Thursday, September 24, 2009

FlashForward, "No More Good Days": Seth MacFarlane is here why?

I wrote about the pilot of "FlashForward" in today's column - and I was specifically concerned that the pilot's second half (boring, talky) is more representative of what the series will be then the first half (car chases, special effects, kangaroos). I'm curious what you all thought. Was the first part, plus the cliffhanger, enough to keep you around for a while? Do you like any of the characters? And, again, how badly does the distraction level of having Seth MacFarlane play one of the FBI agents outweigh any value his acting skills might bring?


Otto Man said...

SM was a distraction, but other than that I thought it was terrific.

I know we're not supposed to talk about previews for the next week, but there's an actress coming in that's going to guarantee I watch this religiously.

Anonymous said...

It left me curious to see where the show goes from here. The pilot wasn't great, but there are enough possibilities set up to make me think that this show could actually be a successor to Lost (albeit a poor man's version)

bgt said...

I'm going to refer to this show as "Hoffs Drawlar" from here on due to the massive mimicry of Lost.

Still, interesting premise. I'll keep recording and do a marathon down the road if the show justifies it (kind of like I did with Heroes S1).

McNater said...

I couldn't agree more Alan. There was not a huge enough sense of urgency for this being the pilot episode. Seems like everyone pretty much took the deaths of thousands of people around the world and everyone blacking out pretty much in stride.

You're right...WAY to talk in the second half. I get that they had to start figuring things out a little bit, but they could have found a more exciting way to do it...other than, "Joe Fiennes, you're on the job!"

The characters so far didn't grab me as much as I hoped, but I'm still curious to see where it goes. Kumar (what's his name on the show? cant remember...not a good sign) obviously saw something bad in his vision. Most likely either his wife dying or him doing something sinister.

I did love the ending though...can never get enough of the "one guy standing" plot. The way they revealed it with him in the stadium was pretty solid.

Overall, I'd give the episode a B.

Greg said...

I was continually distracted by how no one seemed to be acting like a major global catastrophe had just happened where many, many, people must have been killed. I don't think that on the night of 9/11 anyone was talking about what their wedding song would be. The hospital shouldn't have been as calm as they showed it for days and with all the crashes the roadways shouldn't have been usable enough to allow for Sonya Walger to travel by car. And I would think the head FBI investigator wouldn't make it home that night.

The extended commercial at the end definitely implied that the focus would be on the talky non-action theme. That would have to prove to not be the case to keep me interested.

Rob said...

I thought the pilot was pretty good agreeing with most of the reviews have said. It did slow down considerably in the middle towards the big reveal of the one guy standing.
My only problem was how much it was like LOST pilot. The kangaroo is the polar bear, the explosion of the tanker was the same as the the plane engine, and the show starting with someone waking up. Also did anyone else feel they revealed way too much in the preview clips for the rest of the season?

Hannah Lee said... badly does the distraction level of having Seth MacFarlane* play one of the FBI agents outweigh any value his acting skills might bring?

Seth MacFarlane has acting skills?

The premise is intriguing, but Alan, you're right that something's off with the execution. The characters are all sort of flat, and many scene were shot in different, moody ways, as though 6 different shows were edited together, so it didn't jell for me.

The opening scene brought to mind Lost's premiere, with the close up on Fiennes instead of Jack, but then I kept thinking how this character wandered through the carnage, observing it but not really trying to aid anyone. Kind of the opposite of Jack and a little off putting.

Maybe going for the grand "world-wide phenomena" scale with the flash forward was a bit much. With that many plane crashes, car wrecks, fires and explosions already happening in the pilot, it's kind of hard to build suspense that something really bad is going to happen (it already has).

Having the whole planet at Threat Level Red for an entire series could get tiring and a little hard to make sense of.

Plus given that it's a worldwide thing, it seems kind of strange that the investigation would be assigned to a couple of people in the LA FBI, who start the investigation with paper and string.

It might have been more effective to have the flash forward be more localized, impacting a limited population (one county or state or country even), so you'd have contrast between normal people and others who know something is very very wrong.

Kaiser said...

