The debut of the heavily-hyped FlashForward is just around the corner, and the show already has a lot of expectations to meet. Thanks to an early jump on marketing (ads first appeared last winter, during the fifth season of Lost), FlashForward is the show sci-fi fans have pegged as the best chance at seeing something good on television this fall.
What FlashForward has going for it is its simple-to-understand-yet-impossible-to-imagine premise: everyone on the planet passes out for a few minutes, and while they're unconscious, have visions of the future that lies exactly six months ahead. This raises several questions, both general ("what the heck just happened?") and personal ("why am I banging someone who isn't my husband six months from now?").
Such a structure will lead to comparisons with Lost (replace the plane crash with a worldwide blackout) -- but aside from time jumps, a similarly chaotic opening shot, and familiar faces (Sonya Walger, Dominic Monaghan), the comparisons should end there. That's not a slight, by the way; FlashForward is also good.
After everyone awakens from the "event," an FBI Agent (Joseph Fiennes) leads the charge to figure out what happened -- by compiling the world's "FlashForwards" into a database. Walger plays his doctor wife, whose vision could mean troubling times for their marriage. The intrigue unfolds slowly -- too slowly at some points -- but comes to a head during the final cliffhanging scene, and will definitely leave viewers wanting to know more.
Given that the show's strength is in its premise, expect to see some heavy-handed dialogue and too-quick character portrayals used to move the plot along. The acting, save for John Cho and Walger, is a bit under par as well -- though a lot of that statment is directed at Seth "Family Guy" MacFarlane, who for some reason is playing a government official.
FlashForward premieres Thursday, September 24, at 8 pm on ABC.