FlashForward May Be Flash in the Pan
CTV and ABC are promoting their new apocalyptic drama, Flash Forward, as the new Lost. Starring Joseph Fiennes from Shakespeare in Love, John Cho (Harold and Kumar, Star Trek) and Brian F. O'Byrne (Million Dollar Baby), there is certainly no dearth of star power. And the premise - an unexplained, cataclysmic event causes the Earth's entire population to pass out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds - isn't bad either. But there's something about the show that's lacking.Eerily similar to Nobel-prize-winning book Blindness (in which the whole world is swept with an epidemic of blindness), FlashForward is also adapted from a novel by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer. The TV show is yet another example of a loosely-borrowed concept that's sensationalized and sexed up for an audience.
The hottest genre in the world right now is science-fiction. Producers, writers, and execs are chomping at the bit to seize on the trend. It's actually pretty interesting to watch the mad scramble for the best plot, best characters, and actors who 'geeks' would find appealing: hence Kristin Bell on Heroes, Katee Sackhoff joining 24, and the recent announcement that Lost alumnus Dominic Monaghan would be part of the FlashForward cast.
One thing that's going for FlashFoward (besides the awesome cast, and a weird-yet-fantastic appearance by Family Guy creator/actor Seth MacFarlane) is it does apocalypse well.
There are frequent explosions, lots of blood, and great special effects. One scene in particular features a helicopter crashing into a building and rolling down the side like a lint brush. At times the effects reach movie quality, which makes sense considering the actors taking part. The guy wandering in his underwear and the wayward kangaroo are fantastic details.
There are concerning factors that may negate the goodness, though. I haven't seen a serious slow-motion running scene since the Die Hard movies, so it was a tad upsetting to see one with Fiennes, sweaty, blood-stained shirt and all. It's cliched, and I couldn't help but burst out laughing.
If that were the only cheesy component, I wouldn't really care, but it's - to put it bluntly - one out of a cornucopia. There's the classic mystery man, the stalwart cop, hammy overacting, and to top it all off, the prophetic child who sees all.
"I dreamed there were no more good days," she says. We dread that reality too, little girl. Will FlashForward capitalize on the good, and discard the bad? If only we could have a flash-forward of our own.
FlashForward premieres on September 24, 2009 on /A\ Channel and ABC.
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