Saw this episode Wednesday night at a pre-screening in Midtown Manhattan. I'd say 50% of the crowd had enjoyed an open bar for most of the evening. When Seth MacFarlane showed up there were cheers/jeers. Did not know he was on the show. Also someone shouted out "OCEANIC!" and there were more cheers. I barely caught it, but there was giant poster ad on a building for Oceanic airlines. It was during one of the scenes when the two agents were under what looked like some sort of public transportation tracks. I never would have caught it watching by myself. Kinda cool to watch with a crowd. Until the guy behind me spilled his beer.

MattB said...

I don't think Joseph Fiennes was the right choice for his role.

I might tune in for a few weeks to see where this premise goes, or even what the premise is after the first few episodes. But not feeling a strong attachment.

MattB said...

Also Dominic Monaghan needs to show up asap

the Stanfield Org. said...

Seems to me far more likely that this will turn into the next 'The Nine' or 'Invasion' rather than the next 'LOST', but will remain cautiously optimistic for now. Saw enough good things to stick w/ it for now, although I also stuck w/ Invasion for most of its run. Seems like an amalgam of about 50 other tv shows/films i've seen, but the only real detraction/distraction for me was Penny's American accent (Macfarlane wan't a distraction until I read this, as I haven't really seen him in human form) (not that I had a problem w/ her accent, just used to her talkin' British).

Toby O'B said...

Rob: "Also did anyone else feel they revealed way too much in the preview clips for the rest of the season?"

Maybe you had a vision of the future? 8^)

We know when the future vision will be - April 29, 2010. But when did the flash-forward take place? Did they say?

I'd love for it to be a Friday. First thing that popped into my head when I saw the kangaroo was that line from "Black Friday": "With nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos."

Maybe the show wasn't engaging me enough if my mind could wander like that.....

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, or because I watched what seemed like 5 minutes of "Next time on Flash Forward", but the story arc actually seems to be pretty intruguing, if not a little too like a knock-off of the major themes of the Lost (mainly science vs faith, or how people act when they know something is coming).

Unknown said...

Well, I'm intrigued enough by the mysteries to come (how did the dead girl come back from the dead? how did whatsherface get pregnant so fast? how is Olivia having an affair in six months?) to keep watching it.

I think after awhile the human devastation was just too big for the show to deal with AND to establish the visions as well. Which is fair.

John Cho's character had NO visions. That's ominous as well.

Yeah, the characters aren't the most charismatic so far, but if the mystery continues I'll probably care at least enough to keep watching. I just wonder how they'd sustain a second season of this.

Michael said...

To me it seems like the story might be limited in that unless there are alot of lost like spins (others, time traveling island, battling forces, jacob etc...) the actual mystery is sort of limited. The idea is very intriguing but if they try to stretch out the why/how for 6 seasons I think we will get so bored with the shoddy characters it won't be worth watching.

I will say this, the first time they showed the man walking at the sporting event I felt like that was the creepiest image I had seen on tv in a while. I think it really does make for an interesting mystery which will bring me back at least long enough to see if the story's pace will keep me interested.

Michael said...

Jennifer is right in that the flash forward mysteries are also intriguing, but you are going to have to make me care about the characters before I care about how the strange things that have happened to them in six months have happened.

Anonymous said...

Liked it. Certainly has potential. It does raise some interesting takes on fate and free will. I could see thinking I would never wear a friendship bracelet, so ergo the future can't come true, only to be gifted that same item by a loved one, which changes the equation.
Still, the storytelling is cliched and dumbed-down(Cut from Sonia's experience to hospital room of her patient and his father). Hopefully, the producers will step up to the LOST level in terms of trusting their audience's intelligence.
Oh, and I think the little girl's experience will have the most mystery and shock to it.....


Jape77 said...

It is entirely possible they blew their whole budget on the big opening, but I find it hard to believe they couldn't get enough extras and ketchup to fill up the hall of the hospital with the injured from the world-wide pileup for a scene or two. That one oversight really took me out of the mood created by the effective kickoff.

However, so far it is still way better than the book it was based on, and I'll stick with it.

