FlashForward Still Has Potential, But Can the Show Be Saved?

Fans of FlashForward—we know you’re out there—are probably sick of the Lost comparisons. We know that FlashForward's producers are sick of the Lost comparisons (though, really, they have no one to blame but themselves). Frankly, even we critics are sick of the Lost comparisons. But until the show manages to find its own voice and direction, something that seems more unlikely with every episode, we can’t help but notice how similar it is to Lost in every way but being a successful television show.

It’s not as if FlashForward's creators haven’t tried to tinker with the formula a bit. Despite all the juicy sci-fi craziness and conspiratorial enigmas inherent in a show about a global blackout that causes huge segments of the population to catch tantalizing and disturbing visions of the future, FlashForward made a conscious decision early on to switch up the proportions of the Lost recipe, blending some 75 percent angst-ridden soap opera with 25 percent science-fiction mystery. This turned out to be about as appealing as macaroni and cheese made with two ounces of pasta and a gallon of sauce, and is a big reason the show floundered in the early goings.

When FlashForward returned from its midseason hiatus, it promised to shake things up in ways that would satisfy those viewers who'd stuck around while still drawing in new ones. It didn’t exactly succeed, and part of the reason for that was chaos in the writers’ room. No sooner had superhero scribe David S. Goyer, best known as the author of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, signed on as showrunner than he resigned the post, leaving it to his wife—and maybe it’s just as well: Judging from the often-hokey dialogue and the overemphasis on explication, we were seeing less of the David Goyer of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and more of the David Goyer of Kickboxer 2: The Road Back and Dollman vs. Demonic Toys.

For a show that likes to explain itself so much—often at the risk of the kind of dramatic tension it so badly needs—FlashForward has been slow to dole out the twists. Lost may keep you waiting weeks or even years for a revelation, but at least you know one is coming; FlashForward frequently leaves you wondering if it has any answers, and when they finally arrive, it’s in exposition overload. (Pity poor Gabrielle Union, a fine actress who gets stuck with the brunt of the tell-don’t-show dialogue; if she didn’t get lines explaining what the audience has already figured out, she’d hardly say anything at all.)

And this illuminates one of the biggest problems FlashForward has, one that it’s going to have to address (and soon) if it’s going to avoid cancellation and become the excellent show it still has the potential to be. This is a show that's invested a lot of time and money into its lead characters, and now that a number of them have turned out to be duds, it doesn’t know what to do about them. Joseph Fiennes as Mark Benford is a source of unintended laughs a lot more often than he is the moral center he’s intended to be; Gabrielle Union functions like a human footnote; and Jack Davenport is a portentous mess who just seems to take up space. There aren’t a lot of shows with a supporting cast as strong as this one, which is why it’s such a shame that FlashForward rarely gives them something to do. Sonya Walger, John Cho, and the ever-wonderful Ricky Jay are all terrific actors, but even when they’re given decent scenes, they’re forced to recite hooty dialogue that rarely takes the plot forward.

Still, there’s reason to hope. After its break, FlashForward came roaring back with the “Revelation Zero” two-parter that added new layers of depth to the series’ mythology, gave Dominic Monaghan a more satisfying role, and set up a sequence of events that has depicted Michael Massee’s Dyson Frost in such a sinister light that you wish the whole show was told from his point of view. The introduction of James Callis (Battlestar Galactica’s Dr. Gaius Baltar) was solid, and has given fans something to look forward to. And the spooling out of Christine Woods’ Janice Hawk as a mole has finally given her character some weight and interest.

But in a medium where perception is bigger than reality, there are plenty of people who think FlashForward has run itself into the ground, and the show doesn’t have much time to convince them otherwise. After that gripping two-parter, FlashForward went off the rails again, floundering from one misstep to the next until it crashed during “Better Angels”, an episode that played like a parody of itself. Last week’s “The Garden of Forking Paths” was the best episode we’ve seen in months, and finally moved the show forward in terms of its half-hearted mythology; this week’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” shows promise, and might actually involve the producers making some of the tough decisions they need to make to get viewers involved in the characters’ fates. But with only four episodes left until the season finale, it may be too little too late.

