Fast-Forwarding FlashForward

By Louis Peitzman

Mar 19, 2010

Watching FlashForward is a little like watching Lost, in that I have no idea what the hell is going on. And as with Lost, I have faith that there is a bigger picture here, and that at some point—hopefully sooner than six seasons in—I’ll have a rough idea of what that picture is.

But while Lost is almost always enjoyable—if not to watch, then at least to bitch about with friends—FlashForward has been something of a chore all season. The characters aren’t sufficiently compelling to distract from a mystery that lacks oomph, and at this point, no one seems to care enough about FlashForward to even make it decent watercooler fodder. Lost is worthy of discussion even at its weakest (read: the Kate-centric episodes), but FlashForward simply hasn’t reached that level of interest. When was the last time you engaged in a spirited chat over when Lloyd and Olivia will finally hook up? (Who? Exactly.)

I approached last night’s two-hour "spring premiere" with a mixture of hope and dread: “Yay, some of my burning questions will finally be answered! Boo, none of my questions are really all that burning. Also, I have to sit through two hours of this crap.”

And like the series as a whole, the episode had its ups and downs. Overall, it was a solid installment, propelling the plot forward and further developing the more interesting characters—namely, Dominic Monaghan’s Simon Campos. We now know that Simon is Suspect Zero (duh), and that he’s had a longstanding relationship with the villainous Flosso. (Flosso? Really? It’s always one step forward, two steps back with this show.) Monaghan is talented enough to make these revelations interesting, even if they’re not particularly shocking.

But aside from Simon, is there really anyone on this show worth caring about? I like Olivia, because she’s Penny from Lost—er, Sonya Walger. I like Demetri, because he’s John Cho. I like a few other characters, because, well, they’re kind of pretty. But overall, I find myself unenthusiastic about the surplus of storylines. And without a Sawyer or a Juliet to keep me invested, the whole enterprise falls flat. There are no gasp-worthy moments, no edge-of-your-seat thrills. At best, I find myself “hmm”-ing, and sometimes, as at the end of last night’s episode, I say, “Hey, that was kind of cool.”

I’ll continue to watch FlashForward, even though I feel like I’m the last of a dying breed. To be fair, I have a mild interest in finding out what it’s all about, and the show's return episode did show signs of improvement. But it’s hard to imagine this series ever becoming the OMG-inspiring event television that ABC is trying to sell it as. At this point I’d settle for a good old-fashioned WTF.

What did you think of FlashForward's return? Do you plan to keep watching the show?

Follow writer Louis Peitzman on Twitter: @LouisAtTVDotCom

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  • TheRepeatViewer Mar 28, 2010

    I expected the mid-season premiere to be the final disappointment that would give me a reason to dump this show once and for all, but it turned out to be one of the best episodes in the series so-so run, ever. Now I'm kind of psyched about what's in store, but who knows how long that's going to last.

  • bellin_luvy Mar 24, 2010

    I think the show has a lot of good potential. Even though sometimes it is a little painful to watch when you either wish you knew a little more or wished you knew a little less. They haven't explored most of the characters yet. I think that some of the minor characters could really add a lot to the plot of the show. For now, I would say that the show is just progressing...

  • abelav78 Mar 22, 2010

    It improved withe the 2 part episode, i found it a bit refreshing after a lot of episodes that were so so. Hopefully will follow the example of Fringe and hook people up before they lose interest.

  • fatfreeoreos Mar 22, 2010

    Loved the book, hate the show.

  • ma_liky Mar 22, 2010

    I think this is a great show, with excellent story. And that they have great pace of mystery and action and drama. And I think they have done great job with the special episode reminding us of everything that had happened and with the questions still unanswered. Reminding us of every character and their place in the show. And the come back was awesome!!! They moved a big step and in a great way. Big things had been reviled but yet so much had left to be. I dont need element of surprise in every episode. I will watch it every week with enthusiasm.

  • jjab73 Mar 22, 2010

    I really enjoyed the premiere! It was very story driven, which I like . I really don't understand why people dislike Flashforward so much...maybe because it is being compared to Lost, which I think I can happily say that I have never seen!

  • grace87 Mar 22, 2010

    if ABC tried so hard to save Better Off Ted instead of this one, maybe ABC and the audience would be laughing right now instead of weeping!!!!

  • Vertas009 Mar 22, 2010

    I concur with almost everything but this spring premier showed a little attempt to improvement. One other thing is that for such a big event happening there's little politics involved, that's always fun!

  • umbala-umbala Mar 22, 2010

    Not the best show, not the worst show, but I'd rather watch it than some dancing show, or singing show, or any of the other mind bogglingly boring reality and game shows clogging the nighttime airwaves. The last episode shows a positive direction to me. I'll see it through, since there is such a void of quality shows as alternatives.

  • freak-e719 Mar 22, 2010

    im hoping it gets better i rarely watch tv nowadays but i have hope for this show and will continue watching. As for the premiere is was like the rest of the season before ok nothing absolutely amazing but not horrible to where i had to change the channel

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