Raz Cunningham said...

i didn't find Seth MacFarlane distracting, but definitely an interesting casting choice. Let's not forget that about 90% of mainstream America watching the show tonight may know what he sounds like but have no idea what he looks like and couldn't pick him out in a line up, so i don't think it will be a problem for the show itself.

as for the show itself, i agree, VERY talky, and yes, it is just the pilot, but the pilot sometimes sets the tone, so yeah, it may very well be the same way throughout.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree that the premise was intriguing but, with none of the characters really grabbing me so far, that won't be enough. I'll probably give it another ep or two, though - the beginning and the ending image did get my attention.

Luckily I have no idea what Seth McFarlane looks like (I can't stand Family Guy) and so was not bothered by his presence at all..

Dan said...

The show doesn't seem to have the energy that LOST does. The characters are flat so far... there is no Sayid, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley & Charlie characters that you instantly remember after watching the pilot. It's like they made the show and modeled every character after Kate. Still, it has lots of potential, I'll keep watching

Bruce Reid said...

Things did drop off in the second half, but one juxtaposition I thought was very nice had the babysitter's fear of a punishing god lead right into the suicidal doctor's rhapsody of a loving miracle (reversed again by Walger's bitter anxiety). And I'm heartened by even the clumsy conversation between Fiennes and his sponsor because it signals that the most interesting aspect of the series is also foremost in the creators' minds.

Which is, I hope the mystery and solution prove worth the ride, but it's this sense of multifarious reactions, individuals responding to the mass event with their own mixture of fear and wonder and skepticism, that most intrigues. Which should seems obvious, sure, but I'll echo what I think the Stanfield Org. is suggesting and say The Nine never pulled off such variety (Billingsley's nice performance excepted), and the dour monotony of the victim's responses killed off my interest in the show. From what we've seen, I'm less concerned about that happening with this show.

None of the flash-forwards gripped me so much as the daughter's ominous statement of her vision, use of which as the episode's title suggests it might be a big part of how things play out. (Or just a good catchy line.) Not that more visions like Vance's won't be welcome.

Toby O'B: "We know when the future vision will be - April 29, 2010. But when did the flash-forward take place? Did they say?"

One of the FBI agents placed that "about half a year from now."

Otto Man: "I know we're not supposed to talk about previews for the next week, but there's an actress coming in that's going to guarantee I watch this religiously."

Seconded (assuming we're thinking of the same actor). Is it beyond the pale to ask whether the cast is expanding beyond whom we've seen or were the preview faces mostly guest stars? Feel free to delete the question, Alan, if so.

Johanna Lapp said...

A huge part of Lost's believability was that the faces were mostly new. Every three minutes here, I'm distracted by ADA Carver, or Harold, or Stewie, or Dr. Corday, or Penny Widmore yanking me out of the story. I'm already dreading the eventual Charlie-Penny confrontation. "What do you mean, not your boat?"

As keeper of the big bulletin board of interconnections, Mark Benford seems to have the market cornered on the big shocker reveal moments. Just hope he doesn't end up as Basil Exposition becuase of that.

Is there a column to be written about the Big Board device in network TV, from Homicide to Without a Trace to Grey's Anatomy? At least this time it's not dry-erase markers on a whiteboard. Here they have a chance to prove that one of these big shaggy dog series actually had a story planned out in advance and not just made up as they go along. I'm just hoping they don't retroactively rewrite the board every time some actor gets fired for a DUI. Please tell me that somewhere online there's a capture of the board so the folks at home can play along.

And is it a rule that every movie or TV show set or shot in L.A. must feature a gratuitous shot of the Orpheum theater marquee?

Karen said...

After I type this I'll google Seth MacFarlane, since I can't remember what he looks like and don't know who he played. (I only know him from the Hulu ad he did - don't watch any of his stuff.) So there's your answer to that question. (Missed the Oceanic thing, too.)

All in all, we found it mildly interesting, but I don't think we're coming back. Interesting also, sort of, to see another onslaught of non-American actors doing American accents. And wondering if BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne will be sticking around, hidden under that huge beard (real? I guess...) - love him, he'd almost, almost be enough to keep me watching - but not quite.

The guy walking around in the stands at the stadium at the end? Creepy, interesting... but not enough.

Karen said...

P.S. That was Jane from Mad Men, right? Time to IMDb her...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yes it was, Karen. Actress is Peyton List.

