Fast-Forwarding FlashForward

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

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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.
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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...
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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.
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Loved the book, hate the show.
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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.
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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!
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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!!!!
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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!
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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.
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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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Second hour was better than the first. I think FF shouldup its game
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Basically all the things people complain about are the silly things they added when they adapted it from book form.

I liked the way they mocked people who complained about the lack of a villain "You want a villain? Well here I am!" (or whatever the quote was) and then they killed him. A show does NOT need a villain except when you don't have good writers.

This should not be a whodoneit type show but more of a whatif type. The show shouldn't ask "Who caused this situation?" but "If this situation occurred what would it be like?" The book followed the effects on people and perceptions. How would this affect the religious? The non-religous? Religious leaders? Political leaders? The suicidal? Optimists? Pessimists? Confident people? Non-confident people? Scientists? People in love? People with children? People who don't want children who saw themselves with them? People who discovered they'd be dead? Prisoners? Etc. The show has BARELY touched on these points, turning them into footnotes instead of the main story.

The main story is rather formulaic and boring and could be placed into any situation. You could easily change the premise of the show and still retain the overall plot, but you would lose the whatif, which is the only interesting part. Make the whatif be the main story and the who, where and how be the footnotes. (in the book the experiment was, as in the show, just a catalyst or amplifier, the actual cause was immaterial and turned out to be natural)
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no i am not going to continue with it, it bores me. the only good episode was the first one
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i get what you're saying. Its a good show but not as good as it should be especailly since its supposed to be a replacement show for lost. I think the key is that in lost we had flashback, and later flashforwards and flashalts, to help us connect with the characters however flashforward doesn't have any way of forming a connection between the audince and the characters
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i dont know why alot of people dont like this show , its quit intertening and the last episode was truly exciting, alot of the great ones start quit dull , and why is that, to give u a generale idia about the characters whom are going to play an important rolls in the future, and after the presentation is done u will see the flow of the story start to pick up speed. so give it a chance to play out tell the end and u will find it intreging during the telling of the story line until it reachs such a point.
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While I haven't been quite so negative about this show in general I have to say Thursday's return was really exciting. I hope they can keep this pace up, then we're in for a real treat. I've read some of the comments here, and I agree that at least the second doctor (the one who was about to commit suicide) is absolutely obsolete. Sonya Walger on the other hand is quite important for the story since she is Mark's wife and with her FF and all. But the guy could be killed off.
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definitely the best installment so far (the second hour, that is). Monaghan is great, and Simon is a good character. Besides Simon its hard to find anyone to care about, although Janis and Lloyd are growing on me. As of acting, besides those three Sonya Walger is the only one who really get it going, imo. I'm hoping that the season finale will be the series finale, and a good send-off. Generally, this season has kinda sucked, at least when it come to 1 hour shows; "The Good Wife" and "Glee" are solid work, but not my kind of shows. Besides them, the new broadcast hourlong series of the season has been mediocre at best. I still holding my breath for "Happy Town" though, although ABC doesn't seem to have much faith in it.... If it wasn't for Community and Modern Family, the 2009-10 season would have been a HUGE and complete failure in my book.
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The show is a chore for me to watch. None of the characters are compelling and there is way too much techojargon...
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the show is really good. the only problem is with the characters of the doctors.. I don't care that she's on lost.. she and the other doctor are just boring characters which ruins the show but besides them i think the show is great
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I watched almost every episode before the hiatus (I think I stopped watching it 2 episodes b4 that).
The first one was so promising but then it turned so boring and so many characters with dull stories.
I kinda got tired of broadcast tv "drama" shows. They have long seasons, vanilla situations and flying really high away from reality, even the fantasy ones.
I can watch some sit coms (actually only Big Bang). Then I have Showtime (I just love that network) to see all the good shows and HBO for True Blood. They're short but when one finishes, others starts.
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I wish I COULD watch it. There are too many much better shows on in the same time period.
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FF is great
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yes i will watch and i think it pick up the pace last nite
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Seriously Louis, pick up the Flashforward novel. It is an excellent, fast paced read with rarely a dull moment. As you can probably tell it is nothing at all like the tv show.
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I agree the article here. FF has such huge potential but they somehow just aren't living up to it. Fienes, I think is not the best lead actor for this show. His Xena-like whisper gets annoying as he tries to hide his accent. Kiefer Sutherland whispering on 24 is tolerable because it's a really good show, unfortunately FF isn't all that good. It's interesting, but compelling? I'm not so sure. I feel like their promos have more production value than the actual episodes. What's with the directing of this show? There are scenes together that don't quite make sense and I noticed it in episode 1. *spoiler alert* For example, last night's episode had Simon killing Flosso (his name is almost as ridiculous as his self intro as a villain (really guys, this kind of thing doesn't even work for Heroes where you expect villain to be)) outside his house...with an FBI agent inside! What!?On top of that, there's a dead body in the back of the dude's jeep already. How bad of an FBI agent is Janice exactly? Forget that he got away from her initially; now she's at his house and she's helping them to cook dinner? On top of that, she's not snooping around or peaking out the window to see what he and Uncle Villain are doing out there? How's Simon going to get away with this? Okay so make it look like Flosso had a heart attack, but what about the body? I have to say, I like that Simon is a bit nutty. Last night he cemented himself as a character to watch. The rest? Well...I'm not sure. It seems to me that if you know the possible future you really can avoid it, especially if you're Olivia. Don't wanna end up sleeping with that guy? Okay...don't. Don't want to shoot your partner? Okay, don't. When the day comes to do it, just be somewhere else. Overall I like the idea of this show. The idea is really good. It's really interesting and as I said the potential is huge. The execution of the idea, however, is lackluster at best. It's interesting enough for me to watch for now, but that also depends on what else comes on at it's normal time slot.
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I like the show and I will definitely continue to watch it. I think they just need some time to evolve the characters some more.
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So cool to gave this show a second chance... I just loved this episode. I totally will continue watching Flashforward!
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Agreed. I don't feel like I should stop watching this, but they tried to create a sensation and it hasn't captured me (or most of its audience) in the way it wished to. I feel like a lot of the cast is not worth watching, and it doesn't have me clamoring for more.

