Friday, September 25, 2009

ABC's "FlashForward": An Uncertain Future?

Photo from ABC

I had high hopes for the new ABC series “FlashForward” . It seemed like an interesting premise: the entire world loses consciousness for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, and while unconscious, many people have visions of their future.

But the premiere episode “No More Good Days” left me wanting. It also left me with a lot of questions, not necessarily questions that the show creators would want me to have. The big glaring problem is if the whole world was unconscious for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, things would be in a bigger mess that the episode seemed to indicate. It seems that life for the most part almost went on like normal for the main characters. For example, there didn’t seem to be any crisis at the hospital with patients flooding in or doctors flooding out to care for others on the street, yet we see injured people everywhere. The issue with the hospital seemingly being little affected by the massive event was something I could not get past.

Another issue I couldn’t resolve was the FBI’s behavior. They seemed to treat this like a normal everyday issue with a normal sit-down meeting about what caused it to happen. Frankly, I would have expected them to be out on the street helping law enforcement. Yet, we are let to believe that main character Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) was given the lead on such an immense issue, just because he felt his personal “FlashForward” vision tied into the event. Sorry, but an event of this magnitude would have people at the very highest level of office probably running point and calling the shots. It seemed that Benford’s boss Stan Wedeck (Courtney Vance) washed his hands of the matter far too fast.

Another nit pick was that I had a hard time getting my arms around how much time had passed as the episode progressed. If I recall correctly, toward the end of the episode a woman commented about going through a huge number of security camera footage to find one lone person that didn’t seem to be unconscious in that 2-minute time frame. How did she get the video feeds so fast and be able to look through as much of it as she said in what seemed like a short time?

The episode also was a little choppy as it introduced characters. I think I may have preferred a 2-hour episode where for part of the first hour, we got to learn a bit about the people, and the second hour, they began their efforts to pick up the pieces and find out why the event took place. They crammed far too much into that one hour that it seemed to take any mystery or drama out of the reveal that they had a shared vision.

The cast itself seemed wooden, the only one seeming to fit his role was Courtney Vance, who always does authority figures well. Joseph Fiennes was a disappointment, his acting wooden. If he is going to be the lead in this effort to understand why this event took place, I may get bored looking at his somewhat stony and unfeeling facial expression.

Bottom line – a show I was excited about watching I now have some serious concerns about it's survival. I will give it one or two more episodes. If I see more of the same issues I saw in the pilot, it will be off my viewing list, and that’s the vision I had watching FlashForward.

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1 comment:

Deb said...

The Book that the series is based on was AMAZING- and I say that as not only a fan of SciFi, but also as a fan of the search for the Higg's Boson at the LHC at CERn, where the book is based. I was so excited when I heard there was going to be a series based on Robert J Sawyer's book... but then I saw the promos and saw that it would be set in the USA?!? WTF?
Read.The.Book. I now have utterly NO interest in the series. At. All.