Jen said...

Weird Jane looks so young here! Now I'm going to look at Roger Sterling in a very different light.

As for the show, the way things seemingly picked up immediately after the blackouts and got back to normal was the biggest misstep for me. As Greg said above, there's just no way that a worldwide crisis even bigger than 9/11 would have everything up and running and newscasts giving "explanations" about it within hours.

That being said, I'll give this show a chance to see where they go with it. What I saw in the previews was enough to keep me intrigued beyond the initial shock value of the concept.

Also please tell me I wasn't the only one half expecting to see Henry Ian Cusick sitting on the couch in Olivia's flashforward.

Karen said...

Jen, I wasn't expecting him, but I felt the whole time that Penny was cheating on Desmond!

Stacy said...

Everyone is making really good points, especially in regards to how unrealistic everyone was acting. There is no way that a doctor and a FBI agent would be relaxing at home having a conversation about their relationship the same day of a world wide disaster. In the real world, they wouldn’t be seeing each other or their daughter for days at the very least.

And can anyone tell me exactly what the people there were chasing did or were going to do? I know they said there were going to kill a lot of people, but did we get any other information that I missed?

Also, we have better meet or hear about a whole bunch of people who had no vision, not just that one guy, since it would be anyone in the world who dies with in the six month period.

Unknown said...

I agree that the beginning was too similar to Lost, however, I liked that fact that is begins with total mayhem, keeps me interested.

As for the acting, its sort of blah and I hope it gets better throughout the show, it was a bit overwhelming with all the information given.

Yep, it seems that people reacted calmly to the events happening and the deaths, but honestly, I guess it normal that people are just cooped up in their own visions and haven't really had time to focus on anyone else.

The preview was WAY too long, jeez, it´s like they don`t want you to tune in next week.

BUT, I really liked it and am going to keep on tuning in!!!

Oh, Seth MacF had like 3 sentences in total, so as long as it says like that, shouldn't be a problem.

Jen said...

Stacy, John Cho's character says at one point that they were planning on detonating a dirty bomb or something so presumably they were following a bunch of suspected terrorists.

Part of me wishes they would let Fiennes and Walger use their real accents. I find it really distracting trying to imagine them as Americans.

Karen said...

Well, I don't watch Lost, so I wasn't bothered by derivativeness or whatever.

I'm not sure what I thought about it, personally. The opening was certainly flashy enough! Some of the cinematography was very striking: I liked the surreal kangaroo and the drifting balloons out at Venice Pier.

I agree that Fiennes is not that compelling a lead. I also agree that the two Benfords being home and in bed while Demetri and Janis were hard at work at FBI HQ was....implausible. I also agree that the story got flat in the middle, tho' it didn't seem specifically because it was talky, just because they weren't advancing the story much.

But that Tigers Stadium shot was a real lightning bolt--and I also liked that they didn't pretend the FBI has some magic technology that can take grainy B&W over-pixelated images and zoom in to a hi-res detail (that drives me CRAZY). I did wonder, though, if looking at hundreds and hundreds of worldwide surveillance footage (while a useful reminder of our over-surveilled society) was in fact the first thing an agent would have decided to do.

Mr. Burns said...

I was left very flat by the pilot - perhaps too high expectations, esp compared to Lost. This felt a bit more like 24 than Lost, anyways: unlike the latter that evolved slowly with the cast dealing with disaster (plane crash) and then mysteries slowly building, FF felt more like 24 - keep cramming things in. Really; right after a mass event like this there will be a talk show with an "expert" claiming what is going on? Flat acting, way too over the top melodramatic music. I'll probably keep watching to see if this improves over time, but so far I'm disappointed; such a great premise.

Schmoker said...

Man, speaking of FF's execution . . . I'm all for it.

But I would expect nothing less of the guy who dug the grave for Star Trek and the guy who turned Batman into a English drawing room drama.

My favorite bit of stupidity was when Jo Fiennes had to remind everyone that they didn't JUST black out, because apparently everyone but him forgot what happened to them. And then their reactions to him saying he had a vision and not a blackout were priceless.

"Hey, I had a vision, too."

"Yeah, me too."

