rant), Robert J. Sawyer himself had this to say about FlashForward, "I've had very fascinating conversations with David [Goyer, executive producer] about things that we're putting in the pilot that we hope most people won't notice, but are there so that when we play that card 10 episodes or five seasons down the road, nobody will be able to go back and say, 'That wasn't set up properly,'" Sawyer said. "That's the level at which this show is being thought out."

Guys, it might just make me cry of happy.

Season One premiers in the U.S. on September 24th.

2 Responses to “Fall Season 2009: FlashForward”

Unknown said...

One such show that for most of its five years was fully fleshed and well crafted with all the scifi elements was Babylon 5. A few years back I went and watched it start to finish. Loved every moment!

First year was a little shaky but they usually are..

Unknown said...

Glad to hear you're excited about the show! If you want to get a head start you can watch the first 17 minutes of the show before it airs here:

You can also join the FlashForward Facebook page to hear the latest on news, promos, and actors:

Hope you like it!