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 TV.com writer Louis Peitzman on Twitter: @LouisAtTVDotCom