What do you think, FlashForward viewers? Is the show circling the drain—or finally building up steam?

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May 05, 2010
my only concern is where can you go after this season and the problem has been solved? if its called flashforward you can hardly create a new problem that doesnt have to do with flashing forward and if it doesnt then the show makes no sense anymore!
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May 05, 2010
Well.. it's good.. and since it came back from the long winter break it's even better.. it should stay..
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May 03, 2010
I think Flashforward should stay, its getting better and better , actually getting more intresting.
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May 03, 2010
One of the only shows that I actually look forward to every week out of the other 10+ shows that I watch. But I will never understand why some shows get canceled and others remain. i.e. TSCC axed and Dollhouse remained. That shocked me beyond measure. Flashforward is too good to be anywhere near the axe. Be serious please.
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May 03, 2010
It's a show I look forward to watch after every episode and that's good enough for me and most people. It should be good enough to those axe-wielding executives, shouldn't it?
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May 03, 2010
I think it's building up steam, but if they keep the show going at this pace, they won't have anything interesting to show for a second season. (much like lost - boring after 3rd season)
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May 02, 2010
I can' really understand why all the hoosh hoosh. I really look forward to the next episode which is what a series should do. The series got a bit stuck in the biggining but now the ball is rolling quite well, and satisfying. I find the show and plot enticing!
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May 02, 2010
I really like the show of course its got lots of problems but so far I still like it much in part to the main lead actors who I love
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Apr 30, 2010
Circling the drain, but could enter to a second season...
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Apr 30, 2010
This is a very good show and it could be great but it was probably screwed before it even started because of the amount of HYPE that went into the who "FF Is the next LOST" promotions - The show had almost insurmountable shoes to fill because of that tag and no-one cares\d how good this show is because for many it isn't as good as LOST Personally I think it's actually better than LOST.
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Apr 30, 2010
It is actually a good show, but in my oppinion, some of the characters are just plain boring. And when whole episodes focus on them, it starts to s..ck..
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Apr 30, 2010
the show definitely has promise. Revelation Zero was phenomenally and I think the writers need to realize that they should use Dominic Monaghan more. He is the best part of the show.
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Apr 30, 2010
I think its a good show...I'm not from the US but in my country is one of the best...There're great actors and actresses. Also the fact that there's a global cause makes it bigger than imagined and more interesting to watch, because it shows other parts of the world. I really think it shouldn't be cancelled.
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Apr 30, 2010
The show has promese. it reminds me a bit to "heroes" in that way. i always look forward to see it, and i always get a little dissapointed. i hope the network gives the show some more time.
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Apr 30, 2010
This show has always been so crap. Poor characters, no story and I think it's main problem is that no one really cares enough about either to give a toss how it ends.
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Apr 29, 2010
hey i like this show aaaand it has gotten alot better people should just give it a chance and stop talking so horribly about it without even watching more than 10 minutes of 1 episode
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Apr 29, 2010
I watch it regularly, even though I don't like it as much as at least 6 other Thursday shows...