"Oooo . . . I also had a vision, and now that you mention it, I remember all these little specific details from it, even though just a minute ago I couldn't remember that I even had a vision and was calling it a blackout."

It was Star Trek 101: Everyone's an idiot for a bit so the hero can then explain everything for the audience, then everyone pretends they were always up to speed on everything all along.

As for the Lost comparisons, I would have to call this the anti-Lost. Lost was almost exclusively a character based drama during its first season, with just the barest hints of anything deeper dropped sparingly along the way. The pilot itself revealed absolutely nothing of the mystery. It took a few weeks to even realize there was a mystery. Sure, a polar bear here, some oddly moving grass there, but for the most part Lost engaged you in the stories (and back stories) of its characters for a long, long, long time before it ever got around to really getting into the mystery.

FF, on the other hand, spent the entire pilot screaming, "BIG MYSTERY HERE!!!! WHAT THE EFF IS UP????"

FF was all mystery, all the time, with almost zero character development beyond "he's an alky, and his partner doesn't like Kenny Rogers."

It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good, and I have a feeling it will be getting awful very, very soon. Imagine being dropped into Lost in the middle of Season Three. That is what FF appears to be.

What a shame.

PS - My Word Verification was "Preverto." Is Blogger trying to tell me something?

Rhonda said...

I liked it well enough to keep on watching it. I've never seen Seth MacFarlane before (and I'm not at liberty to disclose which planet I come from) so I thought he was pretty good. I didn't mind the tenuous grasp of the leads' American accents either nor did I think of Sonya Walger as Penny so that's all good as well.

When I first watched the pilot for Lost, I wasn't drawn to any of the characters. It was only after at least a half dozen episodes that they became fleshed out to me. The more comfortable actors become in their roles the more interesting their characters become. I'd like to see what the actors in Flashforward do with what they've been given once they have a half dozen episodes or so under their belts.

For me there will never be a successor to Lost. It's a unique concept turned into a unique show. Others may try to imitate it but I don't believe they'll ever eclipse it so I'm not going to hold up Flashforward to Lost's standards. I'm going to give this show a chance and see what happens....

Hannah Lee said...

As keeper of the big bulletin board of interconnections, Mark Benford seems to have the market cornered on the big shocker reveal moments.

He and Cho started building the BBBoI this episode, based on his vision. Some of the things they tacked up there were the same exact same post-its he saw in his vision. That kind of leads his investigation in a circular loop. He’s putting things up on the board because he saw them on his board, but they are on his board because he put them there, etc, etc, etc.

I just hope that his board isn’t subject to Memento-like manipulation, because then it really will start to make my head hurt.

rhys said...

I enjoyed the show. I wasn't bogged down by the second half exposition stuff. It's the first episode of a high concept drama. The multitude of cameos are a little distracting. One I haven't seen mentioned is Colin from Brotherhood who plays the sponsor. Definitely kept me entertained. We'll see if it holds up.

Archie said...

What's with the sheer numbers of Brit actors?? I can understand Alex Kingston (nice that she's actually in England, though why must it always be Big Ben that's burning/blowing up/going up in smoke/smashed to smithereens). But Jack Davenport, Sonya Walger, Joe Fiennes, Dominic Monaghan - who else am I missing?

I also heard that somehow the writers don't appreciate the comparisons to Lost too much. Here's a hint - if you name it after one of the main plot-devices on a famous show, the comparisons are bound to happen.

Also, try not to use the same airline as other said hit show!!!!!

That said, I did love the pilot. And yes, I had read about pretty much every plot point for it, including the "big reveal at the end" bit. Still enjoyed it.

To Laura's point - I think the preview wasn't for next week, it was more of a "here's what's happening this season". At least I hope so ...

About the characters being distracting because of their past personas - the same would then apply to thinking of Jack Davenport as his Coupling character, Steve and thinking of Alex Kingston as her role from ER ... it's a testament to their skills that they will make you invest in so many memorable characters.

I agree that some of the actors' roles don't seem that well-fleshed out (Joe F not helping out seems a bit odd and so on) but maybe that's just a matter of time. I don't think anyone (including the creators) guessed how central to the story Benry Gale, aka Ben Linus would become based on his small supporting role episode. He said so in his EMMY acceptance speech, even!!!