John Cho rocks!
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I agree with alot of what your saying, the characters need to be better developed if the show is to succeed. You know the show loses your interest when you can't remember characters names. I did however think that the two hour episode last night was pretty good.
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John Cho is the best.
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Charlie, er I mean Dominic was just great in this episode. Coming in I was using this as a make or break episode. Whether or not I will continue watching in the future. Well Charlie got me. I'll be tuning in as long as the future episodes show as much potential.
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I thought that the premiere yesterday was extremely good. The episodes before it were very bland and boring. I think that one of the reasons yesterdays episode was so good was mainly because of Dominic Monaghan, he played an amazing role and his character is probably the only one that I actually care about. It was definitely a huge improvement for the series, and if they keep on improving it like that, I will probably continue to watch. But it doesn't come close to adding up to Lost.
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I really like the show actually. It has it's moments. I like the actors and I really want to know what's going on. I really hope it doesn't get the boot before I get my questions answered.
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great show, can't wait till they reach the actual day of the first flashforward, and maybe the only, especially since the show is airing on the same date, and so far it has hopes, but thank goodness it's not Glee, that's like being stuck in a car in the middle of the antartic with only one cd to listen to and Sarah Palins book on the back seat.
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I have to disagree with you fassts. Many of the acting jobs have been ok to solid, but imo Joseph Fiennes has been mediocre at best and horrid at worst. I don't think it has much of a shot at getting picked up next year to be honest.
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I just couldn't get into the show since I hated almost everything about it (except John Cho) so I stopped watching a while ago with no intention of ever tuning in again.
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Louis, I think you nailed it. The show does still interest me and last night's episode was one of its strongest. That I hope bodes well for the future of the series. And of note I think any scenes with Simon and Lloyd are worth watching.
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the show is original.. acting is good... plot is ok...
and lots of questions and 'hmms' imo FF has to be successful, i just cant see it canceled or not extended for s2.
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I disagree! FlashForward was awesome last night! We found a lot of things out yesterday, but at the same time left with many more questions! And I absolutely cannot wait for what is in store next! It looks real good, to say the least!
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I agree with what you said for the most part, last nights episode was fairly good if you ignored the dull moments but I just don't see the show getting to the point where you can truly say it is truly thrilling
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