But Dominic's character's line while holding a gun to his erstwhile captor who had cut of his finger- 'Next time, take the trigger finger' *shoots*
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Apr 29, 2010
i think flashforward will survive for many others seasons
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Apr 29, 2010
Even though i have begun to like this show, i would rather let V stay and let FlashForward get cancelled. There's a lot left in V, but in FalshForward i still feel it is a bit difficult to see beyond the season final. If i ask me it is also a big mistake not to show the season final today (04/29/10), But that is a minor thing.
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Apr 29, 2010
Joseph Fiennes does great in this show. I like his character and he is no egomaniac... Gosh, if anyone is it is his wife for cheating and MAKING the flash-forwards come true.
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Apr 29, 2010
STOP comparing it to Lost! No show will ever be like Lost again and there is no need for them to copy their way of doing things either, like the DELIBERATELY-not-answering-questions-to-try-to-remain-mysterious part. That is one reason Lost's ending will disappoint many people greatly - because they have watched for all these years and will get no answers and because a lot of things won't make sense, will seem pointless. Anyway, FlashForward HAS to stay. It is a good, decent, entertaining show. That is the most important thing after all. It has potential storywise, it can develop so much and it has a great cast unlike many other shows! And I have to agree that, even if FlashForward gets "bad" it will still be sci-fi and it will still be better than most other shows. Lost will end for good so we need some sci-fi shows that are decent and they haven't really given them much chance to grow yet. I hope they keep both V and FlashForward.
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Apr 29, 2010
It doesnt compare to Lost but even now, an underachieving FlashForward is better than most of the crap out there. I hope FlashForward, V and Chuck don't get cancelled
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Apr 29, 2010
It has a lot of potential which Is why I started watching in the beginning but it's so horrible which is why I couldn't continue watching. If they want Flashforward not to be canceled, the writers really need to step it up as soon as possible.
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Apr 29, 2010
I'm still watching the show - hoping it will show its promise of premise.
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Apr 29, 2010
I think it shouldn't be canceled just yet...
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Apr 29, 2010
as I've said before, the thing that ruins FlashForward is it's based on a novel, one book, not a book series. it'd have been a lot better as a miniseries or even a tv movie. there's only so far you can go unelss it's a book series.
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Apr 29, 2010
The show has quite a few rough edges, but I still enjoy it. I do hope it sticks around.
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Apr 29, 2010
the thing that I liked in the first episodes of FlashForward was the fact that the characters seemed to find/understand the clues along with the viewers. Now they just seem like any other character in a mystery/detective show where you are just yelling "he is right behind you you idiot" to the TV. Also that double episode when the show returned was soooooooo boring and there it lost a huge part of the viewers. I would pick V over FlashForward every time.
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Apr 29, 2010
It's a decent show and it does have potential but there is room for improvement.
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Apr 29, 2010
Love the show!
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Apr 29, 2010
This show should be renewed; it gets better each week. But what were the directors and writers thinking when they let Joseph Fiennes become such an unlikeable egomaniac? His arrogance does not seem to fit the everall concept and his vacant looks into space are really funny. And the Union woman--nobody could be in love with such a non-entity. All this could be fixed.
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Apr 29, 2010
The show sucks... Kill the the main character, the wife of the main character, Dominic, all the moles, save Dimitri, the doctor with the cancer and japanese futuregirlfriend and the ex-drunk-very-bad-ass-militar doing the show... The story is getting better, but the dialogues are absurds... They have the material to do it right and they simply screw up everything...
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Apr 29, 2010
I think they blew it because of two things. 1) Dimitri and Janis having sex. 2) Janis being the mole. On the second one, I'll withhold judgment because it's still possible that she was lying to Simon. But if she wasn't, it doesn't make sense because we've seen her in her private life before. That whole episode was terrible. Last week`s was pretty good though, but I`m worried because my favourite storyline is finished now. I just think that the two developments I mentioned really screwed the show up. Not that it was ever a great show.
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Apr 29, 2010
This show sucked BALLS the first half of the season ...since they've had their break it seems to have gotten a lot better. The last few episodes have been some of the most entertaining televion since early Lost and 24 days. There are some characters that need to go, there are still laughable conversations, but I think it's going to get better as it goes. And if it's FlashForward against V it should be pretty much a no-brainer. I watched both shows from the beginning of the series and have skipped V the last few show's because it is so so so lame. ABC needs to give FlashForward another chance and trash V.
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Apr 29, 2010