You KNOW Lost is ending because:
1. Sonya Walger is a regular here and a series one at that.
2. ABC aired the promo for "V" coming in Nov which stars Elizabeth Mitchell as a regular. Same point ....

Lizbeth said...

I like the premise and parts of the pilot but agree with most of the complaints.

* None of the characters really grabbed me, but then again most of them were filmed in dark shadows and it was difficult to differentiate between a lot of them. Cho was especially wooden.

*I agree it should have been a regional "blackout" because the devastation didn't match how catastrophic such an event would really be.

* The FBI sure seemed to figure out a lot of details of this thing pretty damn quickly.

* The fact that everyone saw the date in their flash forward also seemed a bit "convenient."

Still, I am intrigued by the premise and hope in the following weeks it will get stronger. I just don't know if it's going to be a "watercooler" show like Lost.

Anonymous said...

For all the complaints that the characters were too calm and just discussing stuff in the second half: I would kill for a scene in Lost where the characters just sit around and try to figure out something that the audience has known for three seasons rather than wander around blindly and never communicate. I was worried that Olivia was going to keep her flash secret and create unnecessary drama, but no, she got it out of the way immediately, and everyone is making an effort to combine their information.

All of the Flashforward characters are like exasperated Lost fans who finally get a chance to investigate a crazy mystery right.

Alan Sepinwall said...

All of the Flashforward characters are like exasperated Lost fans who finally get a chance to investigate a crazy mystery right.

Whereas I watched the second half of the FlashForward pilot and for the first time really understood what Damon and Carlton mean when they say that every scene they've ever written and/or shot where characters share information with each other is incredibly boring.

I think there was a way to establish that people were working the problem and sharing intel without spending 20 minutes on bald exposition.

Anonymous said...

OK I liked the Oceanic siting and shoutout to observant LOST fans, but the Desparate Housewives ad on the bus was just too much.

Thanks ABC Studios...


jose C said...

Good premise, Ok writing, hack direction that leaves people scratching their heads and wondering why people are reacting, really crappy editing. This should have been longer - a couple of episodes to get to the stadium. then some of the character actions could have been more fleshed out and seem more believable.

Watching with my regular viewing group last night, one of us was convinced for a while that Demetri was a mole with the terrorists since he ran Joe F off so fast to find his wife and stayed with the handcuffed terrorist. That is bad character positioning and editing. The scenes with Brice (?) at the pier were nicely done, tho, making me think they got in a time crunch for the pilot and left a lot of potentially good stuff on the floor. But the direction still sucked.

Unknown said...

I admit, when i saw the Oceanic advertisement i kinda (unrealistically) hoped we were getting an an answer to the effect of the hatch imploding at the end of season 2 of Lost. Desmond did wind up seeing the future. But the timing doesn't work. Or does it?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd rather be teased into a new show and eventually get sucked in rather than have a gee-whiz first episode and everything after be a disappointment. All the best shows and actors take some time to settle into their roles, so let's give this show a chance rather than dismiss it immediately.

Felonius Monk said...

I have the feeling it's another "Defying Gravity"-an awesome premise killed by plodding conversations about the meaning of it all,flashbacks,and even more annoying,flash forwards.

Melissa said...

Am I the only one that loved the fact that one character's flash forward meant absolutely nothing? Except knowing how a baseball game ends in 6 months...and, he was on the toilet! I thought it was hilarious.

Also, they dismissed the idea that Dimitri was asleep too easily. Maybe he was unconscious (maybe the guys coming after Joe F knocked him out). I like that there's the possibility that he's dead, but they still have quite a few 'outs' with that. I guess his lack of vision confirms, though, that there is no afterlife. ;)

G3o5d said...

FlashForward? I think not.
They are all seeing memories of what actually happened. The Blackout is the result of the "Others" turning back time, trying to change a incident that was, can be, might be dangerous to all mankind.

The writers and creator hope you'll stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping to like this, but damn, did this fall flat on me or what! One of the few times I wish I had watched the SD rather than the HD version, as I found the SFX especially bad (the blood on Fiennes' face looked like smeared on ketchup). Actually, thinking about it, I really hated Joseph Fiennes in the role, as there seems to be no conviction to his acting in this one (not that I have anything against him though, as I thought he was amazing in Pretty/Handsome).