Thank god Goyer left as showrunner. It's his wife who makes all of the interesting choices (ex. casting James Callis and Annabeth Gish, more character stories/interactions). Braga needs to stay far away, too. His favorite storyline is cancer doctor and the love triangle. I always feel sorry for Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger and Gabrielle Union when I read online feedback. Their characters get so much negativity. Those three are very, very good actors and get the absolute worst material to work with on the show. Since episode 15, the show's getting into gear. Last week's episode was outstanding. I think it can really do well if it finishes the season maintaining its creative momentum. The intro of the mythology couldn't have come at a better time, and it actually made logical sense, which is refreshing. The characters are finally getting fleshed out, too.
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Apr 29, 2010
I think that the biggest mistake people has about this show is there is going to be April 30th. The world is not going to end on April 29th. It is going to happen and it is going to pass. But who's ff are going to be true and who's isnt we are going to find out. There are so much material for next season.
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Apr 29, 2010
"After its break, FlashForward came roaring back with the “Experiment Zero” two-parter". It's Revelation Zero, that proves the critic here is an ignorant to the show.
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Apr 29, 2010
I think since it came back its been a lot better and last episode was good, the only thing i didnt like was Dyson Frost died without saying too much, i was expecting a bit more revelations or wow moments with him before he died.
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Apr 29, 2010
I like this show, it has had a few missteps but no where near as many as some other shows *cough* Heroes/Smallville. I would greatly prefer the show get a second season as there is a lot of potential and in the harsh landscape of reality tv, I'd much rather hope this scripted drama can pull it all together with the second and future seasons. FlashForward already has my attention just keep the episodes coming.
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Apr 29, 2010
I actually rather like FlashForward. I believe that it could be great, with a few adjustement of course.
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Apr 29, 2010
I really reaaaally believe it would be a bad idea to cancel this show, it's pretty amazing, and it gets better every week!!! I love the way this show is going and have high hopes for it, I just reallly hope they let them prove how great it can be!!!
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Apr 29, 2010
I'll give it another season to show if it has legs, but I am not very hopeful. I thought with the uncover of Dominic Monaghan's charatcer as a central player was great, but then he disappears for 10 straight episodes lol. The writers need to figure out which storylines should be at the forefront and which are just filler. I say follow Mark/Dominic/Dimitri every episode religiously and put less attention on Mark's family, the girl with Jericho, and Zoey. They can be 5 minute filler every episode to show how different storylines are intertwined. Much like how they are dealing with Jericho starting last episode. We now have the FBI director investigating Jericho, they could have introduced Mark's friend and his daughter right then and there rather than have him take up space earlier in the series where there was just too much going on. The beautiful thing about LOST is that they add characters later on via flashbacks to prove that they were always there, FlashForward decides to just shove them down your throat in the first 5 episodes and hope you remember them all.
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Apr 29, 2010
They just don't have enough material for the number of episodes and very poor talent in character developement.
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Apr 29, 2010
They'll bring it back but give it the same plan that Lost has- 14 eps and returning in January.
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Apr 29, 2010
The show is a complete mess, but anything is redeemable, it just depends on hard the writers are willing to work at it.
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Apr 29, 2010
I love the show. This is the first show that I became the hard core fan. I have never felt like this about any other show (and I have seen my share). This is a show very well written and very well played out. This story is original, new and fresh. Very intelligent and involves real, today, theoretical physics and science. And that is what this show makes unique. I dont think that writers have no clue where they are going I think they know exactly where they are going. This the first season and it has been a little slow at the beginning, but we had to get involved with the characters, we had to learn everything about them so we could know their motives and expectations. The show is getting more and more interesting with every episode. I think that people maybe dont like it cause it is new and they have to get involved from the beginning and have to open their mind for something new and different. There has been 6 years of Lost, 8 years of 24, 4 years of Heroes. And so on and so on ... Noone is giving FF a chance cause they can not let go of the shows they are used to, that is why they are compering it to Lost.
FlashForward is a great show and it deserves second season, and I think there is going to be one cause the way I see flashforward They know the future but expect the unexpected.
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Apr 29, 2010
I'm still a fan of this show. Yes, it has it slow points, but every week it's like "I can't wait until next Thursday"!
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Apr 29, 2010
i totally agree with u. It looks like that the writers have absolutely no clue what to do next.
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Apr 29, 2010
I like this series! It's not the best out there but is better than a lot of shows that get better reviews/audience! We'll see what the future holds! If it gets renewed, great! If not, I just hope we get a satisfactory ending!
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Apr 29, 2010
I Think it at least deserves one more season!
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