While I'm done with the show right now, if the critical reception seems good for later episodes, I'll rent it once it's out on DVD. Luckily Thursdays are packed so tightly that I'm not complaining (now I've got time for Man vs Wild!).

Anonymous said...

I missed FlashForward on Thursday night, but watched the re-broadcast Friday.

For me, the single most annoying trait was ABC's Beat The Audience Over The Head comments when cutting away to commercials.

"Remember the Kangaroo! It could be important!"

"Learn more about this important date (April 29, 2010) at!"

Bleh. :-p

Hey, ABC, could April 29, 2010 be the intended season finale air date?

Hey, ABC, d'y'think you'll keep the show on the air that long? (And how is keeping those unaired episodes of 'Defying Gravity' in their cans working out for you?)

Tyroc said...

I actually thought Joseph Fiennes was okay. But seeing Penny in another show was tough!

She's talented of course, but I can't think of her with anyone except for Desmond. It's going to be very odd seeing other Lost cast members pop up. I kinda think they should wait for the show to end before doing that. Not that I want to take away work from these actors but still it's jarring.

And I too wondered why this L.A. office was being handed a case with national/global implications. But maybe all the offices are working on the case, and we're focused on this branch as they'll get the furthest?

The premise reminded me a little of Vonnegut's "Timequake". I wonder if the novel the show is based on came out before that? (In any case, everyone should read Timequake.)

Anonymous said...

“I missed FlashForward on Thursday night, but watched the re-broadcast Friday.

For me, the single most annoying trait was ABC's Beat The Audience Over The Head comments when cutting away to commercials.” Anonymous 1:12 AM Sept 26.

I absolutely agree. Did they do that on the night it was originally played, too? I first thought they must have, but when none of the comments mentioned it, I began to wonder. I think the audience could figure out for itself what might be important later. And I certainly had the feeling that kangaroo = polar bear.

It—mostly—kept my interest, and I also thought the one guy in the stadium at the end was pretty creepy, but if they keep doing that horrible voiceover thing at commercials, I may have to bail on general principle: “Pay attention: this might be important later. Check our website for more clues about the kangaroo, the tattoo, the significance of the date.” Yuck! How annoying, and an insult to the viewers’ intelligence.

And I, too, wondered about John Cho's character when he wouldn't say what he saw. Who wouldn't? I just thought too much of it was to clunkily handled--too hit-you-over-the-head with questions or symbols. I prefer a more subtle show, like Mad Men most of the time for example, where I miss something that someone else picks up on and have to go back and watch it again for the "Aha!" moment.

poker rakeback said...

I was very impressed with the premiere epsisode of Flash Forward. The premise of the show is very innovative and was an all around stellar production. I agree that there wasnt much of a sense of shock or panic that there would be in this situation in real life, but the little hints they kept dropping about these visions starting to come true like the bracelet the little girl gave her father were pretty cool. I for one am hooked, and look forward to watching this every week.

Ryan said...

I agree that this episode was clunky and dull, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were sort of getting the boring exposition out of the way so the rest of the series can focus more on characters and action going forwards. In other words, I wonder if the rest of the show is going to be like this.

Dave White said...

I liked FlashForward, especially the opening and the cliffhanger, like you said. The second half did get talky, but what bothered me most was the talkiness was too "on the nose." I'm boiling that down to it being the pilot. I'll keep watching.

Anonymous said...

OK I'm going to bitch: if all the LA people had visions on 5/29 @ 10PM why is it daytime in Detroit, why is there a ball game @ 1AM on 5/30?

Time zone stupidity pisses me off, but they got the London time right.

But at least, we now know what the little girl's vision was: Leno is still on @ 10 in April 2010! No more good days indeed!
What the hell is her bedtime?


Paul Outlaw said...

@ Puff:

OK I'm going to bitch: if all the LA people had visions on 5/29 @ 10PM why is it daytime in Detroit, why is there a ball game @ 1AM on 5/30?

Time zone stupidity pisses me off, but they got the London time right.

The ballgame in Detroit was not a vision (flash-forward), it was a blackout, which occurred at around 2 pm local time (11 am Pacific Time).

The flash-forwards take place at about 10 pm Pacific Time 4/29/10, which is 6 am in London 4/30.

Anonymous said...

Oops Blew that one


Anonymous said...

Alan, did "G305d" give the premise of the show away? Please let us know if you happen to know. Thanks.

belinda said...

Seeing Macfarlane did annoy me to no end. And, ditto on the talky scenes. Less talk, more 'show us weird stuff like polar bears and whatnots'. But to compare this show's pilot to Lost is unfair. It's a good enough pilot, but it was no Lost.

I am excited about the supporting cast enough to keep watching, but nothing wrong with Fiennes, but I do hope he would be like Matthew Fox on Lost as the 'lead' of the show, and we can get to concentrate on the other people.

This is weird, but I'm actually most surprised and excited to see Jack Davenport pop up in the show. Steve!

Anonymous said...

This premiere was pretty dumb, and I canceled my Tivo Season Pass. This would be 100 times more frightful than 9/11, and governments would point the fingers at each other and wars would start. Yet, as someone pointed out, the L.A. office of the FBI is taking point on it? You'd think that the NSA might be running the show from DC, especially since the freaking president blacked out and the Veep is dead! It amazes me that within a few hours of the flashforward (after tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of American perished), this is treated simply as a mystery of the week. Too dumb.

KatieMB said...

I liked the show and want to see where it goes. I never watched Lost so I have no issues with similarities, but the show reminded me much of "The 4400" (USA) in many ways, yet very different from that show. Similar in the sense that many people are impacted/affected by something that can't be easily explained (also allows for many stories to be explored); that the investigation/management of the event is located in the US; that a young girl may hold the key to the mystery; that there is an impact to people's lives in term of time.

As with any TV show, there are limitations to what the production can do and therefore show (in terms of the huge impact a blackout would have) and no matter how it was addressed, I think the audience would find it lacking. So I can forgive the producers with a limited demonstration of the impacts but I too was skeptical of some of the immediate reaction and actions of the characters. I think the pilot should have been a 2-hr show, to give the producers more time to introduce the story and characters to the audience - I'm quite surprised that a show with this scope would be introduced in just one hour.

The Lone Man Awake/Walking completely creeped me out, regardless of it being a ploy used before.

I'm planning to watch to see where this goes - I hope ABC and the show's producers give the show a chance to really tell a good story.

Diane said...

I am still wondering why that female agent is getting an ultrasound at 10pm in her flashforward.

I'm also wondering why, if these are visions of the future, everyone is not doing something important and meaningful, since everyone's going to know that April 29 is important.

I'm going to give it one more episode based on the creepiness of seeing the guy at the baseball game.

Anonymous said...

Diane, that is an interesting question... although the agent never said what time of day she was getting her ultrasound, and where in the world/what timezone she was in, in her vision.

I'm not as bothered over the "jurisdiction" issue as others seem to be. My take on it is that Courtney B. Vance's character, director of the FBI's LA office, tasked the three of them with taking point on that office's investigation of the event. I don't remember seeing any suggestion that anyone else in the rest of the world, or even in any other office within the FBI, was expected to follow their lead/answer to them.

All the other holes cataloged so far-- such as the lack of appropriate worldwide panic, lack of casualties at the hospital, Fiennes's agent and his surgeon wife's relaxed evening at home the very same night-- yeah, all that bugs me too.

Though I can't share in finding the Lone Walking Guy creepy because I had it spoiled by an ABC promo before the show aired. So, there's something else their PR department muffed.

Diane said...

I have to say that, now that we are a cable/satellite free household and rely solely on iTunes and Netflix for material, network spoilers and commercials are no longer a problem! The guy at the baseball game came out of left field for me.

(Unfortunately, this means we no longer at Food Network shows, but six of one, half a dozen of another...)

Craig Ranapia said...

All the other holes cataloged so far-- such as the lack of appropriate worldwide panic

Oh, screw it -- if I want to watch expensive, glossy but heartless disaster porn, Roland Emmerich has another steaming pile coming out in a couple of months, doesn't he?